What’s the latest on the planned Pharmacy & Rural Healthcare Center at SWOSU?


In June, former SWOSU President Randy Beutler announced a historic $5 million donation by Jerry and Margaret Hodge. This money will be largely contributed to a new Pharmacy and Rural Healthcare Center that is supposed to be located along Bradley Street, north of the CPP building.

“We have already set some committees for listening sessions and dates and times,” current Pres. Dr. Diane Lovell told The Southwestern.

These listening sessions are designed to give the involved parties an opportunity to express their needs.

“College of Pharmacy, what do you need in a building? How many labs? How much space for diabetes prevention classes?” Lovell explained. “Then we will go to nurses and Allied Health and we will have a listening session with them (about) what they need to help expand excellent programs for western Oklahoma and the state of Oklahoma. We will go to the community and say ‘this is what we are thinking about, what do you think about it?'”

Finances are another big issue when it comes to construction of a new building.

“We will probably have a price point of a, b and c,” Lovell said. “We will have the Cadillac version if we can raise this much money, and we will have the stick shift economy car if we get that much money. We are very grateful to Jerry Hodge and his wife for the biggest donation ever, and we are applying for some big grants that we hope to get. And then we will have to raise a lot of money from private donors.”

Lovell stressed the importance of not setting unrealistic expectations regarding a completion date for the new building.

“Is this the time to build? If we had the money, would we actually start right now? Because construction costs have gone sky high recently. We need to let that come down a little bit. But I’m going to say, if everything worked perfectly, we would probably break ground in three years.”

That would be in 2024.

[Watch the full interview with Pres. Dr. Lovell about COVID, healthcare expansion and her other plans with SWOSU]