Equipped for Tomorrow

Educating the Next Generation

With more than 9,000 meeting reservations and 28,000 hours of use annually, the Education Center is in need of state-of-the-art technology and meeting space upgrades.

The Education Center will receive a $1.84 million renovation, with 50% of the funding coming from the Norman Regional Auxiliary and 50% being raised by the Norman Regional Health Foundation.

“One aspect of the foundation’s $4 million Equipped for Tomorrow capital campaign is raising funds to support the Education Center renovation. This facility will be a central point on the Porter campus, and a state-of-the-art meeting resource for our community,” said NRHF Director Erin Barnhart.  “Generous community donors have embraced the renovation efforts by making legacy contributions for each of the six classrooms.”

These donors include the Farzaneh Family Foundation, Judy J. Hatfield & the Hatfield Family, Craig & Susan Jones, Gerry & Pat Mayes Family—in memory of Dr. Robert Mayfield, Norman Anesthesia Providers and the OG&E Foundation.

The Education Center is scheduled to re-open in 2024 and will continue teaching nursing students, health care leaders and first responders. The Education Center will be the cornerstone of the Porter Health Village, which includes the City of Norman’s Adult Wellness Center and a new Behavioral Health Center. The Education Center’s programming will focus on several pillars:

Supporting Community Education and Events

As a community health system, NRHS supports organizations by offering complimentary meeting space in the Education Center.

During the last calendar year of a fully functioning Education Center (2019), more than 2,500 meeting reservations were utilized. These classrooms were home to 1,000-plus mothers-to-be going through birthing classes; yoga for patients battling cancer; support groups for patients recovering from bariatric surgery; and adult and children community members participating in CPR training.

Educating Tomorrow’s Nurses

Due to the pandemic, the health care workforce suffered great dips, and a new generation of nurses need the latest education and skills to lead us into the future. With Oklahoma ranking 46th in the nation for nurses per 100,000 residents, the need to train more nurses is critical.

In an effort to increase the nursing workforce, NRHS is partnering with the Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing at the University of Oklahoma to establish a nursing campus in Norman.

The Education Center will be the epicenter of this program beginning with an initial class of 23 students that will graduate in the spring of 2024. Classroom equipment requirements include audiovisual components for webinars and adult and pediatric simulators that collect data, provide real-time feedback and evaluate performance.

Enhancing Safety & Security Training

Serving as a leader in emergency management and emerging infectious disease care are two NRHS priorities.

Annually, hundreds of medical personnel’s skills are assessed in the Education Center on stroke life support; on didactic and skills for emergency physician residents; and on reducing workplace violence.

Since 2014, NRHS also has formed a team to train for highly infectious diseases (Ebola, SARS and most recently, COVID). NRHS hosted safety and security trainings evolve due to local/national circumstances. One example is active shooter drills for the regional medical response team.

The City of Norman Police Department also utilizes the Education Center for their supervisor leadership conferences.

Major Chad Vincent, City of Norman Police Department, said the following about the relationship: “We are thankful for our long-standing partnership with Norman Regional Health System and for the ability to utilize the NRHS Education Center. This facility has proven to be an excellent space for a variety of training formats and the staff is always a pleasure to work with.”   

In December 2020, the Education Center was established as a COVID-19 vaccination site for health care workers and emergency responders. The conference rooms were configured to support vaccination and observation rooms, all staffed by NRHS healers. More than 4,500 medical and first responder personnel were vaccinated so they could continue to care for patients.

“While the Education Center has served us well for 30 years, we are excited to move it to the next level. The state-of-the-art technology will ensure that we are able to provide training opportunities and education both virtually and in-person,” said Brittni McGill, chief nursing officer for NRHS. 

Visit NRHFoundation.org to learn more and contribute to another 30 years of the NRHS Education Center being a hub and home for the community.


The state-of-the-art technology will ensure that we are able to provide training opportunities and education both virtually and in-person,

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