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Century old Norman hospital to move operations to Oklahoma City

Griffin Memorial Hospital
Clifton Adcock
Oklahoma Watch
Griffin Memorial Hospital

A mental health hospital that has stood for more than a century in Norman will be moving operations to Oklahoma City.

The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) announced plans Tuesday to relocate the state’s largest inpatient mental health treatment facility, Griffin Memorial Hospital, to Oklahoma State University's Oklahoma City campus near Interstate-44 and West Reno Ave.

The new hospital, projected to open in 2026, will be known as the Donahue Behavioral Health Campus, honoring Dr. Hayden Donahue, who served as Oklahoma’s first director of mental health in 1953.

The $147 million, 200,000-plus-square-foot facility will increase mental health treatment capacity by 100 beds and create 250 jobs.

The five-year economic impact of the new hospital to the OKC metro is estimated at $447.5 million, both in job creation, taxes, emergency room costs and homelessness, according to a news release.

Artist conception of the Donahue Behavioral Health Campus
Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
Artist conception of the Donahue Behavioral Health Campus

Plans to move the Norman mental hospital have been in the works for some time. The Oklahoma Legislature provided $87 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money to fund hospital construction. In addition, earlier this year, Oklahoma County Commissioners approved $1.5 million in ARPA funds for relocation, and the City of Oklahoma City and several metro philanthropic organizations have pledged their support. ODMHSAS will also contribute to the cost of the hospital through the sale of the property in Norman.

“This hospital is an investment, dedicated to the people of Oklahoma,” ODMHSAS Commissioner Carrie Slatton-Hodges said in a statement. “With the support from Gov. Kevin Stitt, the Oklahoma state Legislature and OSU, ODMHSAS will deliver quality, efficient and effective behavioral health treatment services. Our staff is dedicated to serving the people of Oklahoma for another 100 years.”

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Nyk has worked in radio since 2011 serving as a board operator, on-air announcer and production director for commercial radio stations in Iowa. Originally from the Quad Cities area, Nyk joined KGOU in 2018 as a practicum student studying Creative Media Production at OU. Upon graduating the following year, he became part of KGOU’s staff and is now the local Morning Edition host. When not on the air, Nyk likes to read, listen to music and follow news about the radio industry.
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