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NEWS

Feb. 20, 2002

Leadership Oklahoma To Hold Session in Claremore April 4-6

The 2001-2002 Class of Leadership Oklahoma will hold its session on tourism and health care in Claremore on April 4 through 6.

The 15th class of Leadership Oklahoma will hold its session at a variety of locations in Claremore, including Rogers State University, the Will Rogers Memorial and Museum, the J.M. Davis Arms and Historical Museum, and others.

Fifty leaders from across the state, including chief executive officers, top business executives, government officials, health care and educational administrators, physicians, and other professionals will attend the session in Claremore.

"We are pleased to host this group of state leaders in our community and are looking forward to ‘showing off' all the Rogers County area has to offer, including our health care resources and tourist attractions," said Carolyn Taylor, strategic initiatives coordinator and political science professor at RSU. Taylor is serving as co-chair of the Leadership Oklahoma Claremore planning committee with Ray Brown, RSU executive vice president and Rob Melton of Melton Sales.

Civic and business leaders from the Claremore area who are members of the 2001-2002 class include Debbie Reynolds and Barry Farbro.

The mission of Leadership Oklahoma is "to create a dynamic network of leaders whose increased awareness and commitment to service will energize Oklahomans to shape Oklahoma's future."

Each year, members of Leadership Oklahoma study a broad spectrum of issues, challenges, and opportunities facing Oklahoma, and hold sessions in communities across the state.

During the session in Claremore, members will gain a greater understanding of current national and state health care issues and their impact on Oklahoma and its communities. In addition, members will gain an enhanced level of understanding of the wide range of tourist attractions in Oklahoma, and the impact of tourism in the state.

Members will participate in sessions on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, April 4-6.

On Thursday, April 4, members will participate in a dinner and reception at the Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch (Dog Iron Ranch) near Oologah. The theme of the evening will be "Broadway Salutes Claremore and Lynn Riggs," in honor of the legendary Broadway playwright and composer. The theme also marks the return of the musical "Oklahoma!" to Broadway on March 21. Entertainment will feature musical selections from "Oklahoma!"

On Friday, April 3, Tom Coburn, M.D., a Muskogee physician and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the Second District of Oklahoma, will provide an address for members on the topic of health care and public policy.

Also on Friday, participants will be provided with an overview of current mental health issues facing the state's residents by Terry Cline, commissioner of the Oklahoma State Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, and Michael Lapolla, director of the Center for Health Policy Research at the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Tulsa.

Then participants will focus on alternative medical treatments with panelists L.H. Altshuler, M.D., of the Balanced Healing Medical Center in Oklahoma City and Everett Rhodes, M.D., director of the Native American Disease Prevention Research Center at the University of Oklahoma.

In addition, participants will gain an overview of health care issues in Oklahoma with a focus on issues facing nursing homes from Rep. Brad Carson of Claremore, Congressman from the Second District of Oklahoma.

On Friday afternoon, the group will tour the Indian Health Care Center and Oklahoma Veterans Center in Claremore.

During Friday afternoon, the group will be provided with the Oklahoma Health Score Card by Leslie M. Beitsch, M.D., a physician and attorney who is a commissioner of the Oklahoma State Department of Health, and Robert Petrone, M.D., a bio-terrorism expert with the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Also on Friday, the group will participate in a panel discussion on medical ethics with Laura Cross, M.D., R.N., of Oklahoma City; Donald Capra, M.D., president of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation; and Flinn Cremin, R.N., M.B.A., clinical instructor at the Oklahoma Bioethics Center at the OU Schusterman Center in Tulsa.

All sessions will be held in RSU's Health Sciences Building, home of its highly recognized programs in nursing and paramedic technology.

That evening, the group will participate in several special events at the Will Rogers Memorial, including museum tours, reception, dinner, and the dedication of the south patio of the memorial. Entertainment will be provided by Doris Lane Meyer, great niece of Will Rogers. In addition, interpretations of Will Rogers will be presented by Gene McFall, and the film "Ropin' Fool" will be shown in the museum theater.

On Saturday, April 5, members will attend a chuckwagon breakfast at the J.M. David Arms and Historical Museum. The theme will be "Spirit of the West." Then they will return to RSU where they will participate in sessions on tourism in Oklahoma.

Jane Jayroe, executive director of the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation, will lead a session on the impact of tourism in Oklahoma and its vision for the future. And Jim Burratti, assistant director of the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation, and Bob Blackburn, executive director of the Oklahoma State Historical Society, will lead a session on tourist attractions in Oklahoma, including which attractions succeed and why.

During Saturday afternoon, Michael Wallis, author of the book "Route 66: The Mother Road," will address members of the leadership class, focusing on the famous roadway and its impact on tourism in the state. He also will sign copies of his book.

The sessions will end at 12 noon on Saturday.

A wide variety of community leaders in Claremore were involved in the planning effort to host Leadership Oklahoma. Planning committee members include Mark Rounds, interim city manager; John Cary, past Leadership Oklahoma class member; Danette Boyle, RSU vice president for development; Michelle LeFebvre Carter, executive director of the Will Rogers Memorial and Museum; Debbie Reynolds, past Leadership Oklahoma class member; Jack Spinks; Dean Williams of Days Inn; and Audrey Webber of Claremore Regional Hospital.

For more information on the Leadership Oklahoma, Inc., call (405) 232-0001.