OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond, today said he will file legislation in the upcoming legislative session to keep the Oklahoma Public Health Laboratory in Oklahoma City.
Gov. Stitt last week announced plans to move the Public Health Laboratory to Stillwater by the end of the year. State health officials said they would use $25 million in state funds along with federal coronavirus aid funds to move the laboratory into temporary leased space in Stillwater.
“It’s important to keep the Public Health Laboratory in our state’s capital,” Martinez said. “Locating the lab in an already established major medical complex where it can function in conjunction with the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation will help in the recruitment of top doctors and other medical staff as well as keep services central for all Oklahomans.”
Martinez said it only makes sense to keep the public health lab close to its overseer, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), and he questions if this is the best use of CARES Act funds.
The Oklahoma Public Health Laboratory provides essential services for state and county health departments, OSDH agency programs and works with private health providers that are consistent with the public health goals of the Oklahoma State Board of Health.