State Sen. Cal Hobson said the legislation ceremoniously signed by the Governor Monday providing funding for the creation of a world-class diabetes center will pay dividends for Oklahoma for years to come in terms of improved health and economic development. Hobson was principal author of the legislation creating the facility and was on hand for Monday’s ceremony.
“What was most gratifying about the bill signing ceremony, besides the fact that we are going to whip this terrible disease, was the obvious level of cooperation and enthusiasm between and among the State of Oklahoma and three of our largest tribes, the Cherokees, Choctaws and Chickasaws,” said Hobson, D-Lexington. “That makes me even more proud to have been principal Senate author of this landmark legislation.”
Sen. Glenn Coffee co-authored the measure, which he described as a win-win effort on behalf of the people of Oklahoma.
“With Oklahomans suffering from diabetes at a rate higher than the rest of the nation, this project represents a critical public health initiative,” said Coffee, R-Oklahoma City. “This gives us the opportunity to place our state on the cutting edge of bio-medical research and development, improve the health of our citizens and at the same time create economic growth in this booming area. It truly is a win-win venture for our entire state.”
In addition to writing the legislation authorizing creation of the Oklahoma Diabetes Center (ODC) which will have locations in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Hobson also helped secure the $12 million in state funding needed to begin the project.
“This is a perfect example of how we can invest part of Oklahoma’s growth revenues in areas that will result in tremendous economic development,” Hobson said. “Throughout this process, we’ve pointed to the M.D. Anderson Cancer facility in Houston, which along with its affiliated medical facilities, creates an annual economic impact of $7 billion. There’s no reason we can’t have that same kind of success here.”
“Still, the most important thing to remember is that Oklahoma will soon be known nationally and internationally for the research and treatment of diabetes that will be done at our center, and perhaps one day, for finally finding a cure for this terrible disease,” Hobson said.