Southwestern Oklahoma State University
The Bark

SWOSU-Sayre and Great Plains Regional Medical Center Enjoy Relationship


For anyone having blood drawn or an x-ray taken lately at Great Plains Regional Medical Center in Elk City, chances are that a Southwestern Oklahoma State University-Sayre graduate did the work.

Medical laboratory technicians draw blood and help evaluate other bodily fluids, while radiologic technologists take and evaluate x-rays.   

SWOSU-Sayre graduates represent 16 of GPRMC’s 18 med techs, while 22 of the hospital’s 24 rad techs are SWOSU-Sayre graduates.

“It is our desire to deliver care to all residents of western Oklahoma through the capable hands of those who grew up here and chose their education locally,” said Great Plains Regional Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Corey Lively. 

The SWOSU-Sayre Medical Laboratory Technician and Radiological Technology Program directors say the close relationship these  programs have with the hospital is an important reason GPRMC employs so many of their students. Both programs send students to GPRMC every year for clinicals, where students get real-world experience working with professionals in their field.  

“We have an excellent relationship with GPRMC,” said SWOSU-Sayre Medical Laboratory Technician Program Director Roxann Clifton.

Clifton said the hospital is one of the best training facilities the MLT program has and as students evaluate their clinic training experiences, GPRMC consistently receives high ratings.

Clifton works closely with GPRMC Director of Laboratory Services Linda Rule as well as Melissa Smith.  Both are graduates of the SWOSU-Sayre Med Tech program.

SWOSU-Sayre Radiological Technology Program Director Jess Parker echoed Clifton’s sentiments about the working relationship between the university and the hospital. Parker said one of the advantages of sending students to GPRMC for training is that the hospital has great equipment for them to learn on. 

“I’m always confident that they’re learning on the latest technology,” Parker said.

Parker works with the hospital’s Director of Imaging Services Duane Mills as well as Curtis Stout and Jennifer Thomas, all SWOSU-Sayre graduates.

“Duane, Curtis, Jennifer and the staff do a great job of making the environment very student friendly,” Parker said.

It’s one thing to educate students, but it’s another thing to hire them.  GPRMC does both.

“History has shown that Great Plains Regional Medical Center will be able to employ highly trained and skilled medical laboratory technicians from SWOSU-Sayre,” Clifton said.

Parker believes seeing the radiological technology students in action are why the Elk City hospital hires so many of his program’s graduates.

Lively agrees with Clifton and Parker about SWOSU-Sayre’s med tech and rad tech graduates and praises the quality of those programs.

“The instructors produce some of the finest students in the nation,” Lively said.