TCC breaks ground on Nate Waters Physical Therapy Clinic


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Longtime community activist Nate Waters has passed away.
Longtime community activist Nate Waters has passed away.
Updated: 10/16/2013 4:55 pm Published: 10/16/2013 4:54 pm


Tulsa Community College began construction on the Nate Waters Physical Therapy Clinic at the TCC Metro Campus in downtown Tulsa.

Once completed, the nearly $2 million project, partially funded by private dollars, will provide physical therapy to patients in need as well as provide clinical learning opportunities for TCC students.

“When we open this space to students, faculty, and patients in 2014, it will provide a unique and innovative service learning experience for TCC students,” said TCC President Tom McKeon during the groundbreaking ceremony. “Our new clinic will help students to complete their clinical rotations in Tulsa rather than traveling out of state.”

The Nate Waters Physical Therapy Clinic, located at 815 S. Cincinnati, will expand the services available for the uninsured and the disadvantaged in Tulsa by increasing the patient capacity from the current four clients seen by TCC students a week to 40 clients. It is expected to be completed by July 1, 2014.

“TCC’s Physical Therapist Assistant program consistently produces outstanding professionals who are ready to meet the challenges of a demanding and dynamic work environment,” said McKeon. “Our outstanding faculty work hard to ensure students are well prepared. We are proud that our most recent pass rate on the PTA licensing exam was 100 percent.”

McKeon was joined at the ceremony by TCC Board of Regent Chair Ron Looney, TCC Foundation Chair Mary Shaw, Saint Francis Health System President and CEO Jake Henry Jr., Morningcrest Foundation Chair Don Walker, Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett and TCC student Felicia Gourley.

TCC launched a fundraising campaign for the Physical Therapy Clinic in October 2012. An anonymous donor gave a $157,500 challenge grant in honor of Nate Waters in May to complete the funding.

Within one month, the Tulsa community and TCC staff, faculty and students exceeded the goal. Major donors to the project include Morningcrest Healthcare Foundation, Saint Francis Health System, Anonymous Challenge Grant, Founders of Doctors' Hospital, Helmerich Foundation, Anne & Henry Zarrow Foundation, Grace and Franklin Bernsen Foundation, Osteopathic Founders Foundation, Hille Family Foundation, Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation, Barnett Family Foundation, WPX Energy, Bank of America, Gold Medallion Senior Housing & Health Care, Williams, Benefit Resources, Mary K. Sanditen 1987 Revocable Trust, OSU-Tulsa Library, Suzanne Reese and Fred Taylor, Ruth Nelson, Mary Ann Hille, Janet McGehee, Bryan Close, Rita Zeman, Kevin and Julia Klammer, and Jim and Kristin Bender.

Nate Waters, a TCC graduate who passed away April 20, 2013, benefitted from physical therapy services at TCC. He became a community instructor through his work with the students in TCC’s Physical Therapist Assistant program and shared his experiences as a quadriplegic so students could learn about his disability and be better prepared to help others. Waters inspired the Tulsa community through his story, and brought a higher level of awareness of individuals with disabilities and their needs. The Nate Waters Physical Therapy Clinic at TCC will carry out Waters’ passion of education and helping others.


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