by Bobby Anderson, RN and staff writer
Jason Milam, RN, BSN
Throughout Jason Milam’s 16-year nursing career there’s always been something new on the horizon.
Milam, RN, BSN, is the director of emergency services and behavioral health for the Norman Regional Health System.
He’s also the one in charge of opening the health system’s newest emergency room, Norman Regional Nine.
This is actually Milam’s fourth healthcare facility opening during his career.
“It’s kind of weird. Every time I go to a system we’re opening up a new facility,” he said with a laugh. “I will say this has been unique because the renderings they showed me when I first got here, the actual building is identical.”
In late October, the new 12-bed ER – Norman Regional Nine – opened and welcomed its first patient. (story continues below)
What preceded that was 16 months of planning and construction.
“It’s pretty incredible the amount of moving pieces to get a place up and going,” Milam said. “From a nursing perspective, there was quite a bit (of interest). Within our system we had a bunch of nurses who were existing Norman employees who were very excited to worked in the new facility with the newest technology and specific things at this facility that are going to be very exciting.”
Milam said the new facility features behavioral-specific rooms, lifts, and trauma rooms.
The emergency center will feature two rooms with rolling cages that can quickly transform to safely meet the needs of a patient in a behavioral crisis.
“In about 20 seconds we can make that a psych-safe room,” Milam said. “It removes all of our equipment, monitoring, computer all of the things that are ligature points are now sealed behind these doors. We’re able to very quickly make the room a very safe room for behavioral health patients.”
There are built-in patient lifts through the ceiling that are an exciting feature.
“We can very easily get someone out of a wheelchair, off the floor, out of a bed, and reposition them using the lift,” Milam said. “We put one of our nurses in it the other day and it’s literally one touch to move someone around the room. It’s pretty incredible.
“Getting people to and from a CAT scan table is extremely easy. I’ve seen lifts but the impressive thing was even under load a 20-pound child could move it around.”
The facility is the first project among the system’s Inspire Health Initiatives to roll out.
“I’m just excited to be able to offer another level of service to kind of some of those outer communities attached to Norman,” Milam said, specifically referencing Noble and Pink. “This is really going to expand Norman’s reach.”
The MRI will be able to accommodate larger patients who might not fit in traditional imaging suites.
Milam said even prior to opening patients were coming up to the facility inquiring about receiving care.
Community members got their first look inside Norman Regional Nine in late October.
The healthcare facility is located at 2000 Ann Branden Blvd in Norman, just off Highway 9.
It includes a freestanding emergency department, primary and specialty care clinics, physical and occupational therapy, lab, and imaging.
“This is an exciting time for southeast Norman, Noble, and all the nearby communities that have been underserved for so long,” said Richie Splitt, Norman Regional Health System president, and CEO. “This facility is as beautiful as it is functional, and we are thrilled to show it to our friends and neighbors. This will be a fantastic event for everyone in the family.”
Norman Regional Nine is the first Inspire Health construction project to be completed. The Ambulatory Care Center is scheduled to open next summer. Behavioral Health Porter Village is also set to open in 2023.
The Ambulatory Pavilion will serve as an outpatient facility that offers a variety of tests, procedures, and treatments in a convenient and easy-to-access setting on the HealthPlex Campus.
The Cancer Center will bring together Norman Regional’s community cancer care services, including surgical and medical oncology and radiation therapy, to one, convenient location for patients and their families.
The HealthPlex expansion and renovation are expected to be complete by the summer of 2024.
At that point, services will be fulling transferred from the Porter campus.
“We’ve been talking about it for so long we’re at the point where Inspire Health is on the ground and rolling. We’re excited about the future of the EDs and the services we are able to offer outpatient as well,” Milam said.
For more information or to join Norman Regional Health System, visit