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FOR RELEASE: June 4, 2003
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

Tulsa Vital Records Office to Close

In a cost-cutting measure resulting from current and anticipated budget shortfalls, the Oklahoma State Department of Health announced today that it is closing its Tulsa Vital Records satellite office. The final date of operation will be June 30, 2003.

“We regret that the current state budget crisis has forced us to make this decision,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Leslie Beitsch. “Even though the closure of this office is an unfortunate outcome of budget reductions, we still plan to preserve quality vital records services to all the citizens in the state with the least amount of interruption or delay.”

Currently, the Tulsa Vital Records satellite office at 108 North Greenwood provides certified copies of birth and death certificates. Four employees staff the office. One employee will return to the Vital Records Division, central office location, in Oklahoma City and one employee will be moved to the Tulsa City-County Health Department to serve as a local registrar for death records, servicing local funeral directors. Two other employees have been offered a voluntary buyout option. The Oklahoma State Department of Health anticipates the savings resulting from this move will be about $135,000 per year.

The State Registrar for Vital Records, John C. Burks Sr., said that since the Tulsa office first opened in 1998, tremendous progress has been made in the technology available to file, issue and process birth and death records at the central office Vital Records Division in Oklahoma City.

“These advances have allowed us to improve our services and reduce the time involved to obtain a birth or death certificate,” he noted.

Burks said the agency will continue to serve the public’s vital records needs at its central office location at 1000 Northeast Tenth Street in Oklahoma City. Citizens can call 405/271-4040 for information regarding how to obtain a birth or death certificate, or visit the state health department’s Web site at http://www.health.state.ok.us/program/vital/index.html for more information.

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