Hometown Hero: Dr. Kayse Shrum making a difference in Oklahoma health care
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) —
This week's Hometown Hero is a rising star in medicine and making history at OSU Tulsa.
Dean and President of OSU Center for Health Sciences, Dr. Kayse Shrum smiled as she told us, "Some of the faculty that are here still, I had in class."
Talk with her for just a few moments, and you'll see her desire to make a difference starting right here at the OSU Center For Health Sciences, "Here, our mission is to train primary care physicians for rural and under-served Oklahoma. So, it's really at the heart of what we do."
Now, she's the youngest and first female President of the OSU Center For Health Sciences, and Dean, OSU College Of Osteopathic Medicine, but before that, Shrum pitched at Connors State College and that's where her passion for medicine came to light.
A teacher suggested she look into the field and visit with her family physician, "My doctor was a graduate of the OSU College Of Ostopatheic Medicine, and he suggest that I go visit, and so at 19-years-old, I came to visit here on this campus."
And it wasn't long before before the shining star began making her mark, all while raising a family, "I had my first son when I was in medical school, and then I had a daughter my internship year and then as soon as I completed my residency, I had my third child."
Shrum went on to explain that she and her husband also adopted three children from Ethiopia, "So, we have a 21-year old, two 19-year-olds and three 17-year olds. So, it's like having twins and triplets living in our house."
For lifelong friend Christy Evans, Shrum's success both professionally and personally, is no surprise, "I'm glad to see that she is a female that has not allowed the things that a lot of us think that are just not attainable, she didn't let that stop her through six children. I'm so proud of her."
Shrum credits a great support network and hard work for her achievements, and she takes a lot pride in her work and the students that will one day be the physicians serving families in Oklahoma.
She also offered this advice to others watching thinking about going after a dream or goal: "there are no barriers to getting to where you want to be, if you don't allow them to be there... that you work hard and you can achieve whatever goal that you have regardless of what everybody else says, regardless of where you start out."
Shrum has a long list of accomplishments but ask her about them and she'll quickly move the subject toward the achievements of others, and toward her family support system.
One thing is for sure, she believes in what's she's doing and hopes to make a difference in medicine for years to come.