Health Care

Kaitlyn Finley | December 15, 2020

Dwayne’s story: A brighter future

Kaitlyn Finley

[As we approach the holiday season, OCPA is sharing stories of real people whose lives have been impacted by some of our work over the past year. Without supporters like you, this work would not have been possible.]

Dwayne, a cardiologist in Oklahoma City, has spent his entire life caring for and saving the lives of Oklahomans with heart diseases—a task that became exponentially harder when the Oklahoma government shut down “elective surgeries” at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Among the patients being turned away—people with large high-risk aneurysms and people with high-risk carotid artery diseases and lesions.

In a normal world, these types of patients would be deemed “urgent” and receive surgeries, because death could be imminent if an aneurysm ruptured or an artery closed up. Dwayne recalled one patient ultimately had a life-changing heart attack.

Thankfully, Governor Kevin Stitt changed his executive order to allow elective surgeries to continue on April 24. However, the Oklahoma State Department of Health released a list of requirements for patients that severely limited patients’ ability to receive the surgeries they needed.

OCPA worked with doctors from 10 hospitals across the state and several Oklahoma state representatives and senators to encourage Governor Stitt and the health department to relax requirements and make obtaining surgeries easier for Oklahoma patients—and they did.

Oklahoma was among the first states to reopen elective surgeries, saving lives across the state.

I hope that you find value in our work at OCPA and will consider partnering with us once again as we promote the flourishing of all Oklahomans. Your year-end gift of $50, $100, $1,000, or whatever you can afford will allow us to help cut bureaucracy’s red tape and get Oklahomans the care they need. You can give to OCPA by clicking here.

Kaitlyn Finley Policy Research Fellow

Kaitlyn Finley

Policy Research Fellow

Kaitlyn Finley currently serves as a policy research fellow for OCPA with a focus on healthcare and welfare policy. Kaitlyn graduated from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Previously, she served as a summer intern at OCPA and spent time in Washington D.C. interning for the Heritage Foundation and the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

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