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OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Cherokee Nation


OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Cherokee Nation worked to create the first tribally-affiliated college of medicine in the nation, collated in Tahlequah, OK. This is also the nation’s first college of medicine to be located on the campus of a tribal health facility. The Cherokee Nation strongly believes in making sure the Cherokee people, young and old, are not only taken care of but also give back to their community. As a result, they chose to partner with OSU to design this facility geared towards providing a pathway for Cherokee students to get an education in medical care and continue that tradition of circling back to the community.


At the OSU College of Osteopathy, the facility primarily functions as an educational space, however, that includes a full simulation suite inside the building. The simulation suite includes a variety of hospital situations (even a simulated maternity ward with crying babies). Soundscapes were top-of-mind in the design so students can properly train with the challenges that the bustling sounds of a hospital would normally present, from noisy machines to noisy people. Additionally, the goal of the design for the simulation center was to provide all the appropriate viewports as well as incorporating the glass and tile that’s typically present in a hospital setting.


However, as a university, this presented a particularly difficult challenge for students that need a quiet place to study and learn. These two dichotomies are physically closer to each other than one usually finds in the real world; a study hall or lecture hall is not typically in close quarters with a vibrant, but noisy, Emergency Room.


Fräsch, an acoustical design company in Arlington, TX, recommended acoustical wall applications to help dampen the noise from other areas of the building in study spaces as well as improve speech intelligibility in classrooms. To create optimal educational and study spaces, they incorporated PANL acoustic paneling with wall-mounted installation. Made of high-quality sound-absorbing PET felt, PANL provides excellent sound absorption and created quiet spaces for both class and studying. Childers Architect, the lead design firm working on this project, chose PANL with a perforated pattern to carry a contemporary aesthetic within the space while providing optimal sound-absorption. This acoustical application gives students the quiet spaces they need to learn, study and test.


As a result, the educational facility can provide all of the appropriate hospital simulations, including soundscapes, while still providing a productive learning environment for students.

Learn more about the College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Cherokee Nation.


Location | OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Cherokee Nation
Lead Architect | Childers Architect
Planning | HKS
Product | PANL