Sci-fi medicine

From CyberKnife to virtual bed rails, the future is now with patient treatment and care.

 



June Cunningham recently encountered a futuristic cure for a disorder that had haunted her for more than 10 years.

Trigeminal neuralgia usually is caused by a blood vessel compressing the largest of the nerves that emerges from the brain stem. The trigeminal nerve controls facial sensations, so when it short circuits, it causes extreme pain that Cunningham describes as feeling as if she had been electrocuted.

“It hurt so much that it would make me walk the floor at night and not even remember it; I’d just remember the pain,” Cunningham says. “I would go in the kitchen and wring my tea towel in my hands. By morning, I was surprised that the towel didn’t tear.”

Once, the pain struck while she was grocery shopping. “Tears were rolling down my face,” she says. “I found a vacant aisle, held onto my cart and just waited.”

CyberKnife was the answer for Cunningham. CyberKnife was introduced at St. John Medical Center in October 2005, and that’s where Cunningham had the successful procedure last July. A second facility, Oklahoma CyberKnife, 6802 S. Olympia Ave., opened in 2008. Oklahoma CyberKnife is a partnership with Hillcrest Medical Center. In just one 45-minute CyberKnife treatment, Cunningham’s pain was gone.

CyberKnife uses a computer-controlled robotic arm to aim highly concentrated beams of radiation that destroy cancer cells and benign tumors with pinpoint accuracy. Just as in Cunningham’s case, CyberKnife also can be effective in some conditions that don’t involve cancer, such as abnormal tangles of blood vessels called vascular malformations.

Formerly, many of these conditions in the brain, spine and lung would have been impossible to treat.

In about an hour, the outpatient treatment is finished and the patient can return to work.
“It is my belief that we are offering the best and most advanced treatment available anywhere in the world for tumors and certain benign functional conditions such as trigeminal neuralgia,” says Dr. Diane Heaton, medical director of Oklahoma Cyberknife. But that’s just one of several — almost sci-fi — treatments available to Tulsans. 

Trilogy
For example, for many years physicians have treated tumors with stereotactic radiotherapy, a non-surgical procedure that uses highly focused X-rays to treat certain types of tumors. The equipment used a 3-D grid to orient with the patient’s body. The patient would be held in position while the dose of radiation was delivered.
With more than 40 years of research, new machines are making the treatments much easier and more precise, says Dr. Charles Stewart, a radiation oncologist at Saint Francis Hospital. A machine called Trilogy came to Saint Francis in June 2006.

A CT scan pinpoints the tumor each day, allowing doctors to precisely position the patient before treatment. Trilogy targets tumors precisely, delivers a higher dose of radiation and requires fewer treatment sessions than former radiation treatments.

The Trilogy system is built around a machine called a linear accelerator, which rotates 360 degrees around the patient to deliver treatments from many angles.

Stewart describes Trilogy like this: If you’re watering a rose bush, and it needs an exact increment of watering, say five minutes, you can go about it two ways. You can aim the water at the bush, in the same spot, for five minutes, creating a puddle and damaging the grass in front of the bush. Or you can walk around the bush, still watering the same spot as before, but minimizing the puddle.

Trilogy’s precision allows doctors to aim radiation at the same spot on a tumor, but they can hit it from different angles. This results in less damage to other organs, provides greater accuracy and, subsequently, less treatments. Trilogy typically is used to treat head and neck, liver, lung, pancreatic and prostate cancer. It is especially beneficial because it can treat cancers that lie very close to critical structures, such as the eyes or spinal cord, Stewart says.

Because it can be focused in increments smaller than a millimeter, it can treat smaller tumors earlier, while they’re most treatable.

Trilogy also reduces the amount of time treatments take and could reduce the number of treatment sessions, Stewart says.

Oldie but goodie
Although it has been in use for more than 35 years, there has been no equal to a machine called ECMO, which stands for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.
It is a system for taking a child’s blood outside the body, passing it through a membrane of oxygen and returning it to circulation.

The machine acts as an artificial set of lungs and heart to support a baby or child while he or she recovers from a viral infection, heart failure after operations or a congenital diaphragmatic hernia. (The last is a condition in which babies are born with their abdominal organs protruding into the chest, which cuts off lung function.)

Only 151 ECMO centers exist in the world, with 110 of them in the United States. One of those is at Saint Francis Children’s Hospital, which has five ECMO machines, says Dr. Michael Gomez, medical director for neonatal intensive care.

At Saint Francis, only children with a nearly 100 percent chance of dying are put on ECMO. “By that point, ECMO is the only option,” Gomez says. “It’s an urgent conversation we have with parents.” Fortunately, Saint Francis ranks in the top 25 percent for positive outcomes. Children go on ECMO facing certain death and have an 80 percent chance of survival because of the machinery. Saint Francis’ oldest ECMO survivor is now in college. Another plans to become a nurse. Two boys, ages 3 and 4, each were born with diaphragmatic hernias and doctors were pessimistic that they’d survive. They each spent more than two weeks on ECMO. Today, they frequently stop by the hospital to say “hi,” Gomez says. “They’ve grown up and are walking,” he says. “Both of them are delightful children, and their parents are thrilled that they were given a second chance.”

A virtual visit
A video technology that allows both a nurse to monitor multiple patients’ rooms and family members to make a virtual visit recently debuted at SouthCrest Hospital. “I would find comfort in it if a member of my family were in the hospital and I couldn’t get there,” says Kris Schueren, who is responsible for implementing the technology, called CareView, at SouthCrest. “And as a nurse, it’s nice to know that there’s another set of eyes to make sure your patient is safe.”

The system has a variety of uses. Through PatientView, friends and family can connect to a Web site and enter a code to see and talk to a patient in the hospital.
Similarly, the BabyView option allows a mother to see her baby in the special care nursery while she is recovering in her room.

Additionally, if a patient calls for a nurse, the person monitoring the screen at the nurse’s station can quickly locate which room the nurse is in and summon him or her to the patient’s room without searching the hallways.

Virtual Side Rails is a fall-prevention program that allows a nurse to make a drawing around a patient’s bed on a computer screen the same way football commentators diagram plays on the TV screen. If the patient tries to get up, an alarm sounds at the nurse’s station.

“We’re always looking for options to improve patient safety,” Schueren says. “This is an opportunity to prevent any type of injury.”

A special siren
A futuristic siren is helping EMSA make safer runs. EMSA is the first ambulance service in the nation that is outfitting its entire fleet with a siren that drivers don’t just hear, but also feel. It’s a solution to a problem that EMSA paramedics face on nearly every response: Many drivers don’t yield because they don’t hear the siren. They’re listening to the radio, talking on the phone and are enclosed in nearly soundproof vehicle cabins.
The Howler sirens emit low-frequency tones that sound different from the traditional siren and also cause objects within 200 feet to reverberate.

It’s important for patient safety, says Afton Bennett, EMSA emergency medical technician. “When motorists fail to yield quickly, it takes longer for ambulances to get where they’re going,” Bennett says.

The Howler costs less than $400 — much less than the vehicle damage, pain and suffering after a collision.

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September 2019

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

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Union High School Track
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Sponsor: Zach Monaghan Memorial Fund
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Expo Square Pavilion
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Cost: $15

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Telephone: (405) 236-3100
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910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
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Sponsor: Tulsa Community College
Telephone: 918-595-7339
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Cost: $15, $20, $30, $35, $40, $45

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Expo Square Pavilion
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Telephone: 918-798-3655
Contact Name: Kasey Littlefield

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Cost: $75

Where:
Southminster Presbyterian Church Community Center
3500 S Peoria
Tulsa, OK  74106
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Fencing Club
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Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
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View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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Living Arts of Tulsa
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Cost: Free

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Lewis Project Space
20 S. Lewis Ave.
, OK
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Sponsor: Tulsa Artist Fellowship

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In our 4-week Beginning Fencing class, you'll learn about the history of Olympic fencing, the three fencing weapons – foil, saber and epee – and the general rules for each of the specific...

Cost: $75

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Sponsor: Tulsa Fencing Club
Telephone: 918-928-2663
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Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
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View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

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Cost: Free

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Living Arts of Tulsa
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Cost: 0

Where:
Asbury United Methodist Church
6767 S Mingo Rd
Tulsa, OK  74133
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Sponsor: Asbury United Methodist Church
Telephone: 918-392-1146
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Cost: $15

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Asbury United Methodist Church
6767 S Mingo Rd
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Sponsor: Asbury LifeCare Ministry
Telephone: 918-392-1146
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Cost: $15

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Asbury United Methodist Church
6767 S Mingo Rd
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Sponsor: Asbury LifeCare Ministry
Telephone: 918-392-1146
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Cost: $75

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Southminster Presbyterian Church Community Center
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Cost: TBA

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Mike Fretz Event Center
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Tulsa, OK  74146
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Telephone: 918-663-5820
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Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
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View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

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Cost: Adults $5/Kids Free

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13th & Guthrie Ave
1222 S. Guthrie Ave

Tulsa, OK  74119
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Sponsor: Tulsa Greek Festival
Telephone: 918-583-2082
Contact Name: Tonya Boone
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Living Arts of Tulsa
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The Evening of Giving is a fundraising gala held in late September and presented by the HBA Remodelers Council to raise funds to support local charities. This year's beneficiary is Revitalizing...

Cost: TBA

Where:
Mike Fretz Event Center
11545 E 43rd St
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Tulsa, OK  74146
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Telephone: 918-663-5820
Contact Name: Morgan Sikes
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This annual fundraiser is hosted by the Remodeler's Council of the Home Builder's Association. ALL are welcome to attend and support these worthy causes.  The Evening...

Cost: TBA

Where:
Mike Fretz Event Center
11545 E 43rd St
Tulsa, OK  74146
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Sponsor: Day Build & Design
Telephone: 918-663-5820
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Rooms With A Heart Inc. is holding their 2nd Annual Casino Night Fundraiser on Septemer 19, 2019 at the Greenwood Cultural Center in Tulsa from 6-10 pm.  Tickets are $50 per person and include...

Cost: $50

Where:
Greenwood Cultural Center
322 N. Greenwood Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Sponsor: Rooms With A Heart Inc.
Telephone: 918-277-2114
Contact Name: Gina Johnson
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Star of the stage and screen, Travis Guillory jumps off the news anchor desk and onto the cabaret stage with “Headlines & Kicklines.” Singing songs of roles he’s played, roles...

Cost: $15 Bistro / $10 General Admission

Where:
Lynn Riggs Theatre at OKEQ
621 East 4th Street
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Sponsor: OKEQ and Pat Hobbs
Telephone: 918-637-25866
Contact Name: Pat Hobbs
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In our 4-week Beginning Fencing class, you'll learn about the history of Olympic fencing, the three fencing weapons – foil, saber and epee – and the general rules for each of the specific...

Cost: $75

Where:
Southminster Presbyterian Church Community Center
3500 S Peoria
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Sponsor: Tulsa Fencing Club
Telephone: 918-928-2663
Website »

More information

Show More...
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Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

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Cost: Adults $5/Kids Free

Where:
13th & Guthrie Ave
1222 S. Guthrie Ave

Tulsa, OK  74119
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Greek Festival
Telephone: 918-583-2082
Contact Name: Tonya Boone
Website »

More information

Living Arts of Tulsa will present a multi-media exhibit of Jave Yoshimoto’s work. Intractable Chasm examines the refugee crisis in Greece, experienced firsthand by Yoshimoto when he...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East Reconciliation Way
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More information

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Cost: 15-20

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 E. 2nd St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Portico Dance Theatre
Telephone: 918-321-0682
Contact Name: Linda Davis
Website »

More information

Young and old alike will love the cherished story of Alice and her friends performed through original and exciting dance choreography!"Project Alice" is based on Lewis Carroll's “Alice's...

Cost: 15-20

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 E. 2nd St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Portico Dance Theatre
Telephone: 918-321-0682
Contact Name: Linda Davis
Website »

More information

In our 4-week Beginning Fencing class, you'll learn about the history of Olympic fencing, the three fencing weapons – foil, saber and epee – and the general rules for each of the specific...

Cost: $75

Where:
Southminster Presbyterian Church Community Center
3500 S Peoria
Tulsa, OK  74106
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Fencing Club
Telephone: 918-928-2663
Website »

More information

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Cost: $10

Where:
ONEOK FIELD
201 N Elgin Ave
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 405-234-7095
Contact Name: Astrid Rodriguez
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More information

Join us for the St. Jude Walk/Run during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September, to raise money for the kids of St. Jude, where families never receive a bill for anything. Let's end...

Cost: 5K - $20; 1 mile - $10; Ages 5 and under – Free

Where:
ONEOK Field
201 N Elgin Ave
Tulsa, OK, OK  74120
View map »


Sponsor: St. Jude
Telephone: 915-841-9154
Contact Name: Adrian Ordonez
Website »

More information

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Turkey Mountain
6850 S Elwood Ave
Tulsa, OK  74132
View map »


Sponsor: river parks
Telephone: 918-596-2008
Contact Name: Ryan Howell
Website »

More information

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Cost: 10

Where:
Spread throughout Metro Tulsa
, OK


Sponsor: Pella Windows of Oklahoma
Telephone: 918-663-5820
Website »

More information

Experience the sites, sounds and smells of Greece!  The best lil stop in OPA!homa - just off route 66. Live music, dancing, kids zone, Greek food and drink, delectable baked goods, Greek...

Cost: Adults $5/Kids Free

Where:
13th & Guthrie Ave
1222 S. Guthrie Ave

Tulsa, OK  74119
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Greek Festival
Telephone: 918-583-2082
Contact Name: Tonya Boone
Website »

More information

Living Arts of Tulsa will present a multi-media exhibit of Jave Yoshimoto’s work. Intractable Chasm examines the refugee crisis in Greece, experienced firsthand by Yoshimoto when he...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East Reconciliation Way
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »

More information

Cost: FREE

Where:
Central Park Community Center
1500 South Main Street
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
View map »


Telephone: 918-259-8437
Contact Name: Central Park Community Center

More information

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Cost: Adults $17.95, Children 3yrs-12yrs $13.95 Military and Seniors(62+) $13.95

Where:
Oklahoma Aquarium
300 Aquarium Dr
Jenks, OK  74037
View map »


Telephone: 918-528-1507
Contact Name: Liz Medrano
Website »

More information

Fundraising concert featuring popular Christian rock band Sanctus Real benefiting Circle of Care's three programs: state-wide foster care, transitional living for single mothers with children...

Cost: 20.00

Where:
Venue 68
6910 S. 101st E. Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74134
View map »


Sponsor: Circle of Care
Telephone: 405-215-1400
Contact Name: Sarah Steffes
Website »

More information

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Cost: 59.95

Where:
Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa- Broken Arrow
420 W Albany St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
View map »


Telephone: 866-496-0535
Contact Name: The Dinner Detective
Website »

More information

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Cost: $10, 12 and under FREE

Where:
1400 W. Washington St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
View map »


Telephone: 918-406-9341
Contact Name: Sean Henry
Website »

More information

Circle of Care and popular Christian Rock band Sanctus Real are teaming up on September 21, 2019, to raise funds for Circle of Care’s three nonprofit programs. Band member...

Cost: Tickets start at $20

Where:
Asbury United Methodist Church's Venue 68
6910 S. 101 E. Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Website »

More information

Young and old alike will love the cherished story of Alice and her friends performed through original and exciting dance choreography! "Project Alice" is based on Lewis Carroll's...

Cost: 15-20

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 E. 2nd St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Portico Dance Theatre
Telephone: 918-321-0682
Contact Name: Linda Davis
Website »

More information

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Cost: $8.00 ($4.00 for children under 12)

Where:
pH Community House
306 S Phoenix Ave
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Laughing Matter Improv
Contact Name: Jerry Henderson
Website »

More information

Young and old alike will love the cherished story of Alice and her friends performed through original and exciting dance choreography!"Project Alice" is based on Lewis Carroll's “Alice's...

Cost: 15-20

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 E. 2nd St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Portico Dance Theatre
Telephone: 918-321-0682
Contact Name: Linda Davis
Website »

More information

In our 4-week Beginning Fencing class, you'll learn about the history of Olympic fencing, the three fencing weapons – foil, saber and epee – and the general rules for each of the specific...

Cost: $75

Where:
Southminster Presbyterian Church Community Center
3500 S Peoria
Tulsa, OK  74106
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Fencing Club
Telephone: 918-928-2663
Website »

More information

Where:
Veterans Park
1811 S Boulder Park Dr
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Get wined and dined at the first annual Tulsa Beer & Wine Festival. Stroll through our landscape gardens and treat your taste buds to exquisite food pairings with local and national craft...

Cost: TBD

Where:
Gathering Place Great Lawn
2650 S. John Williams Way E.
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


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Branjae on the sixth sense, the street light and empowerment

A Q&A with the singer/songwriter, who just released a new single: “Street Light.”

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Oklahoma's Best-Sellers: Sept. 8

Based on total number of book sales at Magic City Books, Best of Books in Edmond, Brace Books and More in Ponca City, and Full Circle Bookstore in Oklahoma City.

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Cosplay, celebs and plenty of pop culture

TulsaPeople intern visits for the first time the annual Wizard World Tulsa comic-con

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3.03: Order Up -- Johnna Hayes

A conversation with Johnna Hayes, operating partner of 3 Sirens Restaurant Group.

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QUIZ: Where should I eat during Restaurant Week?

Tulsa Restaurant Week is September 6-15. Can't decide what to try first? We've got you.

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