Tulsa remembers those killed at 1-year anniversary of Natalie Building shooting
By John Dobberstein, Editor
It’s been 1 year since a patient walked into the Natalie Building in Tulsa and gunned down his doctor and three employees of Saint Francis Health System before taking his own life.
One the anniversary Thursday, families of the victims, employees, first responders and Tulsans remembered the 4 victims who died at the hands of the gunman: Dr. Preston Phillips, Dr. Stephanie Husen, William Love and Amanda Glenn.
Saint Francis CEO Dr. Cliff Robertson, Dr. Ryan Parker, Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum and Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin hosted a brief press conference Wednesday to discuss the anniversary and response to the tragedy.
“Even though there’s pain in other parts of life and not everything is going to be pleasurable, we can rest knowing that we have resiliency and that we have hope,” Clark said. “And that’s what drives everything is hope. We hope that tomorrow is better than today. And that’s what drives us as people.
“What happened here on June 1 and in the days that followed, and even today, is that you see community. This is what it’s all about.”
“To the families of the victims, our hearts still break for you,” Parker said. “The last time I stood here we were collectively still in the aftershock that comes with such a tragedy. On an individual level I see this in the trauma hall daily, the weight of raw emotion after injury or a wound -- disbelief, overwhelming sorrow, anger, but also compassion, gratitude and resolve.
“In those first few hours and days the adrenaline of the moment numbs the pain initially. Despite the grief, we all had a sense of duty to still show up and take care of each other and of the community that needed us. But the process of healing physically and mentally is excruciating work – painful, messy and prolonged.”
Bynum said today in a lengthy Facebook post that when a family loses someone unexpectedly, “an anniversary like this can be a day of despair and pain. I hope you know that you are not alone in these feelings.
“For those of us who did not know your loved ones as well as you did, the last year has been an opportunity for our community to come to know them. Each of them with lives of significance. Each of them beloved by family and friends. Each of them someone who sacrificed for others, so that they could lead better lives. And each of them leaving a great void in the lives of those who mourn them.”
Saint Francis held a private memorial service in remembrance of the victims, and Bishop David Konderla of the Diocese of Tulsa and Eastern Oklahoma consecrated the health system to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, “to entrust its staff, patients and visitors -- past, present and future -- and all of our locations and work to His blessings of mercy and healing.”
The Sacred Heart of Jesus is an image of the love of God, which is at the center of Catholic healthcare.
“June 1 is a particularly apt time to consecrate the health system to the Sacred Heart of Jesus,” SFHS said on its website Thursday. “In acknowledgement of the unique suffering the tragedy brought, the Consecration offers us an opportunity to invite God to heal us in our woundedness and, as wounded healers, to extend His presence and healing ministry in all we do.”
Remembered as a kind soul with a true servant's heart, Amanda Glenn worked at Warren Clinic Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine for many years as a medical assistant. She had served in the medical field for nearly two decades.
A loving wife and the devoted mother to two teenage boys, Amanda was a native of Sand Springs. She is remembered as one of the "proudest mothers ever" and shared a strong bond with her sons, who she described as "proud mama's boys." Those who knew Amanda best are quick to add that she "always had her sons in mind in everything she did."
Amanda's family shared that they will always remember her as a "fully devoted wife and mother, loving sister and daughter who always put everyone else first. She was happiest just being with her family, with the most amazing love for her boys and husband. She always had the brightest smile and kindest spirit."
Stephanie Husen, D.O.
Dr. Stephanie Husen was a sports and internal medicine specialist with Warren Clinic. Originally from Ponca City, Dr. Husen is described by those who knew her as "an all-around incredible person." Colleagues and friends say she was down to earth, the sweetest person ever and exuded a palpable zest for life.
A 1992 graduate of Ponca City High School, Dr. Husen received an undergraduate degree in physical therapy from the University of Oklahoma, where she was a member of the Chi Omega Sorority. In 2000, she received her medical degree from the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences. She then completed her residency at Greenville Memorial Hospital in South Carolina. Dr. Husen worked at Saint Francis and Warren Clinic for seven years.
As expressed on social media regarding the tragic loss of Dr. Husen: "Our hearts are with the family and loved ones who lost such an incredible woman. She was known and loved by so many and will always be remembered. No words could ever take away the pain of those affected, but please know there are many who are providing full support and continued prayers."
In addition, Dr. Husen will be fondly remembered as a devoted dog lover and an avid OU football fan.
Preston Phillips, M.D.
Often described as a true gentleman with an infectious smile, Dr. Preston Phillips, was a beloved husband and father of three children, as well as a dedicated orthopedic surgeon with Warren Clinic. With a distinguished 17-year career at Saint Francis, he had served as a board member of Saint Francis Health System. A 1990 graduate of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Phillips completed two fellowships at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston in 1986 and 1996. Beyond his medical studies, Dr. Phillips had advanced degrees in organic chemistry and pharmacology, as well as theology from Emory University.
Dr. Phillips had been preparing to go on his fifth mission trip to west Africa in mid-June for a nonprofit organization, Light in the World Development Foundation. The foundation, which he cofounded with Saint Francis hospitalist Dr. Komi Folly, was created with the mission of providing surgical services to those in underserved areas of the U.S. and Africa. It has been said that Dr. Phillips possessed "an extraordinary level of devotion to his patients and believed his work as a physician was not just his job, but his calling in life."
His friends and colleagues say Dr. Phillips will be long remembered as a person "who had a kind word for everyone and positively impacted the lives of many. In short, he made this world a better place."
Mr. William Love
William Love was a visitor to the Warren Clinic location on June 1. He was married to Deborah Love on August 13th, 1967. He was a retired Army First Sergeant with 27 years of service. He served one tour in Vietnam. William loved traveling and spending time with his family.