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TSET Board of Directors Welcomes New Member to Board

OKLAHOMA CITY (September 25, 2015) - The vice provost for graduate programs and associate dean for biomedical sciences at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa has joined the TSET Board of Directors.

Bruce Benjamin, Ph.D., was appointed to the TSET Board of Directors by House Speaker Jeff Hickman. Benjamin, of Claremore, represents the communities that make up the 2nd Congressional District in northeastern Oklahoma.

“It is honor to be appointed to this board and represent the interests of northeastern Oklahoma,” Benjamin said. “I look forward to serving the citizens of this state and working for ways to improve the health of all Oklahomans.”

As vice provost OSU-CHS, Benjamin serves in a leadership role for the graduate programs in biomedical sciences, forensic sciences, health care administration and athletic training. Benjamin is also head of the OSU Center for Wearable Electronic Sensing Systems and Technologies, an interdisciplinary team working to develop wearable smart garments for use in health and wellness.

Before joining the faculty at OSU-CHS in 1997, Benjamin was an assistant professor of cell biology at Duke University Medical Center, a research scientist at Texas A&M University and University of Oklahoma Health Science Center, and a National Research Council Research Associate at NASA Ames Research Center.

Benjamin received his bachelor’s degree from Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., and his doctorate at the University of Oklahoma. He is a member of the American Physiological Society and the Oklahoma Physiological Society.

The TSET Board of Directors, appointed by seven different elected officials and representing each of the state’s five congressional districts, oversees the expenditure of the earnings to fund grants and programs to prevent and reduce tobacco use and obesity. The Board of Directors has also invested in cutting-edge research to reduce the toll of tobacco-related diseases on our state.

The 2nd Congressional District was previously represented by George Foster, O.D., of Park Hill. Foster’s term ended June 30.

TSET is funded by the earnings from the investments of the majority of Master Settlement Agreement payment to the state. Oklahoma is one of 46 states that sued the tobacco industry in 1996 for deceptive business practices in marketing tobacco and tobacco-related healthcare costs.

The tobacco industry, found guilty of racketeering by a judge, makes an annual settlement payment to the states. Seventy-five percent of each settlement payment is deposited in the endowment fund for investment. Only the earnings are used to fund grants and programs aimed at improving the health of Oklahomans.

TSET’s strategic plan aims to prevent and reduce tobacco use and obesity in an effort to reduce cancer and cardiovascular disease, the leading causes of death in Oklahoma.

Julie Bisbee,
Direct: 405-521-4992
Cell: 405-301-3693


The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) serves as a partner and bridge builder for organizations working towards shaping a healthier future for all Oklahomans. TSET provides leadership at the intersections of health by working across the state, by cultivating innovative and life-changing research, and by working across public and private sectors to develop, support, implement and evaluate creative strategies to take advantage of emerging opportunities to improve the public's health. TSET. Better Lives Through Better Health.