The Mesaros Symposium

West Virginia has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the US. Management of diabetes involves addressing multiple factors which impact control of diabetes, which includes improving nutrition, incorporating exercise into daily activity, and eliminating smoking. Over the past 25 years, a substantial body of evidence has been collected demonstrating the strong association of poor oral health, specifically periodontal disease, with the clinical development of diabetes and its effects on the ability for a patient with diabetes to manage the disease. This symposium will provide the participant an update on the association of periodontal disease with diabetes. The speakers will also expand upon the medical management of diabetes and the impact improved oral health can have on this management. Finally, this program will emphasize the need for intensive interprofessional management of these patients, requiring dental and medical health professionals to work closely and cooperatively in order to achieve the best clinical outcomes for these patients.

Register Online | View the Brochure

Script Your Future

The University of Charleston School of Pharmacy to Compete in Inter-Disciplinary Challenge to Improve Medication Adherence; Future pharmacists, nurses and physician assistants join national campaign to raise awareness about the urgency of medication adherence for chronic condition patients.  Download the Script Your Future events brochure.

Providing Dementia-Friendly Services, Creating Dementia-Capable Communities

Photo by Carol Von Canon/FlickrCC

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 8:30am – 4:30pm
Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center
Charleston, WV

How do you change the place where you live, work, play, shop and worship into a community that

  • Creates positive environments for people with dementia?
  • Provides supportive services and options for family caregivers?
  • Encourages independence to the fullest extent possible?
  • Treats each person with dignity and respect?

Join health professionals, public health and other government officials, businesses, employers, clergy, community volunteers, family caregivers, individuals with dementia, and others to explore these questions. Find out what’s happening in a few West Virginia communities; learn about a process that could work where you live; and leave with a plan to get you started. Follow this link for the agenda, registration form and continuing education information. Deadline for registration is March 21, 2019.


Mark Your Calendar Now For March 26!


How Dementia-Friendly Services Can Create Dementia-Capable Communities

When: March 26, 2019, 8:30 – 4:30

Where: Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center (formerly Charleston Civic Center)

Who should attend: Health professionals, county and local government officials, anyone in public health, businesses, employers, first responders, clergy, community volunteers, family caregivers, individuals with dementia.  This one-day, interactive workshop is for anyone who wants to improve the lives of individuals with dementia and their family caregivers where they live, work, play, shop or worship.

Think you don’t know any families living with dementia?  You do.  Not sure if your input would be helpful to this discussion?  It will.

Please join us. Find out why dementia is considered a public health issue. Hear about successful community projects and some of the challenges.  Learn a process that could work in your community,  Share your own ideas to help increase dementia-capable services in communities across WV.  Then, take what you learn back to your community to expand supportive services there for families living with dementia.

Details and registration information will be available in late January.  If you have questions or want to receive conference and registration info, contact Trudy Oliver, or 304-558-3317.

Medicaid Work Requirement – Coming Soon to West Virginia?

[Photo: Carol Von Canon/FlickrCC][spacer height=”20px”]

The West Virginia Rural Health Association will host a free webinar at 12 p.m., Jan. 22 on the potential impacts of a Medicaid Work Requirement in West Virginia.


In 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a new policy allowing states to implement work and community engagement requirements for certain Medicaid enrollees.

Since then, 16 states, including West Virginia’s Appalachian neighbors Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio and North Carolina have either implemented or proposed new laws requiring people receiving Medicaid to verify their participation in approved activities, such as employment, job search, or job training programs, in order to receive health coverage.

The effort to institute Medicaid Work Requirement in Kentucky was embroiled in federal litigation, and efforts in other states have been similarly contentious.

With the West Virginia legislative session approaching in January, there is some speculation that West Virginia could be the next state to adopt a Medicaid Work Requirement.

Given the importance of Medicaid in West Virginia’s rural communities, a Medicaid Work Requirement would have a profound impact on coverage and the provision of health services.



Presenting on the webinar will be:

• Simon F. Haeder, Ph.D., M.P.A., the author of the WVU report, Making Medicaid Work in the Mountain State.
• Ted Boettner, Executive Director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.
• Kat Stoll, Policy Director, West Virginians for Affordable Health Care.
• Susan Jo Thomas, Executive Director, Covering Kids and Families of Indiana.


Haeder’s report, released by the John D. Rockefeller School of Policy and Politics at WVU, found that any changes that limit Medicaid enrollment or reimbursement “will have significant detrimental effects on the health and well-being of West Virginians.”

In order to help health professionals, students and advocates learn more about the potential impacts of a Medicaid Work Requirement in this state, the West Virginia Rural Health Association is hosting a free webinar on January 22 featuring experts on the work requirement proposal and representatives of health care providers in West Virginia.

“About a third of West Virginians rely on Medicaid, and the program has become the backbone of the state’s health infrastructure,” Haeder wrote.

Haeder’s research estimates that, if a Kentucky-style approach (a work requirement applicable to the entire Medicaid population from ages 19 to 65, with certain exemptions for the disabled, students, caregivers of children or people with disabilities) was instituted in West Virginia coverage losses for nonexempt individuals alone could range from 66,000 to 112,000 West Virginians.

“Great care must be taken by policymakers to avoid unintended consequences and inequities,” the report finds. “While crucial for these individual beneficiaries, Medicaid also serves as the backbone of the larger health care infrastructure in the state, including for hospitals, Federally Qualified Health Centers, and Rural Health Clinics, as well as major health systems like West Virginia University Medicine and CAMC Health System.”

“Any changes, including the implementation of work requirements, block grants, or a reversal of the Medicaid expansion, that limit enrollment or reimbursement will have significant detrimental effects on the health and well-being of West Virginians.”

The WVRHA webinar is a unique and vital opportunity for anyone interested in healthcare in West Virginia to ask questions about the potential impact of a Medicaid Work Requirement, and to network with health providers and advocates with a vested interest in the state’s Medicaid system.