Could This One Simple Idea Convince More Doctors to Practice in West Virginia?

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Talent. Smarts. Ingenuity. Brilliance.

Whatever you call it, when it comes to fixing a problem there is no substitute for intelligent people with the appropriate skills and training.

Which is why the West Virginia Rural Health Association supports efforts to encourage hardworking medical professionals to live and work in this state, to grow the local talent pool and to improve the health services available here.

The proposal: A tax credit for doctors that locate their practice in West Virginia.

There has been a proposal introduced to the West Virginia State Legislature to do just that, and we think it’s worth supporting.

State Sen. Dr. Tom Takubo (R-Kanawha) has introduced a bill – Senate Bill 103 – that would provide a tax credit for graduates of any accredited allopathic or osteopathic medical school in the United States that locate their practice in West Virginia.

The proposal is spurred by his belief, which is shared by many other medical professionals here, that West Virginia may soon find itself with a chronic shortage of doctors and health care workers.

“I don’t think people appreciate the crisis we’re potentially heading to,” Takubo told the State Journal this week.

The bill states that West Virginia already suffers from “a tremendous lack of physicians.”

“This creates a crisis in the delivery of health care services to one of the unhealthiest populations in the nation,” the bill language reads. “As a state we need to seek ways to attract qualified physicians to locate here to provide our citizens necessary health care services and to promote the general good health of this state.”

The bill is currently one of 32 bills scheduled for deliberation in the Senate Finance Committee.

Here’s a list of the senators that make up the finance committee. If you are concerned about the shortage of doctors in West Virginia and support this bill, give one of them a call and urge them to pass Senate Bill 103.

Emerging Young Leader Urges Reimagining of How We Deliver Health Care in West Virginia

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Supporting the next generation of health professionals and leaders is what inspires everyone at the West Virginia Rural Health Association.

It’s why we are always looking for new ways to engage with students and young health advocates. We know that West Virginia’s ability to overcome the pressing health challenges of today will depend on whether we can foster a strong and innovative public health workforce of talented professionals committed to rural people in this state.

People like Quintin Brubaker.

Quintin, who is currently studying medicine at West Virginia University, is the latest student to join WVRHA’s Board of Directors.

Having undergone medical training and study in three states across the region, he sees a need to evolve the way we think about health care and the role of traditional health care providers.

“The solution to many of the challenges will be not simply to provide more health care in the clinics and hospitals, but to find ways that communities can transform themselves with new models of health promotion, making changes that can be sustained,” he says.

“We’ll have to not only train and attract more health care workers, but also to ensure that our health care workforce is ready and able to fully engage the public about the urgency of these problems, and provide leadership in the context of community-driven health change.”

“The solution to many of the challenges will be to find ways that communities
can transform themselves with new models of health promotion.”

For Quintin, being a member of WVRHA is all about building those critical connections that will one day guide his career.

“Becoming involved with WVRHA is a way to complement my training as a clinician, and engage with an organization of people and institutions allied in pursuit of practical solutions to the state’s urgent health goals.”

If you are ready to be part of the coming generation of change in West Virginia, becoming a member of the West Virginia Rural Health Association is a great place to start.

Student memberships are just $10. Sign up now at wvrha.org/become-a-member/

Microresearch Funding Is Now Available!

What is Microresearch?

Microsearch is a community-based research approach that supports, with small “seed grant” funding, locally generated and implemented projects leading to local solutions to problems in underserved communities, resulting in big impact.

Rural PREP’s Microresearch Approach

Rural PREP is providing multiple awards of up to $4,000 each to encourage research by learners in rural health professions education and training about:

  • Rural primary care
  • Rural population health
  • Rural health workforce education and training

A faculty mentor will be assigned by Rural PREP or approved as requested by the student.

Who is eligible to apply?

Current students in a medical school or a nurse practitioner or physician assistant program, residents in a rural physician residency program, or other health professionals training for primary care practice in a rural location.

Deadlines

We will begin reviewing the first group of applications after January 12. If funding remains after the first review, we will fund additional applicants through March 1 on a rolling basis until all funds are expended.

Learn More

 

 

Scholarships Deadline this Friday for West Virginia Rural Health Conference

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A limited number of scholarships are available for students and community members that want to attend the 25th Annual West Virginia Rural Health Conference in Davis this October.

The scholarships cover the cost of conference registration, and recipients are also afforded lodging at the conference center if the recipient resides 50 miles or more outside the conference area.

The application deadline for scholarships is August 18.

Here’s where you go for more information, and to access the application form.

Fifteen scholarships are available for students, and and five for community members. Scholarships will be awarded based on applicant’s experience, service, and desire to provide health service and/or promote access and the continuation of quality health care to the rural population of West Virginia.

Given the massive health care challenges the state is wrestling with in 2017, it is vitally important that the conversation about health care in West Virginia involve as many people as possible, and include a broad array of experiences, knowledge and viewpoints.

The loss of good paying jobs in the state and a critical shortage of healthcare providers has created a ‘perfect storm’ that has hit West Virginia very hard.

It’s critically important that students and community members are involved in shaping health solutions, and so we absolutely must have them at the table.

The rural health conference in October will dive head-first into some of our most urgent issues, including the future of Medicaid, opioid addiction and recovery, what health reform might look like in rural communities, and behavioural health management.

But if West Virginia was to successfully navigate this perilous year for the health of people in this state, ideas and solutions will have to come from a wide range of West Virginians.

That’s why the West Virginia Rural Health Association provides these scholarships. It’s critically important that students and community members are involved in shaping these health solutions, and so we absolutely must have them at the table.

The deadline for scholarship applications is August 18. Apply now at wvrha.org.

 

Also Seeking Research Abstracts

In addition to a full schedule of expert speakers, the conference will also feature a rural health research poster display and oral presentation session.

Students and health researchers are encouraged to submit abstracts for consideration. Click here for more information about how to submit a research abstract.

The deadline for abstracts submissions is August 20.

The West Virginia Rural Health Association advocates for empowering all West Virginians to advance their quality of life, their well-being and their access to excellence in rural health care. Its mission is to unite people, communities and organizations to strengthen rural health in West Virginia.

Learn more at wvrha.org.

WVU School of Public Health: Michael Brumage To Explore New Partnerships With Health Departments

Dr. Michael Brumage. Photo by WVU School of Public Health.

Dr. Brumage will be presenting at the 2017 West Virginia Rural Health Conference on the Roots and Consequences of the Opioid Epidemic in West Virginia. To learn more, visit wvrha.org/2017-west-virginia-rural-health-conference/

By Kimberly Becker/WVU School of Public Health

Building on a strong foundation of practice-based learning, the West Virginia University School of Public Health has added a seasoned practitioner to its leadership team who will help provide faculty and students the opportunity to teach, learn and engage in public health practice.

This month, Michael Brumage, MD, MPH, executive director and health officer for the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, joins the WVU School of Public Health as assistant dean for public health practice and service. While Brumage will maintain his role at KCHD, he also will assist the School in building partnerships with health departments around the state and enhancing professional practice opportunities for faculty and students.

“Dr. Brumage is an invaluable addition to the School of Public Health’s leadership team,” said Jeffrey Coben, M.D., dean of the WVU School of Public Health. “He has always been a friend to the school and Health Sciences. Now, in this official role with WVU, Dr. Brumage will open doors to new practice-based experiences for students and find additional ways for faculty to engage in projects that enhance the clinical and health enterprise of West Virginia…”

Read the full story at publichealth.hsc.wvu.edu