Wanted: New People to Help Make the Magic Happen

Love the West Virginia Rural Health Conference?

Want to be a part of making it happen?

The West Virginia Rural Health Association is now looking for new people to join the Conference Planning Committee.

The annual West Virginia Rural Health Conference is fast becoming one of the most critical gatherings in the region for health professionals, students, community members and advocates to learn from and network with others interested in improving rural health care.

Already scheduled for Huntington in October, 2019, next year’s gathering is sure to build on the burgeoning reputation of this conference as one not to miss.

Conference Planning Committee members do not have to be a member of the West Virginia Rural Health Association, but they are required to participate in all of the meetings and work on a subcommittee. The subcommittees are responsible for planning key parts of the conference, such as the presentations, the West Virginia Rural Health Awards, scholarships and poster presentations. The meetings are by phone on the the 3rd Thursday of the month at 11 a.m., between January and June.

If you are interested in being a part of something fun and satisfying and that has a real impact on the health, wealth and happiness of West Virginia’s people, we can use you!

Email WVRHA Executive Director Debrin Jenkins at debrinwvrha@gmail.com to discuss your particular skills and interests.

Register-Herald: West Virginia Conference Explores Barriers To Better Health in Rural Communities

Donnie Nunley/FlickrCC

By Wendy Holdren/Beckley Register Herald

Access to care is one of the many health care challenges in West Virginia.

With more than half of the state’s population living in rural areas (51.8 percent), the most frequently discussed element of access is transportation.

West Virginia’s winding, mountainous roads are one barrier, and the costs associated with transportation are another.

But access to care is about much more than travel, as one health care provider outlined Thursday at the 26th Annual West Virginia Rural Health Conference.

Melissa Jensen, a physician assistant practicing in Beckley, says access is also about cultural barriers, too.

“In West Virginia, we put ourselves last,” she said. “There’s a close-knit, family-centric nature in Appalachia.”

As an example, she said a patient may not elect to have a procedure because that would prevent them from caring for an elderly parent. Another patient once told her that she couldn’t follow up with a procedure because she was saving money for her family to go to Disney…

Read the full story at www.register-herald.com

ECHO Clinics Provide Endo-Cardio Assistance for Primary Care Providers

Photo: Michela/FlickrCC

Marshall University has partnered with Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes), to assist primary care providers in their treatment of endocrinology and cardiology issues.

The goal of this program is to increase the capacity of primary care providers to safely and effectively treat chronic, common, and complex conditions associated with endocrinology and cardiology issues.

The ECHO clinic is held the first Tuesday of each month at 12 p.m., with alternating endocrinology and cardiology sessions. Participants who join teleECHO clinics receive free CME for the total time spent participating, including didactics and patient-case presentations.

For more information and to register for ECHO clinics, contact Jennifer Plymale at plymale@marshall.edu.

Project ECHO is a collaborative model of medical education and care management that empowers clinicians everywhere to provide better care to more people, right where they live.

The ECHO model aims to increase access to specialty treatment in rural and underserved areas by providing front-line clinicians with the knowledge and support they need to manage patients with complex conditions such as: hepatitis C, HIV, tuberculosis, chronic pain, endocrinology, behavioral health disorders, and many others.

It does this by engaging clinicians in a continuous learning system and partnering them with specialist mentors at an academic medical center or hub. As the ECHO model expands, it is helping to address some of the healthcare system’s most intractable problems, including inadequate or disparities in access to care, rising costs, systemic inefficiencies, and unequal or slow diffusion of best practices.

To learn more about Project ECHO visit echo.unm.edu/about-echo/

West Virginia Rural Health Conference Almost Sold Out

Photo: FlickrCC

Only 34 seats remain for the 2018 West Virginia Rural Health Conference – one of the most anticipated gatherings in the region of health professionals, students, advocates and change-makers.

To be held Oct. 17 – 19 at Pipestem Resort State Park, the conference features national and state best practices speakers, provides continuing education to physicians, attorneys, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, dentists, community health educators and others, and is an unparalleled opportunity to network with others interested in improving rural health care in West Virginia.

Hundreds of seats have already been sold, and just a few remain.

Book yours now at wvrha.org/2018-west-virginia-rural-health-conference/

The West Virginia Rural Health Conference continues to build as one of the most significant in its 26 year history, coming at a pivotal time for the state and its people.

With the eyes of the world on how West Virginia will respond to the health challenges currently plaguing the state, this year’s conference is dedicated to unearthing and supporting transformative, game-changing ideas that push the needle on health outcomes.

Learn more, and reserve your spot, at wvrha.org/2018-west-virginia-rural-health-conference/

Life Support Recertification Classes On Offer for Health Workers

The Clinical Evaluation Center at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine is offering classes in Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) for healthcare providers.

The classes are accredited by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, and provide the perfect opportunity for paramedics, EMTs and other health workers to renew their BLS and ACLS qualifications.

Continuing Education Credits are available, and there is a maximum of six people per class.

For more information about the BLS classes, or to register: contact Amy Crickenberger at acrickenberger@osteo.wvsom.edu or by phone at 304.793.6895.

For more information about the ACLS classes, or to register: contact Angie Amick at aamick@osteo.wvsom.edu or by phone at 304.647.6408.





The Eyes of the World Are On West Virginia. Will You Step Up at the 2018 Rural Health Conference?

As we struggle in the grip of an unprecedented public health emergency that threatens the future of our state and its people, the eyes of the world are trained on West Virginia.

Now, we must respond.

The onus is on West Virginia’s health professionals, students, educators, community advocates and leaders to generate the ideas and solutions that will lead to real and lasting community change.

Are we up to the challenge? Are the transformative ideas out there that can have a real and immediate impact in improving health outcomes in West Virginia’s rural communities?

That remains to be seen.

The West Virginia Rural Health Association will dedicate its annual rural health conference this year to unearthing and supporting the bold, brave ideas that are needed if we are able to reverse the deadly trends that are crippling the state.

If you are a working on health programs and solutions for West Virginia, we invite you to present a session at this year’s West Virginia Rural Health Conference.

To be held at Pipestem Resort State Park, October 17 – 19, the theme of this year’s event is Revitalizing our Rural Communities for a Healthy West Virginia.

The deadline for presentation applications is March 30.


Submit your presentation proposal – deadline March 30.

Presentations will be grouped into three tracks:

  • Leadership/Policy
    Topics could include health policy, leadership development, social determinants of health, board development, and others.
  • Clinical
    Topics could include chronic disease management, community health workers, telehealth, behavioral health, and others.
  • Future of Health Care/Innovation
    Topics could include technology, health care transformation, creative health solutions, and others.


Big ideas needed.