On Wellness in WV

WVU provost Michele Wheatly is excited by the new program.

“Dual-degree programs like this offer our students both the skills and the certification they really need to pursue a career. This program will graduate flexible, highly-employable young people who have had the opportunity to work with faculty across the WVU campus and to learn to ‘think outside the box’ as the best leaders do,” Wheatly said.

“The mission of the WVU School of Public Health is to improve the health of West Virginians through innovation and leadership in education, research and service,” said Jeffrey Coben, M.D., professor and interim dean, School of Public Health. “The M.B.A./M.P.H. dual degree embodies the skills required for today’s public health fields. Public health leaders and practitioners who achieve the dual degree will gain a broader perspective of the costs and benefits of prevention and other lifestyle choices that can provide lasting health solutions for all West Virginians.”

For full release: http://wvuhealthcare.com/wvuh/Content/Media/News-Releases/2013/SEPT/New-dual-degree-at-WVU-injects-business-knowledge

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WVU Hospitals (WVUH) has filed a request with the West Virginia Health Care Authority for a public hearing on Mon General Hospital’s Certificate of Need (CON) application to provide radiation therapy to cancer patients. Mon General filed for the CON to purchase and house a linear accelerator – the equipment used for delivering radiation therapy treatments.

“This is the first time we have ever asked for a hearing for a CON requested by Mon General, and we did not come to this decision easily,” WVUH President and CEO Bruce McClymonds said. “But after an extensive analysis of their application and the projected demand for such services, we believe that a public hearing by the Health Care Authority is warranted.”

For full release: http://wvuhealthcare.com/wvuh/Content/Media/News-Releases/2013/SEPT/WVU-Hospitals-requests-hearing-on-Mon-General-Cert

HUNTINGTON, W.Va.—The Marshall University School of Pharmacy, along with several other conference partners, is sponsoring the 2013 International Symposium on Safe Medicine (ISSM) beginning today in Charleston. The conference, which has historically been held in the state of Maine, brings together pharmacists, physicians, toxicologists, educators and others for sessions on prescription drug use, abuse, return and disposal.

Dr. Kevin W. Yingling, dean of the School of Pharmacy and a speaker for the event, said the escalation of prescription drug abuse across the United States makes it imperative for health care professionals to collaborate with others in the field.

“There are many facets of the prescription drug abuse issue that need to be addressed,” Yingling said. “This symposium exposes health care professionals to educational topics like best practices in medication prescribing, creating public policies about drug diversion, the roles of pharmacists in medication therapy management and even environmental issues impacted by the unsafe disposal of medications.”

Dr. John V. Schloss  is professor and chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Science at the Marshall School of Pharmacy and is one of the organizers of past ISSM conferences in Maine.

“Prior to joining the Marshall University School of Pharmacy, I was heavily involved with the conference planning in Portland,” Schloss said. “There are many parallels between Maine and West Virginia that contribute to their common problem in prescription drug abuse. This symposium has facilitated cross-disciplinary approaches to solving the drug abuse problems, not just in West Virginia, but across various states.”

The conference also features speakers from Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, the MU Forensic Science Center and the College of Health Professions. Additional speakers are from the Pew Prescription Project, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and various companies and universities.

The symposium is being held in conjunction with West Virginia’s Integrated Behavioral Health Conference.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Twenty-five years ago, it might have sounded like part of a science fiction plot – operating on a patient with remotely controlled, robotic arms or using a 20-ton medical instrument that emits more than 200 radiation beams at a precise location.

Minimally invasive treatments, computerized robotic tools and advanced diagnostic capabilities have all revolutionized medical care at Ruby Memorial Hospital and positioned WVU Healthcare to remain a leader for the state of West Virginia.

Gamma Knife is one of the minimally invasive surgical tools that has transformed the treatment of benign and malignant tumors, facial pain and brain disorders. Ruby Memorial Hospital has the only Perfexion Gamma Knife radiosurgery unit in the state of West Virginia.

Though the name may be deceiving, it’s not actually a knife, and it’s not surgery in the traditional sense. Without the risks of open surgery or an incision, this 20-ton medical instrument emits 201 finely focused beams of gamma radiation at the precise location of the brain disorder and treats it with minimal effect on surrounding normal tissue.

For full release: http://wvuhealthcare.com/wvuh/Content/Media/News-Releases/2013/SEPT/Surgery-and-technology-light-years-ahead-of-where

HUNTINGTON, W.Va.—Researchers from Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, in collaboration with international partners in China and Italy and colleagues in the United States, will present their findings at the 2013 American Heart Association’s High Blood Pressure Research Scientific Sessions later this week in New Orleans.

“We are very pleased that all eight of our research abstracts were accepted for presentation at this world-class conference,” said Nader G. Abraham, Ph.D., Dr. H.C., FAHA, vice dean for research at the School of Medicine. “Marshall is truly expanding its medical research footprint and is being recognized at the international level.”

In making the announcement, Abraham said research from Marshall scientists and clinicians includes findings on heart disease, obesity, fatty liver, and hypertension.

“Much of our research here at Marshall is focused on the issues that plague our population in West Virginia and really the entire Appalachian region,” Abraham said. “For instance, the project that the dean, Joseph Shapiro, and I have been working on with researchers from Beijing and the National Institute of Environmental Health Science in North Carolina has found that there are small, special fatty acids that can improve heart attack mediated damage to prevent further damage, which may eventually lead to developments in new therapies and prevention.”

The following is a list of the abstracts that will be presented in New Orleans:

  • EET Agonist Improves Cardiac Energy Metabolism and Heart Function by Regulating Fatty Acid Oxidation and Oxidative Stress in Infarcted Myocardium, presented by Jian Cio, Chinese PLA General Hospital in Beijing in collaboration with  Joseph I. Shapiro, M.D. and Nader G. Abraham, Ph.D., Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.
  • CYP2J2 Targeting to Endothelial Cells Attenuates Adiposity and Vascular Dysfunction in Mice Fed a High Fat Diet by Reprogramming Adipocyte Phenotype, presented by Dr. Abraham in collaboration with Marshall researchers Komal Sodhi, Ph.D., Anne M. Silvis, Ph.D., and Shapiro. This study was the first to demonstrate that targeting the vascular endothelium (small cells that line the circulatory system) with human gene CYP2J2 in mice fed a high-fat diet actually decreased the fat and vascular dysfunction and improved metabolic parameters.
  • Enhanced VEGF and ETS-1 Recruitment by T Reg-Heme Oxygenase-1 Module Increases Blood Flow in Post-infarction Myocardium in SCID Mice, presented by Marshall cardiologist Ellen Thompson, M.D., along with Marshall researchers Robert Touchon, M.D., Larry Dial, M.D., Abraham and Shapiro.  This poster presentation shows the beneficial role of the human gene heme oxygenase-1 in improving heart function and blood flow in immunodeficient mice after heart attack.
  • Heme Oxygenase-1-mediated PPARδ Improves Cardiac Fibrosis and Inflammation in SCID Mice Via Induction of T Reg Cells, presented by Marshall researcher Robert Touchon, M.D., in collaboration with MU researchers Thompson, Sodhi, Dial, Abraham and Shapiro.  This research is looking at the role of heme oxygenase-1 in improving kidney function in immunodeficient mice.
  • Body Mass Index Exacerbates the Hypertension Mediated Increase in Endothelial Cell Sloughing and Suppression of Antioxidant Heme Oxygenase-1, presented by Marshall physician-researcher Ryan Stone, M.D. with Marshall researchers, David Chaffin, M.D., David Jude, M.D., Zeid Khitan, M.D., Dong Hyun Kim, Ph.D., Imran T. Khawaja, M.D., Abraham and Shapiro.  Research is already available that shows being overweight (BMI >25) increases the risk for hypertension – but the mechanism for this development is unclear. This project is studying biomarkers in the bloodstream that contribute to vascular dysfunction.
  • Targeting Endothelial Cells with HO-1 Attenuated Vascular and Adipocyte Dysfunction in Mice Fed High Fat Diet,  presented by Marshall School of Medicine research assistant Morghan S. Getty with Marshall collaborators Kim and Abraham looks at the role of heme oxygenase-1 in reducing obesity in mice fed a high-fat diet.
  • HMOX1 Ameliorates Fatty Liver and Metabolic Syndrome by Reduction of Hepatic Heme and PGC1α, presented by Marshall researcher Sodhi along with Marshall collaborators, Wade G. Douglas, M.D., Imran T. Khawaja, M.D., Dial, Shapiro and Abraham.   This abstract reviews the beneficial effects of heme oxygenase-1 in reducing non-alcoholic fatty liver, a condition marked by the accumulation of fat in the liver.
  • PPAR-δ Binding to Heme Oxygenase 1 Promoter Prevents Angiotensin II Induced Vascular and Adipocyte Dysfunction in a Model of Renovascular Hypertension, presented by Sodhi with fellow Marshall researchers, Zeid Khitan, M.D., Dial, Shapiro and Abraham.   This research is studying the beneficial effects of heme oxygenase-1 in reducing obesity and hypertension.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – What do a 2014 Mercedes Benz, a 2014 Harley Davidson and a diamond ring all have in common? They’re among the dozens of prizes up for grabs during the West Virginia Grand Bash 2013, which will be held from 1 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26 at the Ruby Community Center at Mylan Park in Morgantown. Proceeds from the event will benefit WVU Children’s Hospital at Ruby Memorial.

Gates open at 11 a.m. The drawing starts at 1 p.m. with the Mercedes. Tickets will be drawn every five minutes until 7 p.m. with the exception of 4 to 5 p.m., when a WVU Children’s Hospital presentation will take place. The winner of the $100,000 grand prize will be the ticket holder with the number that exactly matches the West Virginia Daily 4 Lottery on that day. All other drawings will be selected on site. Ticket holders need not be present to win.

Tickets are $100 each. Only one ticket holder per ticket as only one person can claim a prize. A total of 10,000 tickets are available. The event will only take place if 8,500 tickets are sold. If an adequate number of tickets are not sold, the ticket price will be returned to the ticket holder. Each ticket holder is allowed to bring one guest per ticket held. Guest admission is $20 and is to be paid in cash at the gate upon entry.

For full release: http://wvuhealthcare.com/wvuh/Content/Media/News-Releases/2013/AUG/West-Virginia-Grand-Bash-to-benefit-WVU-Children%E2%80%99s

HUNTINGTON AND POINT PLEASANT, WV (August 23, 2013) –Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH) and Pleasant Valley Hospital (PVH) announce that they are beginning exclusive discussions toward a collaborative arrangement/partnership agreement that will be designed to mutually benefit both organizations. Leaders at CHH and PVH plan to work together to develop the agreement over the next 90 days.

Cabell Huntington Hospital has earned a reputation for innovation, commitment to advancing medicine and enhancing the medical talent in our region. “This partnership will enhance the best of both organizations,” stated Brent A. Marsteller, President/CEO of Cabell Huntington Hospital. “The growth and development of Cabell’s academic affiliation with the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and Marshall Health physicians over the past decade has proved that joining together to provide highly-specialized physicians and services means better health care for the community. We know that formally collaborating with Pleasant Valley Hospital will benefit the communities to our north while continuing our high standard of personal care in Huntington and the surrounding areas.”

Recently named one of the top hospitals in the State of West Virginia for Quality Patient Care, Pleasant Valley Hospital has been seeking a partner that will help them continue to ensure the residents of Point Pleasant and Mason County have access to top quality health care.


“These are exciting and challenging times for all health care organizations. We chose to seek a partner that we believe would best help us meet those challenges and best serve the people who live in our community. We believe that Cabell Huntington Hospital’s vision for the future best aligned with our vision,” said Larry Unroe, interim CEO of Pleasant Valley Hospital.

The development of a partnership agreement between CHH and PVH will provide opportunities for new and enhanced health care services, based on the needs of patients and the community. The PVH campus will continue to provide hospital, nursing home and rehabilitation services. “This opportunity will allow PVH to be at the forefront of health care excellence in the Tri-State,” stated Unroe. “The Board of Trustees and Management believe PVH services (i.e., hospital, nursing home, rehab, etc.), our local physicians, and our PVH staff will continue to play a vital role in our communities.”

Cabell Huntington Hospital is a 303-bed academic medical center located in Huntington, West Virginia. Cabell Huntington is home to the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital and the Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center and cares for patients from more than 29 counties throughout West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and southern Ohio. Opened in 1956, it is a teaching hospital and is affiliated with Marshall University Schools of Medicine and Nursing.

Established in 1959, Pleasant Valley Hospital is a not-for-profit healthcare system that provides community-oriented healthcare for Mason and Jackson counties in West Virginia and the counties of Gallia and Meigs in Ohio. This 201-bed facility offers a full spectrum of services and includes a 101-bed acute care facility, a 100-bed nursing & rehabilitation center, three medical equipment sites and a wellness center (open to the public). Pleasant Valley Hospital has over 40 practicing physicians and provides general services to the community including OB-GYN, radiology, emergency medicine, inpatient and outpatient surgery, neurology, sleep studies, urology, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, oncology/hematology, otolaryngology, home health, hospice, and a full-range of rehabilitation services.  Radiology services include CT with virtual colonoscopy and 64-Slice CT cardiac, MRI, ultrasound, nuclear medicine and mammography.  PVH also operates fifteen medical clinics.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Dr. Darshana Shah, associate dean of faculty affairs and professional development with the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, has been selected as chair of the professional development and program subcommittee of the American Association of Medical Colleges’ Group on Faculty Affairs (GFA) committee.

The appointment follows her election as an at-large representative to the GFA’s Steering Committee earlier this year. The mission of the GFA is to build and sustain faculty vitality in medical schools and teaching hospitals.

“Dr. Shah’s commitment to guiding faculty members in their professional development and career pathways is absolutely terrific and I cannot think of a person more fitting to serve in this position,” said Dr. Joseph I. Shapiro, dean of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.   “She is one of those individuals who always sees the glass half-full and is determined to find solutions in the complex world of medical education. We certainly are proud of her achievements, both here and on the national level.”

Shah will serve a three-year term on the committee and says she is eager to begin her new role.

“Developing programs to assist and nurture faculty is an essential component of any medical school,” Shah said. “I am thrilled to participate as a JCESOM faculty member in designing added-value programs at the national level.”

Shah is the first from Marshall to be elected to an AAMC steering committee.

In addition to her role as associate dean, Shah is a professor of pathology and is an active leader within numerous other professional and educational groups.  Currently, she serves as president of the Group for Research in Pathology Education, a national organization whose purpose is to promote and facilitate excellence in pathology education.

Shah has received several teaching awards and is the faculty advisor to the JCESOM’s chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society, an international group dedicated to compassionate medical care.

Shah graduated from the University of Maryland with a master’s degree in microbiology and earned her doctorate in biomedical sciences at West Virginia University before completing postdoctoral research work at the JCESOM.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – In a state the size of West Virginia, it’s safe to say that everyone knows someone whose life has been touched by WVU Children’s Hospital. For 25 years, it has called the sixth floor of Ruby Memorial Hospital home, and in that time, thousands of people have found hope and healing within its walls.

The origins of WVU Children’s Hospital date back to the old University Hospital, which had beds for children in different units. Babies were born on the fourth floor. Critically ill infants were admitted to the adult intensive care unit on the third floor, and general pediatrics occupied space on the sixth floor.

William Neal, M.D., pediatric cardiologist at WVU Children’s Hospital, didn’t plan to return to West Virginia after graduating from the WVU School of Medicine in 1966. He just wasn’t sure the opportunity for a budding physician would present itself. But, after completing military service and residency and fellowship training, he found himself missing the mountains and the people of West Virginia. In 1974, the Huntington native came home and joined the WVU faculty. The decision to return, he said, is one that he has never regretted.

For full release: http://wvuhealthcare.com/wvuh/Content/Media/News-Releases/2013/SEPT/WVU-Children%E2%80%99s-Hospital-Ruby%E2%80%99s-hospital-within-a-h

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Bonnie’s Bus, a digital mammography center on wheels, will visit Kanawha County offering digital mammograms and breast care education to women.

A service of WVU Healthcare and the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, Bonnie’s Bus will be at:

The Sissonville Health Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 12.  For an appointment, call 304-984-1576.

Elk Elementary School in Charleston from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 25.  For an appointment, call 304-348-7776.

The mammograms are billed to private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare if available. Mammograms for women who do not have insurance will be covered by the West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program (WVBCCSP) or through special grant funds from the West Virginia affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. No woman over 40 is turned away due to lack of funding.  A physician’s order is needed for a mammogram.

For full release: http://wvuhealthcare.com/wvuh/Content/Media/News-Releases/2013/SEPT/Bonnie%E2%80%99s-Bus-to-offer-mammograms-in-Sissonville-an