Advantage Valley, WV is the Picture of Health

A network of providers and top-tier medical schools blanket the region with quality care.

By
Nicole Haase
On Monday, October 12, 2020 - 16:26
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Though it is one of the smallest states, West Virginia is one of the most robust health care centers in the nation, and Advantage Valley is a major part of that. 

Overall, the region’s health care sector, which includes a Veterans Administration Medical Center in Huntington, employs more than 33,000 workers in more than 600 health-related establishments.

A network of hospitals, care centers and physician groups coupled with the presence of highly regarded medical schools give residents access to cutting-edge technology and treatments.

The region offers top-level providers such as CAMC Health System and its flagship Charleston Area Medical Center, which includes CAMC General Hospital, CAMC Memorial Hospital, CAMC Teays Valley Hospital and CAMC Women and Children’s Hospital. With more than 6,800 employees, CAMC Health System is the region’s largest nongovernment employer. The CAMC Cancer Center, located in a three-story facility across from CAMC Memorial, houses a full range of adult cancer and cancer-related services.

Thomas Memorial Hospital in South Charleston and St. Francis Hospital in Charleston anchor the Thomas Health System, providing a roster of specialties, from breast care to cardiology, obstetrics, behavioral health and chiropractic medicine. Thomas Health also operates two urgent care clinics.

Mountain Health Network, a nonprofit health system, operates the 303-bed Cabell Huntington Hospital, a teaching hospital for Marshall University’s schools of medicine, pharmacy and nursing. Located within Cabell Huntington is the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital, a 72-bed pediatric specialty hospital. Mountain Health also operates St. Mary’s Medical Center, a 393-bed hospital in Huntington that includes a school of nursing, respiratory care and medical imaging.

The region’s health care advantages include provider groups such as Marshall Health, which offers multidisciplinary facilities and 75 specialty services in more than 40 locations. Valley Health provides primary and preventative care to approximately 75,000 patients each year. The multi-specialty Huntington Internal Medicine Group, the largest independently owned medical group in West Virginia, operates in a state-of-the art medical mall converted from a former department store.

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Robert C. Byrd Institute

Training Ground

The Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall, Marshall’s School of Pharmacy, the satellite campus of West Virginia University’s School of Medicine in Charleston and the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy and Physician’s Assistant programs form a powerful cluster of health-related education and are frequent collaborators with the region’s care providers.

Jointly directed by Cabell Huntington Hospital and the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, the Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center in Huntington opened in 2006. The 70,000-square-foot facility includes an adult oncology center with infusion stations, exam rooms, consultation rooms, minor procedure rooms, a diagnostic breast center and physician offices.

The Joan C. Edwards Children’s Cancer Clinic includes the children’s oncology/ hematology treatment center with infusion stations, pediatric oncology clinics and physician offices.

Beyond doctors, nurses and pharmacists, the region’s medical-related programs also train nurses, physical therapists, radiology technicians, occupational therapists, medical assistants, licensed practical nurses and therapists.

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Nathan Lambrecht

Local Focus

While the schools train medical personnel that will go on to work across the country and around the world, many of them stay in the region. A third of Marshall’s 2019 graduating class continued their education with residencies in Huntington.

“It definitely impacts the quality of life. There’s easy access to quality health care. There’s not much wait time. We offer multiple specialties. The medical school partners with various partners in the community,” says Dr. Bobby Miller, vice dean for medical education at Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall.

“We offer everything from neonatal intensive care to a very robust hospice system for the community,” says Miller, who grew up in nearby Ashland, Kentucky, attended Marshall for his undergraduate and medical degrees and completed his residency there.

Having the universities in the community is a vital part of public health in the region. Both Marshall and the University of Charleston have curricula that focus on putting students in the community, teaching classes, running clinics and working with disadvantaged populations.

“Our students get real life experience,” says Dr. Md Omar F. Khan, interim dean at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy. “Our students are highly engaged with the community. It’s kind of co-curricular. They learn from the community and they teach.”

If you'd like to learn more about the Advantage Valley area, check out the latest edition of Livability: Advantage Valley, WV.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Haase is a freelance writer who lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her husband and their basset hound.