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  1. Deep brain stimulation may ease opioid addiction when other treatments fail

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    Doctors at West Virginia University’s Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute are testing the experimental procedure on patients for whom other treatments didn’t work.

     

    As James Fisher awaited experimental brain surgery he underwent recently, he wondered whether it will be the treatment that finally helps him get his addiction under control.

    The tiny electrodes surgeons implanted in the reward center of his brain are designed to carry electrical stimulation that could, in theory, help drown out the constant craving he feels for benzodiazepines, his drug of choice.

    Fisher, 36, who lives in West Virginia, is the third patient enrolled in a clinical trial being conducted at West Virginia University’s Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute. To be included in the study, which uses a technique called deep brain stimulation, patients must have gone through numerous rehabilitation efforts that didn’t work and suffered multiple overdoses.

    At first, Fisher, who had been using drugs since high school, easily found doctors willing to write prescriptions for his social anxiety. When that stopped working, he began buying from friends and eventually started stealing from strangers to get the money to pay for drugs. Initially it was just “benzos,” but later he moved on to prescription opioids and then heroin.

    After four nearly fatal overdoses, he had jumped at the chance to participate in the trial.

    “I don’t want to die,” Fisher told NBC News before the surgery. “I don’t want to live that miserable life of being sober and still wanting something and not being able to get it.”

    As part of an NBC News series, “One Nation Overdosed,” “Nightly News with Lester Holt” was given access to West Virginia University’s experimental trial as surgeons implanted wires in Fisher’s brain to treat his severe opioid use disorder.

    Image: X Ray
    In the West Virginia University addiction trial, tiny electrodes are implanted in a part of the brain that evolved to reward behaviors such as seeking food and sex. W. Virginia University

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been used successfully for decades to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Doctors at the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute developed the technique for worst-case drug addiction on the theory that targeting one of the brain’s reward centers — the nucleus accumbens — with tiny sparks of electricity could quiet powerful cravings, allowing the brain regions involved in judgment and decision-making to be heard, said principal investigator Dr. Ali Rezai, executive chair of the institute in Morgantown.

    Drugs such as benzodiazepines and opioids hijack the reward system and once users are exposed, they need more and more of the substances to get the rush of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine.

    “Our hypothesis was that by using the DBS in this part of the brain, we would essentially be normalizing the dopamine levels,” Rezai said. “In addiction, the rewards part of the brain releases dopamine when the drug is taken and people feel good. And then they want more next time to get to the same feeling.”

    For Parkinson’s patients, electrodes are implanted in the parts of the brain involved in movement. In the addiction trial, the electrodes are implanted in a different part of the brain, an area that evolved to reward behaviors that keep the species going, such as seeking food and sex. Dopamine is released when those goals are accomplished, as well as at times when people are experiencing natural beauty, such as a particularly colorful sunset or an emotive piece of music.

    When the surgery to implant the electrodes is complete, doctors switch on the deep brain stimulation device. For Fisher, the results were immediate and startling. The depression, anxiety and irritability are gone, replaced by a feeling of calm and comfort, like “a warm blanket.”

    “It’s like night and day,” he said.

    Fisher’s surgery was at the end of July. After four weeks, he told NBC News he feels “fantastic” with no craving to use drugs.

    Two months later, he is still sober.

    “I’m willing to do what it takes to get my brain back to normal,” Fisher said. “I hope that I can get back to that period before I started using benzos. Just being naturally happy — enjoying music again, enjoying food again, enjoying seeing a smile on somebody’s face.”

    Image: James Fisher
    “I’m willing to do what it takes to get my brain back to normal,” James Fisher said before the experimental treatment for his opioid addiction. NBC News

    The initial phase of the trial, which began with the first patient in 2019, is designed to test the safety of the treatment and will eventually include four people with severe substance use disorders. A second phase with 10 patients will test how well it works in keeping people off drugs.

    The need for additional treatments for opioid addiction is urgent. In 2020, during the pandemic, drug overdose deaths spiked to record levels of more than 93,000, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, were responsible for 60 percent of the deaths.

    According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, there were 18.9 million people ages 12 or older in 2019 with a substance use disorder and 16.3 million misusing prescription drugs.

    Based on the experience of Gerod Buckhalter, the first patient to have the surgery at the institute, Fisher’s chances of long-lasting sobriety are good.

    Buckhalter, 35, became addicted to prescription opioids after a shoulder injury when he was 15. Despite numerous stints in rehab and scary overdoses, he wasn’t able to shake his addiction. He immediately signed on when he was offered a chance to be the first patient in the trial.

    Once the electrodes were implanted, the researchers turned on the device. The effect was dramatic.

    “I didn’t find joy in living,” Buckhalter recalled. “When they turned it on, of course, I didn’t know what was going to happen in the future, but at that time I knew if I could continue to feel the way that I was feeling right then, that I would be OK.”

    He says he hasn’t used even once in two years. He still goes to therapy and takes Suboxone, a compound medication designed to help with opioid addiction. But staying away from opioids is a lot easier after the surgery.

    Buckhalter’s recovery from the 2019 brain stimulation procedure was first chronicled by The Washington Post in June.

    Experts caution that the results are preliminary and not a guaranteed cure. Of the three initial patients, one relapsed and is no longer in the trial. Even if the institute’s trial shows that it can help some people with untreatable substance use disorders, broader use is still years away.

    “There is a lot of research where there have been positive findings initially and then they don’t prove to be that reproducible,” said Dr. W. Jeffrey Elias, a professor of neurological surgery at the University of Virginia Brain Institute. Even so, he says the concept and early findings are exciting.

    “We are understanding more and more about the brain circuitry, especially with reward and addiction issues, and so we have very precise tools to target the brain,” he said.

    Dr. Ausaf Bari, an assistant professor and director of functional and restorative neurosurgery at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, compares the device to a pacemaker for the heart.

    “One of the things people are trying to use DBS for is to specifically change the brain circuits involved in craving and relapse,” he said. “Just like a pacemaker treats abnormal rhythms of the heart, we can use DBS to fix abnormal rhythms in the brain.”

    In future studies, researchers may have to individualize the exact spots they use DBS to target, Bari said. Sparking different parts of the brain may yield different responses. Until researchers and patients try it, they won’t know how to get the most effective response, he said.

    Follow NBC HEALTH on Twitter & Facebook

    Original Article: By Kate Snow, Linda Carroll and Lauren Dunn / From NBC News

  2. West Virginia University Medicine plans to launch new insurance provider Peak Health by January 2023

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    WVU Medicine President: New effort “allows us to focus on improving the health of a patient and lowering the cost of care.”
    West Virginia University Medicine plans to launch new insurance provider Peak Health by January 2023
    Mission is to make health care more accessible, understandable, and collaborative

    MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WV News) — West Virginia University Medicine has announced plans to launch its own health insurance services company, Peak Health.

    The new company, which will be a nonprofit subsidiary of WVU Medicine, is set to launch Jan. 1, 2023 as an option for the health-care system’s more than 30,000 employees, said Ben Gerber, who will serve as president of Peak Health.

    “We’re looking at approximately a 2023 date for our own employees — to start on Jan. 1, 2023,” he said. “We’re taking the next year or so to fully build out the platform and hire some key talent into some key roles so that we’re ready to go for launch.”

    Peak Health will then look to expand to provide services to other self-funded employers in the state, according to Albert Wright, president and CEO of the WVU Health System.

    “We ultimately aim to provide a full range of commercial and governmental insurance products,” he said.

    Peak Health’s mission is to make health care more accessible, understandable, and collaborative, Wright said.

    “We created Peak to address what we see as a frustrating lack of progress in helping West Virginians lead healthier and fuller lives,” Wright said. “West Virginia is home for our employees and their families, so this is about more than the numbers for us.

    “This is about being brave enough to do something different to change the trajectory of the state when it comes to negative health outcomes and empowering clinicians and folks in the community to partner with us on that journey.”

    Wright, who will serve as chair of Peak Health’s board, said the new company will be a key component of WVU Medicine’s effort to create a comprehensive system that “allows us to focus on improving the health of a patient and lowering the cost of care.”

    “That is now a fundamental belief for us at WVU Medicine. It is something that I believe in 100%, our leadership team believes is necessary and our board of directors as well,” he said. “When something is a fundamental belief that you feel in your bones that you need to do to achieve your mission, you have to figure out different ways to go at it.”

    While the new company will be fully owned by WVU Medicine, the health system’s leadership chose to brand it as its own distinct entity, Wright said.

    “The reason we’re doing it as a new organization is that we want this to be something that others participate in,” he said. “This is not a narrow network health care product, but rather, hopefully, a product that other health systems join in with us and start to build that statewide network to improve the heath of West Virginia and the other areas we serve.”

    Peak Health has already established its corporate headquarters in Morgantown and there are plans for other offices throughout the state, Wright said.

    “What you won’t see is any outsourcing abroad or outsourcing to Pittsburgh or Hartford, Connecticut, or Minnesota,” he said. “A lot of large payers have a few players in the local market, but a lot of the back-end work is being done out-of-state. That’s just money that’s leaving our state. We want to keep it in our state and reinvest in our communities.”

    The leadership at WVU Medicine plans to invest about $15 million into the company for initial startup costs and estimate it will spend about $10 million annually to cover operations costs, Gerber said.

    The new company will lead to about 100 new jobs, with 10 already hired, Gerber said.

    “We’re thinking 10 years-plus out,” he said. “This is a 10-year journey, not a three- or a five-year journey. I think we have the commitment of our organization to see this through. This is a long-term commitment to the state.”

    Original Article by: WV News ; Senior Staff Writer Charles Young can be reached at cyoung@theet.com

  3. WVU & State Announce Remote Worker Program

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    “I may have spent the first 22 years of my life dreaming of a way out, but I can tell you with clear eyes and full heart I’ve spent every day since looking for a way back home.”

    Intuit executive and Kenova native Brad Smith hopes his words inspire others to seek out the West Virginia he loves, building a better future for themselves and the state through a new remote worker program which announced three initial host communities March 23 – Morgantown, Shepherdstown and Lewisburg.

    The program, supported by the State and West Virginia University through a $25 million gift from Smith and his wife, Alys, is differentiated from others by its unique outdoor recreation components. The program targets fully employed individuals from outside the state who can work anywhere and want to be part of a contemporary, experience-driven lifestyle. Outdoor enthusiasts or young families who are inspired to help create a more diverse, inclusive and purposeful community will be given preference in a competitive application process.”

    Article By: Morgantown Area Partnership <info@morgantownpartnership.com>

    https://mailchi.mp/morgantownpartnership/memo033021?e=14d976a769

    Read more about it here: https://provost.wvu.edu/centers-institutes/oedc

    Mission And Vision

    The mission of the OEDC is to enhance the quality of life for WV citizens by connecting people to outdoor recreation in our state and by growing the state’s outdoor recreation economy.

    We are evaluating the strategies that other outdoor-oriented states have used to explode their outdoor recreation revenue, grow their population and improve the health of their citizens, and we are working towards creating those same results here in WV. This includes creating awareness of the unique wealth of beautiful spaces where our citizens and visitors can recreate in; acquiring grants to build beginner mountain biking trails and other outdoor recreation projects; developing incentives for businesses and entrepreneurs to move to and remain in WV; and developing a marketing campaign to rewrite the narrative for West Virginia.

    Building a vibrant community of citizens who love to play outdoors and have the job opportunities to stay and thrive in WV cannot be done without engaging our most valuable asset, our youth. The OEDC offers invaluable learning experiences to youth through the Science Adventure School and Science Behind the Sport. These programs are dedicated to empowering and educating West Virginia’s youth through linking outdoor education, recreation, and science. Sparking both their love of learning and being outside, we are building steppingstones to the next generation of innovators, educators and outdoor enthusiasts.

    Reshaping the state is an undertaking only achievable by bringing together as many community partners as possible, if you are invested in seeing WV reach its potential, we want to include your voice in our public discussions held around the state. By building alliances between West Virginia University, educators, state and local governments, outdoor industry, and outdoor enthusiasts, we will redefine our state and enhance the quality of life for the citizens of West Virginia.

     

  4. Virgin Hyperloop to build Hyperloop Certification Center in West Virginia

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    (Additional information, including resources from the State of West Virginia, West Virginia University and Marshall University, is available in an online media supplement.)

    West Virginia, birth place of Chuck Yeager, the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound, will now be at the center of developing the next innovation in barrier-breaking transportation.

    Virgin Hyperloop announced Thursday, Oct. 8, that it will locate a certification facility on nearly 800 acres of land spanning Tucker and Grant counties where it will leverage intellectual capital and resources from West Virginia University, Marshall University and from across the state.

    “West Virginia is well-positioned to provide a fully integrated solution that advances the nationwide opportunity for hyperloop,” Jay Walder, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop, said. “The engineering and scientific talent, combined with the skilled workforce and collaborative spirit we know is critical to this project, is all right here.”

    Hyperloop moves people and goods in pods through a vacuum tube at speeds exceeding 600 mph enabling travel from Pittsburgh to Chicago in 41 minutes or New York City to Washington, D.C. in just 30 minutes.

    Walder noted that the Hyperloop Certification Center’s role is critical, a necessary next step in taking proven technology and demonstrating to regulators and certifiers that it works and is safe for passengers.

    Work on the HCC is expected to begin in 2021 with a planned Welcome Center, Certification Track and Operations Center, Pod Final Assembly Facility, Production Development Test Center and Operations, Maintenance and Safety Training Center.

    Virgin Hyperloop plans to directly hire 150-200 engineers and technicians for the facility with plans to source talent locally. In addition, the construction and manufacturing of the project will create 7,300 jobs throughout the region over the next five years and the longer-term operation phase will create 6,000.

    WVU’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research predicts the total economic impact of the Center’s ongoing operation on the West Virginia economy to be $48 million annually.

    “Today is a fantastic day for the state of West Virginia, and I’d like to be the first to officially welcome the folks from Virgin Hyperloop to their new home,” Gov. Jim Justice said. “For years, I have been saying that West Virginia is the best kept secret on the East Coast, and it’s true. Just look at this announcement and all it will bring to our state—investment, jobs, and tremendous growth. It’s a true honor and privilege to be selected as the site for the Hyperloop Certification Center and lead the nation in this next step forward for transportation. When we approached Virgin Hyperloop, I told them that we would do everything we could to bring this opportunity to West Virginia. We look forward to working with the Virgin Hyperloop team to create a lasting partnership for years to come.”

    The land, owned by Western Pocahontas Properties and located near Mt. Storm, is being donated to the WVU Foundation in partnership with Virgin Hyperloop.

    “As part of this process, Western Pocahontas Properties employed some of the world’s best environmental planners, including SWCA Environmental Consultants, Planned Environments, Inc. and others, to ensure this new development would complement the area’s uniqueness and beauty,” Corby Robertson, owner of Western Pocahontas Properties, said. “This thorough planning and commitment to our community and environment make this site very attractive to Virgin Hyperloop because they share our values for sustainable growth.”

    However, the anticipated reach extends far beyond the state’s borders.

    “I am committed to building a consortium of universities from around the country who will lend their expertise to further develop the vision of hyperloop,” WVU President Gordon Gee said. “We will also create educational and institutional opportunities for students, faculty and staff to be a part of this program. There is no greater learning lab than what we will build here in West Virginia.”

    Marshall University has worked closely with WVU and others throughout the process.

    “Higher Education institutions are hubs for research, innovation and talent,” Marshall University President Jerome Gilbert said. “Colleges and universities help build and strengthen our communities and in this partnership with Virgin Hyperloop, the awesome opportunity to build the communities of the future is now at our doorstep.”

    The West Virginia Community and Technical College System will also play a key role in helping to create education and job training programs

    Sarah Biller, executive director of Vantage Ventures at WVU, explained these partnerships will help to generate additional interest in a number of innovative projects starting up across West Virginia.

    “This is another example that proves we actually can attract investors, attract the talent and really reframe the conversation for our future,” Biller said.

     

    Read article from source HERE

    Posted on October 8, 2020

    CONTACT: April Kaull, Executive Director of Communications/University Relations
    304-293-3990; akaull@mail.wvu.edu

  5. WVU Board of Governors OKs Three Major Construction Projects and Financing

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    Citing the need to “improve the quality of student life, enrich academic experience, enhance student services, and respond to students’ needs,” the West Virginia University Board of Governors unanimously approved construction plans Wednesday for three major projects totaling $176 million.

    The projects will be funded by a combination of private donations, auxiliary revenue, private financing (bonds) and reserves.

    The projects are:

    · $100 million for construction of Reynolds Hall, the new home of the John Chambers College of Business and Economics on the site of the former Stansbury Hall on the banks of the Monongahela River.

    · $35 million for renovation of Hodges Hall classroom building, which has seen no major renovation since its opening in 1954.

    · $41 million for the next two phases of upgrades to Milan Puskar Center.

    At nearly 180,000-square-feet, Reynolds Hall, named for alumni and financier Robert Reynolds, “will not only be transformational in what it provides West Virginia University from an academic perspective, but it will also recast a portion of Morgantown’s waterfront into a hub of business activity. The true differentiator for the John Chambers College will be that of experiential learning and the overall role it plays in the student experience,” the University said in documents outlining the plan. “Reynolds Hall will encourage and stimulate a model of education that reflects a blend of classroom learning with experiences outside the classroom, ranging from learning labs to events, and from group participation-based projects to training designed to ready students for their careers.

    The demolition of Stansbury Hall has already begun. Reynolds Hall is expected to be ready for occupancy by June of 2022. The proposed Hodges Hall renovation is proposed to include contemporary classrooms; computer classrooms; seminar and meeting rooms; updated office spaces; improved technology for teaching; and a 210-seat testing center. The Board was told the testing center is critical as there is currently no centralized center on campus. This center will help improve the testing process and continue progress toward making academic integrity a hallmark of our academic delivery. Eberly College of Arts and Sciences’ Women and Gender Studies, Native American Studies and World Languages, Literature, and Linguistics will occupy the upper floors. Occupancy is planned for June of 2021.

    The work at Milan Puskar Center includes expansion and renovation of spaces that are more than 10 years old, including the home team locker room, player lounge, equipment room, recovery suite, infrastructure, Hall of Traditions, offices, team meeting rooms and other support spaces. The locker room layout is inefficient for team meetings and is not large enough to support the full team roster. Included in the renovations are upgrades to the building infrastructure, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, along with AV and technology upgrades to support current and future phases of the renovation. The project should be complete by July of 2021.

    The Board also unanimously approved the issuing of up to $110 million in revenue bonds to finance a portion of the projects. A second financing may occur toward the end of 2020. The Board also authorized the reissuing of up to $55 million in previously issued debt that is callable in October of this year. Board members Charles Capito and Taunja Willis Miller both recused themselves from consideration of the financing because their employers are involved in the bond process. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the board is set for Sept. 13 in Morgantown.

    Article by WVU. Click HERE to read original article.

  6. Morgantown, WV – 2018 Top 100 Best Places to Live

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    #43

    On the Best Places to Live list for 2018, Morgantown appears on Livability.com’s Top 10 Cities for Affordable Health Care. Known primarily as home to West Virginia University and its 30,000 students, Morgantown has a wide variety of housing options and neighborhoods as well as downtown shops, restaurants and entertainment nightspots for students and residents. The median age here is 22.6 years old, which contributes to a youthful and fun local culture.

    Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) provides university students with free travel between the spread-out WVU campuses. With amenities like Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park and the Monongalia Arts Center at their fingertips, Morgantown residents never run out of things to do.

    Article by LIVABILITY

  7. Happy 2018! Another Year Is In The Record Books

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    We hope you and your family had an enjoyable holiday season. The new year is a time to reflect and project. This monthly Black Diamond Realty newsletter reflects on 2017 while providing our projections pertaining to north central West Virginia’s economic activity in 2018.

    It was a record breaking year for Black Diamond and many other companies in north central WV. While north central WV remains consistently vibrant, the tides are slowly turning for the state as a whole, and WV’s entire economic fleet appears to be heading toward brighter days. Several critical sectors led the charge with positive economic announcements in 2017.

    Energy was the cream that rose to the top. Several large pipeline projects are at various stages of construction with the finish line inching closer. Pipelines open up regional, metropolitan markets to WV’s gas production. A cracker plant is under construction in Beaver County, PA with rumors of potentially two additional crackers being built in OH and WV (Parkersburg area). Crackers dissect elements of natural gas into various chemicals which should result in a manufacturing expansion for companies who want to be near critical elements of their production process. Pipelines and crackers are creating a newfound buzz for the energy sector. Black Diamond can testify to the energy sector’s expansion in 2017: Industrial sector leads paced other sectors with a total of 133 unique leads. Black Diamond closed 13 deals with energy related entities.

    The buzz does not stop at our state or even national borders. China Energy Investment Corp signed a memorandum of understanding with WV leadership to invest $83.7 billion over 20 years in various energy related ventures.  Power plants are one potential investment angle. Two gas fired power plants are at varying phases of approval to be constructed in the region. One is in Harrison County. Click here to learn more: http://harrisoncountypower.com/  Oil and gas activity is energizing our regional economy by bringing high paying jobs to our market. The money from these jobs is spent on housing (hotels, apartments), food (grocery stores, restaurants) and entertainment.

    Infrastructure has been a hot topic in West Virginia for many decades. Band-aids have been our state’s application of choice. However, 2017 brought a different style of leadership aimed at changing WV’s story. Governor Justice and his team formulated a plan to use future promised tax dollars to secure ~$3 billion worth of funds to complete road infrastructure improvement projects. Our roads have already benefitted from the Roads to Prosperity Amendment and should improve further over the next decade. Infrastructure is a critical variable for many sectors considering economic expansion.

    Since accepting his role as WVU’s 24th President, Dr. E. Gordon Gee has been focused on expanding the university’s outreach while maintaining its mission of supporting prosperity for the mountain state. WVU Medicine has been aggressively expanding with 2017 announcements that include a $150 million, 10-story children’s and women’s tower on WVU Medicine’s main campus, a $12 million inpatient residential drug treatment facility near Mylan Park (Morgantown), plus it opened a $13.9 million, 25,000 square foot new outpatient facility in Fairmont, WV. Mon General Hospital is also in expansion mode. North central WV should welcome this “medical arms race” as it directly results in a higher quality of life via greater healthcare access, plus economic benefits, including high paying jobs.

    So, what do we have to look forward to in 2018? The energy sector will carry 2017’s momentum into the new year and we will begin to see the fruits of the road bond’s labor as construction projects start. with the additional expansion by WVU Medicine and two prominent interstate developments (White Oaks Business Park in Bridgeport and West Ridge in Morgantown), north central WV will see significant growth with many positive announcements. As the aforementioned economic drivers come to fruition, other areas in the state are also poised for growth. Also, since businesses will have greater discretionary capital to put to work under Trump’s new tax plan, look for businesses to be more aggressive with expansion efforts and hiring practices.

    Best wishes for a joyous and prosperous 2018!

  8. August Newsletter

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    View our August Newsletter: NEW Par Mar Store + Restaurant Opening Soon In Morgantown

    Click Here!

  9. UNIVERSITY PARK IHOP® RESTAURANT HOSTS GRAND OPENING BENEFITING WVU MEDICINE CHILDREN’S

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    University Park – IHOP Grand Opening Celebration
    Pancake Eating Competition to Follow Formal Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

    WHAT:   IHOP® Restaurants will celebrate the Grand Opening of its University Park location on January 29, with 10 percent of the day’s sales benefitting WVU Medicine Children’s from 7am – 10pm. The fun filled event will feature an official ribbon cutting ceremony, words from IHOP Franchisee Bob Sharp, WVU Medicine Children’s Vice President, IHOP’s President, as well as a representative from the Morgantown Chamber of Commerce. The event will conclude with a pancake eating competition showdown.

    WHERE:  475 Oakland Street, Morgantown, WV 26505

    WHY:  The new IHOP location boasts the restaurant brand’s new contemporary design and is one of the first IHOP restaurants to also feature an IHOP Coffee Bar.  It is located on the ground floor of the new contemporary mixed-use residence hall and apartment complex known as University Park and next to WVU Medicine Children’s which improves and saves the lives of children in the Morgantown area. IHOP restaurants nationwide have raised $20 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals through its annual National Pancake Day celebration.

    WHEN:  FRIDAY, January 29, 2016

    • Ribbon Cutting Ceremony 9:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.
    • Pancake Eating Competition to follow at 10 a.m.
    • 10% of sales benefitting WVU Medicine Children’s from 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.

    WHO:
    – West Virginia University President, E. Gordon Gee
    – WVU Medicine Children’s Vice President, J. Philip Saul, M.D.
    – IHOP President, Darren Rebelez
    – IHOP Franchisees, Bob Sharp and Tommy Tsitouris
    – Morgantown Chamber of Commerce Representatives
    – West Virginia University Student Organizations

    ABOUT INTERNATIONAL HOUSE OF PANCAKES, LLC
    For over 57 years, International House of Pancakes, LLC has been a leader, innovator and expert in all things breakfast, any time of day. The chain offers 65 different signature, fresh made-to-order breakfast options, a wide selection of popular lunch and dinner items as well as meals under 600 calories. IHOP restaurants offer guests an affordable, everyday dining experience with warm and friendly service. As of September 30, 2015, there were 1,667 IHOP restaurants in 50 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam as well as Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and the Philippines. IHOP restaurants are franchised and operated by Glendale, Calif.-based International House of Pancakes, LLC and its affiliates. International House of Pancakes, LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of DineEquity, Inc. (NYSE: DIN).