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Tag Archive: WVU Medicine

  1. WVU Medicine to Relocate and Expand WVU Eye Institute

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    The WVU Eye Institute, the most comprehensive ophthalmology group in the state, will expand its clinical, educational, and research efforts when it moves into its new location at the intersection of Van Voorhis Road and Elmer Prince Drive in Morgantown.

    The WVU Health System Board of Directors approved $233.5 million in funding to construct the new multi-center outpatient facility on Wednesday (April 17). It will also include a multi-level parking garage with more than 1,100 spaces. The project is subject to regulatory approval.

    “We are excited to partner with the Eye Institute to build a world-class facility that can accelerate and expand its mission of providing the most advanced and specialized eye care to the people of West Virginia,” Michael Grace, Ed.D., M.B.A., F.A.C.H.E., president of WVU Hospitals and chief administrative officer of the WVU Health System, said.

    “A new structure for the Eye Institute also gives us additional room as we start to plan for the construction of a new cancer hospital that would be part of the J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital medical complex.”

    The construction of the more than 150,000-square-foot facility will allow the WVU Eye Institute to better meet the needs of its patients, as it will result in a substantial increase in exam and testing rooms. The current WVU Eye Institute has 60 exam rooms and 13 testing rooms; plans for the new Institute include space for 102 exam rooms and 44 testing rooms. The new facility will also include surgical suites.

    “This is an exciting moment for the Eye Institute as it looks to a future of growth and expansion to serve our patients better, especially for those patients who need our highly specialized eye care,” Thomas Mauger, M.D., executive chair of the WVU Eye Institute and chair of the WVU Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, said. “We are the only provider in the state and in the neighboring regions in Maryland, Ohio, and Pennsylvania for most of the conditions we treat.”

    According to Dr. Mauger, the size and scale of the new facility will enable his team to be able to respond better to the brisk demand for the specialized services of the Eye Institute. A larger facility will also enable the Eye Institute to recruit more providers and expand its service offerings. It will increase the number of trainees the Institute can accommodate to continue to grow the next generation of ophthalmologists and will allow for the expansion of clinical research into new treatments for the diseases and conditions that most affect the people of the state and region.

    “Located in a state with the second highest rate of visual disability in the nation, we are discovering new ways to prevent, treat, and slow the progression of incurable eye diseases,” Mauger said. “With this new facility, we will be able to add faculty, space, and funding to continue expanding these efforts — and breaking new ground along the way.”

    For more information on the WVU Eye Institute, visit


    Original Article on

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  2. Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust makes $50 million gift to build new cancer hospital

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    The cancer care available to West Virginians took a further, dramatic, and positive turn today (April 2) with a transformational gift of $50 million that the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust is making to the West Virginia University (WVU) Cancer Institute. The gift will be the catalyst for a new, state-of-the-art, comprehensive cancer hospital that is part of the WVU Medicine J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital complex in Morgantown.

    “This is a special day for West Virginia and for the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust. Hazel would want us to do this and be very happy,” Steve Farmer, chair of the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust, said. “We all know someone in our lives who has been impacted by cancer. The new Hazel Ruby McQuain Comprehensive Cancer Hospital will serve all West Virginians.”

    The Hazel Ruby McQuain Comprehensive Cancer Hospital of the WVU Cancer Institute will be a multi-story building that offers the most advanced cancer surgical procedures, treatments, therapies, and clinical trials on both an inpatient and outpatient basis. The Cancer Hospital will include inpatient surgical suites; procedural rooms; inpatient rooms for those requiring overnight or extended stays; outpatient clinics; dining services (including a cafeteria); an outpatient pharmacy; and a flower and gift shop.

    “We are deeply grateful to the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust for making this amazing gift to the WVU Cancer Institute,” Albert L. Wright, Jr., president and CEO of the WVU Health System, said. “This continues Hazel Ruby McQuain’s desire and vision to develop a full-service medical campus and complex in Morgantown that serves as the state’s flagship academic medical center. On one end, we now have a full-service Children’s Hospital; on the opposite end, we will have a full-service Cancer Hospital – two bookends that will be roughly the same size, scale, and scope.”

    The Cancer Hospital will be a foundational element of the WVU Cancer Institute as it pursues National Cancer Institute designation, the gold-standard for cancer institutes. Last June, the State of West Virginia separately provided the WVU Cancer Institute with a $50 million supplemental appropriation in support of NCI designation, a process that typically takes five-to-seven years.

    “I cannot thank the trustees of the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust enough for this magnificent gift – it is a true game-changer,” Gordon Gee, WVU president and chair of the WVU Health System Board of Directors, said. “A gift of this magnitude will be a multiplier that will lead not only to a new, state-of-the-art cancer hospital on our Health Sciences campus but also attract new researchers and care providers who will want to come to West Virginia to help address one of our most pressing health issues.”

    Development of the Cancer Hospital itself is subject to certain approvals from the WVU Health System and WVU Hospitals governing boards, as well as various regulatory authorities, and will occur over the next several years as the Health System updates its campus plan to account for the new hospital.

    In 1983, Hazel Ruby McQuain, a noted business and community leader and philanthropist, donated $8.5 million that made the construction of J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital possible. Today, it has grown into a nationally recognized, 881-bed academic medical center.

    “The people of West Virginia deserve to have access to the best care possible for all types of cancer, especially those that are so prevalent in our state, such as lung, breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers,” Clay B. Marsh, M.D., chancellor and executive dean of WVU Health Sciences, said. “We are so grateful to the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust for recognizing this great need and for the generous gift that will impact our ability to provide the highest level of care and research for our patients now and for decades to come.”

    The new Cancer Hospital will enable the WVU Cancer Institute’s clinical leadership to provide the Institute’s existing multidisciplinary care under one roof, as the best outcomes happen when members from all cancer disciplines including surgicalmedicalradiation oncologists and other cancer specialists work together in multidisciplinary cancer treatment. The WVU Cancer Institute’s care teams focus on brain and spinebreastendocrinegastrointestinalgenitourinarygynecologichead and neckblood cancerslymphoma and myelomamelanoma and skinbone and soft tissue, and thoracic cancer care.

    Several treatment and specialty teams and services are integrated into patient care, including cancer prevention and educationclinical researchCAR T-cell therapycardio-oncology, outreach, genetics, integrative medicine, pain management, reconstructive surgery, and rehabilitation, among others. Cancer research, and integrating that research into these multidisciplinary teams, is also critical to improving cancer outcomes. As such, the new Cancer Hospital will provide the space and structure to enhance the Institute’s existing research programs and allow for growth in research.

    “This gift will revolutionize our ability to provide highly specialized cancer care to people from all corners of West Virginia and the region,” Hannah Hazard-Jenkins, M.D., executive chair and director of the WVU Cancer Institute, said. “The generosity of this gift will have a direct impact on the patients we serve and make a real difference. We are grateful to the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust for carrying out Hazel’s mission of providing hope and improving lives.”

    The gift was made through the WVU Foundation, the nonprofit organization that receives and administers private donations on behalf of the University and its affiliated entities.

    “Mrs. McQuain lived her life according to a humble philosophy: ‘What we are is God’s gift to us. What we become is our gift to God.’ She has undoubtedly been an incredible gift to this community, and we are grateful for the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust’s ongoing generosity in her memory,” Cindi Roth, president and CEO of the WVU Foundation, said.

    For more information on the WVU Cancer Institute, visit


    Original Article by WVU

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  3. New WVU Medicine Rehab Center Being Built at University Town Center

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    WVU Medicine announced on Wednesday that construction has begun on a new Outpatient Rehabilitation Center in Granville.

    It will be located near the WVU Medicine University Town Centre clinic and will offer aquatic therapy, manual and exercise-based therapies, soft tissue and joint mobilization, post-surgical care, stroke care, functional capacity evaluations and lymphedema care, according to a press release.

    “We’re excited to be able to offer comprehensive rehabilitation consisting of three disciplines that all work together for the betterment of our clients,” said Jordan Feathers, who has been named the director of the new center.

    “Adding this state-of-the-art rehabilitation facility in Morgantown will fill a void in our continuum of care and further enhance the world-class care we provide,” said Darin Rogers, chief ambulatory officer for WVU Medicine.

    Plans for the new center were first announced last August, and the estimated completion date is in the second quarter of 2024.

    For more information on the WVU Medicine outpatient facility at University Town Centre, visit


    Original Article by Sam Kirk on

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  4. Three New Tenants to Join WVU Innovation Corporation

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    The West Virginia University Innovation Corporation (WVUIC) announced Monday that three new science and technology tenants — California-based GATC Health Corp and Yunigen, LLC, and Morgantown-based ExesaLibero Pharma — will be leasing space in the Chestnut Ridge Road facility.

    WVU and the West Virginia University Health System, commonly branded as WVU Medicine, officially took ownership of the 1.1 million square foot property in March 2022 and have been handling daily operations of the facility since. It previously served as the Mylan pharmaceutical manufacturing facility. The Innovation Corporation announced Hope Gas as its first tenant in August.

    “We are very excited to have three innovative companies joining us at the Innovation Corporation as we continue to build a leading-edge science and technology hub that benefits the broader community,” Stacey K. Armstrong, president of the WVU Innovation Corporation, said. “These new partners share our vision of establishing collaborative technology innovative and will be excellent research and development partners with the Health System, University, and State of West Virginia.”

    ExesaLibero Pharma, which was formed to complete preclinical toxicology and efficacy studies on a small molecule drug designed to control excess bone erosion associated with rheumatoid arthritis, will lease 1,034 square feet of laboratory space for drug development.

    “The laboratory facilities at the WVUIC are ideal for the continuation of the work we started on the WVU Health Sciences campus,” John Barnett, Ph.D., president and chief scientific officer of ExesaLibero and professor and chair of the WVU School of Medicine Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cell Biology, said. “We look forward to moving into these facilities.”

    GATC Health, a technology company “revolutionizing drug discovery and disease prediction using artificial intelligence (AI),” will lease more than 7,000 square feet of lab and office space to establish an AI hub to develop safer and more effective medicines with greater efficiency.

    Tyrone Lam, GATC chief operating officer, said Appalachia is the best place to continue development of two of the drugs GATC is working on — one for treating PTSD and the other to treat fentanyl addiction — as they have the potential to have the greatest impact in the region. The space within the WVUIC, he said, “is almost turnkey and will help us bring these important treatments to people sooner.”

    But, the one thing that stood out to the GATC team, was the “can-do spirit” of the WVUIC, WVU Medicine, and WVU leadership.

    “There is no ‘no’ or ‘not now,’ it’s ‘how do we get this done?” he said. “There’s a genuine curiosity and desire to establish a true center of innovation to develop better medicines. We’ve been welcomed with open arms.”

    Yunigen, a pharma company with a vision of making a difference in drug discovery, development, and commercialization, will lease 25,000 square feet of space with plans for expansion to manufacture rapid dissolvable Hydroxyurea tablets in 100 mg and 500 mg for pediatric sickle cell anemia patients in Africa. Its next phase is to manufacture high quality and affordable branded generic drugs in the U.S.

    Charles E. Otieno, M.D., managing partner and chief medical officer of Yunigen, said the company’s two-year search for a manufacturing location took them to several states, including Connecticut, New York, Minnesota, Ohio, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and North and South Carolina. The WVUIC property, unlike the others they toured, had “all the bells and whistles.”

    “This is what we were looking for because WVU preserved the intended use of the facility,” he said. “This has the potential for Morgantown to make its mark on emerging markets and will change the course of this disease. It will be a symbol of pride.”

    For more information about the WVU Innovation Corporation, visit

    Original Article By Matt Harvey on

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  5. The Power of Basic Job Announcements

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    Location remains the golden rule when making real estate investment and development decisions. Buying and developing in a growing, diversified market heightens the likelihood an investor/developer will make a profitable decision that meets discount rate thresholds. Your 401K and SEP IRA advisors have drilled diversification into your brain. While location, including the importance of a diversified market, is a critical driver of real estate success, there is more to making a profitable real estate investment. Determining whether an investment decision will meet an investor’s discount rate (preferred rate of return) can be a tedious, dynamic, and complicated process. Understanding market dynamics is critical to any successful real estate investment or development. This article will provide a crystal ball on how to decipher market stability while having a tool to help project market growth.

    What is the single biggest impact on a local economic area? Jobs. But – and that is a big BUT – not all jobs are created equal. “Basic employment” is the queen to driving an economy. Basic employment is made up of industries that rely on external factors (beyond the local economic area) to fuel demand. Basic employment produces and/or supplies more goods and services than can be consumed by the local economic area (Ex:  Morgantown MSA) which results in consumption outside of the local community. Examples of basic employers close to BDR’s home base include NIOSH, WVU Medicine and Mitsbuishi. On the other hand, non-basic employment depends almost entirely on local demand. Non-basic employment is defined as goods and services that are solely (or almost solely) consumed by the local economic area. Examples of non-basic employers include dental practices, pediatricians, hair stylists, and restaurants.

    The two types work together. Non-basic employment supports the demand created by basic employment. This inflow of dollar (increased purchasing power) comes from outside the local economic area. The Economic Base Multiplier (EBM) is a measure that provides an estimate of how changes in basic employment will affect total employment, number of households and purchasing power within a local economic area.

    Site To Do Business is an excellent tool for this type of analysis. The bullet points below provide Economic Base Multiplier data for several Multiple Statistical Areas (MSA) within three hours of Morgantown, WV.

    • Morgantown MSA:  4.06
    • Martinsburg, WV/Hagerstown, MD MSA:  6.56
    • Wheeling, WV MSA 3.26
    • Pittsburgh, PA MSA 9.69
    • Parkersburg/Vienna, WV MSA:  2.65
    • Charleston, WV MSA 1.73
    • Huntington, WV/Ashland, KY MSA:  1.80

    Over the past 12 months, West Virginia has enjoyed significant economic momentum. 

    Mitsibishi is in the process of bringing an additional 240 jobs to Harrison County. Another deal is in the works for Morgantown Industrial Park which could bring ~150 jobs with scalability for much greater employment.  Beyond north central WV, Green Energy recently announced their intent to build electric buses in a new South Charleston manufacturing facility. Green Energy plans to hire 200 jobs initially with potential to scale to 900 WV workers within 24 months. Nucor is constructing a $2.7B, state-of-the-art steel making mill in Mason County, WV. Once fully operational, anticipated employment is 800.

    Economic base multiplier theory tells us total job creation is well beyond the job announcements highlighted above. Utilizing the closest MSA’s EBM results in the following jobs created:

    • Mitsubishi:  Utilizing Morgantown MSA’s EBM, 240 basic jobs results in 974 total new employees.
    • Confidential User Utilizing Morgantown MSA’s EMB, 150 basic jobs results in 609 total new employees.
    • Green Energy Utilizing Charleston MSA’s EBM, 200 initial basic jobs results in 346 total new employees.  Assuming the operation scales to projected capacity, 900 basic jobs results in 1,557 total new employees.
    • Nucor Utilizing Parkersburg MSA’s EBM, 800 basic jobs results in 2,120 total new employees.

    Jobs drive an economy. Basic jobs lead to other support jobs, called non-basic, which is calculated via the economic base multiplier.

    There are two final steps to fully understand the total impact of these announcements. Our goal is to understand the total dollars flowing into a community as a result of new basic jobs. The next step in the calculation process is to multiply the total jobs by the average household size to get an estimate on total population. The final step is to multiply total households by the average median household income. West Virginia’s state average household contains 2.4 individuals. As of 2019, West Virginia has the following statistics: Average household income is $63,680. Median household income is $46,711. Per capita income is $26,480.

    The four announcements highlighted in this article result in guaranteed basic employment (could be more as the business scales) of 1,290. The economic base multiplier calculation provided a total new employment calculation of 4,049 new basic and non-basic jobs. The average household size is 2.4 individuals resulting in 9,718 individuals moving to and or being retained in West Virginia. The purchasing power of these individuals is determined by multiplying per capita income by the number of individuals. These four announcements result in a total increase in purchasing power of $257,332,640. For perspective, West Virginia’s 2020 annual budget was $4.495 billion. The four announcements represent purchasing power equal to 5.7% of West Virginia’s annual budget. These are big announcements for Almost Heaven!

    Black Diamond Realty is hopeful this information provides a greater understanding of the dynamic analysis and projections that should be considered when making real estate investment decisions. Economists use many tools, including economic base multiplier, to determine the overall effect on a local economic area. Our team of experts looks forward to working with you on your next project.



    Article By: David Lorenze, Principal
    Co-Writer: Kim Licciardi, Senior Associate 

  6. $20 Million Small Format Hospital Approved – Fairmont

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    Mon Health CEO says project will be finished by the end of 2021.

    Mon Health System received its Certificate of Need from the West Virginia Health Care Authority to proceed with plans to construct a $20 million, small format hospital in Fairmont. Mon Health CEO David Goldberg said the next step is to put the project out for bid. Construction, he said, should take 16 months to complete.

    We’ll be open by the end of the year 2021,” he said. The 10-bed hospital, dubbed Mon Health Marion Neighborhood Hospital, will be constructed on land the health system already owns along Interstate 79 near Fresenius Kidney Care in Pleasant Valley. Small format hospitals are accredited by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to offer hospital-based services that include inpatient and outpatient medical beds, diagnostic imaging and lab services and full-service emergency services. The hospital will not have an operating room, a Cath lab or offices, Goldberg said. When it is up and running, it will be the first small format hospital in West Virginia, several of which already exist in the Greater Pittsburgh area. More than 100 people are expected to work at the facility, Goldberg said.

    The Fairmont area has been without a full-service hospital since the 207-bed Fairmont Regional Medical Center was closed in March by its California-based owner, Alecto Healthcare Services, after it could not find a buyer for the facility. Alecto said the hospital lost $19 million in three years. West Virginia University Medicine will begin using a portion of the shuttered Fairmont Regional later this year after it receives its separate CON from the state Health Care Authority. That facility will act as an arm of J.W. Ruby Memorial, WVU Medicine’s flagship hospital. WVU Medicine also filed for a second CON from the state to construct a 25-bed, full-service hospital next to its Urgent Care Center at the Gateway Connector, a $35.3 million project estimated to take 18 to 24 months to complete.

    Article by Suzanne Elliott, The Dominion Post

  7. Marcellus/Utica Poised for Growth as Another Big Shale Play Slows Down

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    An expected drop over the next couple of years in the country’s hot crude oil and natural gas play, the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico, will end up benefitting the Marcellus and Utica in the future, according to a natural gas executive.

    What has happened in the Permian has so far had a big impact here in Pennsylvania and the rest of Appalachia, which is the largest gas field in the country but doesn’t have the same output in crude oil. The mostly oil play has been booming over the last few years, and it has been throwing off natural gas and natural gas liquids in such quantities that it’s almost giving away natural gas and liquids. For natural gas producers in the Marcellus and Utica Shale, who are trying to make money off the gas produced here, the Permian associated gas has been dropping prices as well as competing for capital.

    But some projections show the Permian’s rapid growth may be declining — and the Energy Information Administration reported earlier in 2019 that year-over-year production growth has slowed from a peak in 2018. The Marcellus and Utica, for instance, continue to grow production. John Powell, SVP of marketing, supply and logistics for Crestwood Equity Partners LP, told the Marcellus Utica Midstream Conference on Thursday morning in downtown Pittsburgh, said that poses an opportunity after 2024 in Appalachia to provide for the natural gas liquids like ethane, propane and butane.

    “That gas is going to come from the Marcellus and Utica area,” said Powell. Crestwood Equity (NYSE: CEQP), a master limited partnership for midstream operations that has assets in the region, believes there’s pretty much enough pipeline capacity, with small exceptions, in the Marcellus and the Utica to handle the liquids that would need to be transported. But, Powell said, there might need to be more fractionation capacity – processing plants like MarkWest and Blue Racer Midstream — that processes natural gas into liquids.

    Despite a somewhat downbeat tone to the first day of the conference due to the immediate and near future term for natural gas producers and the midstream companies that take the gas from the field to market, Thursday’s sessions were more positive about the outlook. Presenters talked about challenges, including regulatory and activist. But they also said that the Marcellus and Utica midstream industry is likely to see growth with the use of ethane, a natural gas byproduct, as the raw feedstock for the Shell petrochemical plant in Beaver County as well as one proposed in Belmont County, Ohio, and potential other petrochemical plants that will spring up. And there’s also a potential to export more natural gas liquids to the rest of the world for future development. But the fast production growth has meant that there’s a lot of product that doesn’t have anywhere to go yet, said Jeff Pinter, EVP of NGL Liquids, a division of midstream provider NGL Energy Partners LP (NYSE: NGL).

    “The future is very bright. There’s a lot of demand coming … but we’re a little early on supply,” Pinter said.

    The main market for export in the future will be Asia, Pinter said. But those plants haven’t been built yet.

    And, said Wally Kandel, SVP of Solvay Specialty Polymers USA as well as a founding member of Shale Crescent USA, there are lots of opportunities to use the natural gas liquids here, either as polyethylene and polypropylene plants or in downstream manufacturing facilities.


    Article By Paul J. Gough, Pittsburgh Business Times

  8. First Look: West Virginia University’s Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute

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    Walking through the new WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute’s Innovation Center, you get the feeling you’re trodding into the future of the treatment of brain disorders and the scientific methods to improve human performance.

    One device, with only a handful in the world like it, delivers focused ultrasound from 1,000 different ultrasound emitters in a single helmet that is placed on the head. It has already been used by WVU Medicine doctors to successfully open the blood-brain barrier to allow for better treatment of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Another system has the patient puts on a multicolored cap with emitters and a handheld wand delivers transcranial magnetic stimulation to treat addiction and Alzheimer’s. And around the innovation center, there’s technology from souped-up gaming systems and virtual reality to a cryogenic chamber to speed workout recovery and a system that maps the nervous system, from head to toe.

    And that’s just scratching RNI’s surface.

    When the Rockefeller family and WVU Medicine envisioned the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, they sought a center that would draw leading experts in the fields of brain science and human performance as well as a place where cutting-edge treatments could be developed and deployed. That’s coming to fruition in the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, which opened officially earlier this year and has been breaking ground in the field. The finishing touches are being put on the Innovation Center, on the WVU Health System campus in Morgantown, West Virginia, where researchers are working and where patients will be welcomed for the latest advances.

    It’s a partnership between former U.S. Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV and his family along with WVU Medicine and West Virginia University to bring together care, research and teaching centered in Morgantown but spreading all the way through WVU Medicine’s footprint. It’s led by Dr. Ali R. Rezai, a world-renowned neurosurgeon who has developed innovations to treat paralysis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and other afflictions.

    And it’s that innovative spirit – and approach from many different specialities, as well as government and industry collaborations – that Rezai is bringing to bear at RNI.

    We’re always looking at rapid applications of new technology, and being one of the first in the world to do it,” Rezai said. “That’s one of our missions: Quickly deploy technology for patients.

    RNI and WVU Medicine have been in growth mode, part of a lot of building projects on the Morgantown campus. There are now 145 faculty, 73 residents and postdoctoral fellows and more than 700 clinic, research and administrative staff in four departments: neuroscience, neurology, neurosurgery and behavioral medicine and psychiatry. And there are several current and future RNI facilities. Beyond the Innovation Center, there’s also a neuro ambulatory and education center that is being built atop the nearby physician’s office center, the Erma Byrd Biomedical Research Center and a behavioral center at Chestnut Ridge. Then there’s also a brain and spine hospital that will be built in the parking lot behind the hospital.



    Article By Paul J. Gough, Pittsburgh Business Times

  9. WVU Medicine set to add 5th hospital in 2 years

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    Twenty-three years later, the major mission to increase West Virginians’ access to healthcare remains largely unchanged. While the mission continues, some of what WVU Health System is doing to fulfill it has evolved.

    WVU Health System (WVU Medicine), on the verge of partnering with Jackson General Hospital in Ripley, West Virginia, is in the process of adding its fifth hospital to the extended family in just two years — a significant increase over the system’s first two decades in existence. Last week, the West Virginia Healthcare Authority granted a Certificate of Need, clearing one of the final significant hurdles to the 55-year-old hospital joining the state’s largest private employer. Joining Summersville Regional Medical Center and Braxton County Memorial Hospital, Jackson General is the third hospital in 2019 to join, at least in part, with WVU Medicine.

    Summersville Regional Medical Center along with Garrett (Maryland) Medical Center and Wetzel County Hospital are currently in a management agreement partnership with WVU Medicine. Braxton County Hospital, Berkeley Medical Center, Camden Clark Medical Center, Jefferson Medical Center, Potomac Valley Hospital, Reynolds Memorial Hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital, and United Hospital Center are all fully integrated members of WVU Health System. Converted to a critical access hospital in 2012, Jackson General is a 25-bed non-profit facility that employs 300 people. Jackson General Hospital has received a certificate of need, removing another obstacle in their quest to partner with WVU Medicine. The hospital is trying to get ahead of the curve, according to Jackson General President Dr. Stephanie McCoy.

    “You’re just always trying to think ahead,” McCoy told MetroNews affiliate WAJR in Morgantown. McCoy said healthcare — due to a sometimes arduous relationship with government — is often a “moving target.” “You have to plan and you have to strategize, but then you always have to have your back-up plan in the back of the mind for “what if this happens,” she said. Dr. Albert Wright Jr., President and CEO of WVU Health System, said Jackson General is following that “forward thinking” model — a hospital doing reasonably well financially, but recognizing that the nature of the healthcare industry is ever-changing no matter who is in the Oval Office or in Congress.

    “Every scenario, any regulation, any proposed regulation is always going to pay us less than we get today,” he said. “So if we prepare that way, I don’t really have to worry about any regulations or legislative changes that change healthcare, because we’ll be ready to adapt to it, and we’ll be the low-cost provider.” Typically, WVU Health System added sparingly following the initial 1997 agreement with United Hospital Center in Bridgeport. It was a eight years before any other hospitals joined — eventually bringing Berkeley Medical Center and Jefferson Medical Center into the fold in 2005. It was then another six years until Camden Clark Medical Center in Parkersburg joined. And, in terms of healthcare, a lot can change in a decade. Since the Camden Clark acquisition, the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamcare — was passed, survived a major Supreme Court decision, and went into effect. That, in and of itself, significantly changed the healthcare landscape. “Sometimes it does seem like we’re just a stroke of the pen from either making huge advancements or improvements or, alternatively, from devastation,” McCoy said. “It can be really hard to budget when the government can reduce payments or eliminate support with minimal notice and sometimes even retroactively.”

    Following the ACA, more changes — or at least the threat of more changes — came in a very short period. Three more hospitals became full members of the WVU Health System family and, then, in the wake of a failed repeal of the ACA in 2017, five more hospitals (including Jackson General) have become partial or full members of WVU Medicine, bringing us up to date on the aggressive expansion. This is a hub-and-spoke model, Wright said. WVU Medicine is centralizing its major Morgantown hub while simultaneously branching out its spokes across the state in order to bring the resources — talented specialists, equipment, and support — to rural clinics and hospitals.

    Ruby Memorial Hospital is the central “hub” in WVU Medicine’s hub and spoke model for treatment. “We’re building up our academic medical center significantly in Morgantown,” Wright said. “We’ve added lots of beds, lots of clinic space, lots of new physicians and programs around the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, the WVU Cancer Institute, the Heart & Vascular Institute, and then building the new children’s hospital.” “The spoke part of that is going out and acquiring clinics and physician practices and hospitals around the state in what we consider to be key, crucial areas in order to maintain good healthcare in those parts of the state,” Wright added. Though Wright wouldn’t specify, he did mention that there are usually “more phone calls that don’t work out” than ones that do when it comes to partnering with hospitals around the state. Wright said expansion, in this case, is about finding places to cut costs without sacrificing healthcare quality or access — which means finding ways to avoid duplication of efforts. “If you get most of your care — greater than 90 percent of your care — inside of one integrated health system where you don’t have duplication of efforts or re-ordering of tests or things like that and information available to all of your providers, you can actually cut your costs of care in half for a sick or complex patient over a three year period,” he said.

    Naturally, that brings both Wright and McCoy to what many consider to be the sort of crown jewel of the WVU Health System network. Yes — the partnership agreement means resources that rural hospitals might not have had access to or new patients that WVU Medicine may never have treated. Where the centralization becomes key is the digitized internal system that allows a patient to go to any hospital in the WVU Medicine family and have their full treatment records brought up instantly.

    St. Joseph’s Hospital in Buckhannon, WV joined the WVU Medicine family in 2015. For patients, Wright said it incentivizes them to choose hospitals in the network that have their history and can better treat them — often without having to stray too far from home. For the hospitals themselves, it limits duplication of treatment while also simultaneously convincing those patients that they don’t have to leave their home county for healthcare. “Wherever you go in any WVU Medicine clinic, physician office, urgent care, and any one of our hospitals should you get transferred, all of your information — all of your prescriptions, your labs, your X-rays, your imaging follows you everywhere you go,” Wright said.

    The next step, Wright said, is crucial: broadband access across the entire state. That’s because, when appropriate, Wright said telemedicine — the use of Skype or Face time, for example, to communicate with patients — will save significant dollars. “That is the best, quickest, cheapest access we can give,” he said. “Telemedicine, virtual visits of our specialists, that’s how we are going to reach parts of a rural state that we would never be able to do otherwise.” Broadband expansion — 100 percent connectivity — has been an ongoing discussion for years now among some of the state’s leaders. Hopefully, Wright said, 100 percent connectivity in West Virginia can happen sooner than later — considering the “creative” plans he hinted at that will be part of WVU Medicine’s future. “I think you’ll see us announce at least one and maybe a couple of very creative relationships with healthcare insurers with the goal of exactly what I talked about before — the highest quality, lowest cost provider with the best access to patients,” Wright said.


    Article by: Alex Wiederspiel,

  10. Newsweek names WVU Medicine among World’s Best Hospitals

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    WVU Medicine has been recognized by Newsweek as part of its inaugural list of the World’s Best Hospitals. According to Newsweek, the World’s Best Hospitals 2019 ranking lists the best hospitals in 11 countries: USA, Canada, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Switzerland, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Australia, and Israel. The countries were mainly selected based on standard of living/life expectancy, population size, number of hospitals, and data availability. The list is based on three data sources: recommendations from medical experts, results from patient surveys, and medical key performance indicators on hospitals.

    This ranking comes on the heels of last year’s U.S. News ranking of four WVU Medicine hospitals as part of its 2018-19 Best Hospitals in the United States. “Our goal strategy is to provide the best quality and most comprehensive care to the people of West Virginia so they never have to leave the state to receive the care they need,” Albert Wright, Jr., president and CEO of the WVU Medicine West Virginia University Health System and West Virginia University Hospitals, said. “We have been making great progress in this over the past few years, and to have our health system recognized by Newsweek as one of the best in the world validates our strategy means that we are doing something right.

    The rankings will be published online and in the March 29 issue of Newsweek magazine.


    Article posted by WVU Medicine


  11. WVU Medicine holds grand opening for Center for Hope and Healing

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    Douglas M. Leech establishes fund to support addiction recovery

    MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WVU Medicine and the WVU Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry held a grand opening today (March 1) for the new WVU Medicine Center for Hope and Healing, a 29,305-square-foot addiction treatment facility that offers 12 beds for subacute medically managed withdrawal residential care and 30 beds for residential care up to 28 days.

    “Addiction in West Virginia continues to plague the state as one of its most serious problems. West Virginia has the highest rate of overdose deaths in the nation, and in many ways is the epicenter of the addiction/opioid epidemic,” Albert L. Wright, Jr., president and CEO of the West Virginia University Health System, said. “The WVU Medicine Center for Hope and Healing meets a major community need that has, to date, only been addressed on a small scale compared to the large scale of affected population.”

    The Center works to support adults struggling with substance use disorders through medically managed withdrawal stabilization and residential treatment. WVU Medicine and the WVU Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry already offer a comprehensive menu of outpatient services for people with substance use disorders, and the addition of withdrawal management and 28-day rehabilitation completes the in-house continuum of care for these disorders.

    The comprehensive person-centered treatment program offered at the Center includes:

    • Detoxification
    • Residential treatment
    • Medication-assisted treatment
    • Family support services
    • Individualized treatment plans
    • Trauma-informed care
    • Mindfulness-based practices
    • Specialized programming for recent overdose survivors and pregnant women

    “These services allow us to treat the entire patient not just his or her substance use disorder,” James Berry, D.O., director of addiction services, WVU Medicine Chestnut Ridge Center, and interim chair, WVU Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry, said. “We work with our patients to understand their immediate and long-term needs. By integrating treatment and recovery, our patients are able to incorporate change into their lives outside of the treatment setting.”

    The facility will serve as a single regional referral point for assessment of patients following discharge from local emergency rooms, inpatient detox units, and other referral sources. It will also accept self-referrals and referrals from community providers.

    In addition to celebrating the opening of the Center, officials also celebrated the receipt of a generous gift that has been made to support patient care at the Center for Hope and Healing.

    Douglas M. Leech, founder and CEO of Ascension Recovery Services, has established the Center for Hope and Healing Patient Care Fund with a gift of $60,000.

    The fund, which will offset the cost of treatment, will benefit patients seeking care at the Center for Hope and Healing.

    “The WVU Center for Hope and Healing will provide the highest quality clinical care for those in our state struggling with addiction, regardless of the payer type. An option like this has only been offered in the past out of state to those who have commercial insurance and the ability to cash pay a hefty fee,” Leech said.

    “WVU Medicine’s Chestnut Ridge Center helped me find residential treatment when I desperately needed it. When I returned to Morgantown, I received outpatient services at the Chestnut Ridge Center, where they strengthened and supported my early recovery. As I started West Virginia Sober Living and Ascension Recovery Services in Morgantown, WVU Medicine was there to support me, provide guidance and mentorship, as well as partnership on a variety of initiatives. WVU Medicine has always been there for me, and I’m grateful to be able to give back to an organization that helped me and so many others in our state.”

    Ascension Recovery Services, located in Morgantown, specializes in addiction recovery and treatment.

    To make a gift to the Center for Hope and Healing Patient Care Fund, please visit and refer to fund 2W1371 in the comments box.

    For more information about the center or making a gift, please contact Laura McCall, senior director of development for the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, at 304-293-5757 or

    This gift was made through the WVU Foundation, the non-profit organization that receives and administers private donations on behalf of the University.

    Read article on HERE 

  12. Old Morgantown Ramada Inn Property to House Non-Profits that Address Homelessness

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    Wednesday, Monongalia County commissioners discussed the future of the old Ramada Inn property located on Scott Avenue in Morgantown. The property was recently purchased by the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust. This was given to WVU Medicine, which is now creating an independent non-profit to manage the facility.

    The trust is hoping to partner, and offer rent free building space, to local non-profits that directly, or indirectly address homelessness. “This is a win, win, for the city, for the county, for the taxpayer, but more importantly, for those individuals who can use that help and services that we’ll be able to provide in a controlled environment,” said Tom Bloom, Monongalia County Commissioner.

    The facility is a 30,000-square foot, multi-purpose building that can be completely remodeled to accommodate the needs of any agencies that would like to move to the location. It includes a large commercial kitchen. “Think about this. You have a facility that can serve 1,400 people. Now we have rooms where the people could live in the room, and then have three meals a day,” said Bloom.

    The project is in the preliminary stages and meetings will be held with several local non-profits in the area that work with the homeless population as well as those that provide wrap around services.


    By: Megan Hudock, 12WBOY

  13. Black Diamond Attends The 16th Annual WVU Medicine Children’s Gala

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    This past weekend, The Black Diamond Realty team dressed in their finest attire and followed the yellow brick road to the Land of Oz at the 16th Annual WVU Medicine Children’s Gala. Black Diamond Realty was proud to celebrate the incredible healthcare that is provided by the WVU Medicine staff throughout the year and to support fundraising for the new women and children’s tower.

  14. Gee announces program for heart transplants

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    In many ways, WVU President Gordon Gee said, the land-grant university he leads is the heart of West Virginia. The university, in turn, put its recent focus on the hearts of West Virginia.

    WVU reinforced that commitment Wednesday with the announcement of the state’s first heart transplant program, to be part of the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute. Gee was joined by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and WVU Medicine President and CEO Albert Wright, among others during a press conference held in the institute’s first-floor conference room.

    According to a WVU Medicine press release, a letter of intent was filed with the West Virginia Health Care Authority on Aug. 10. A certificate of need was filed Aug. 20. Wright said he anticipates the program will be up and running in 2019. He explained that WVU invested hundreds of millions in heart and vascular care over the last three years, including the construction of a 10-story, $200 million tower attached to J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital and the recruitment of Dr. Vinay Badhwar to lead the institute.

    What we’ve found is when we put people, programs and the physical plant together, we can really do magical things here,” Wright said. “The results we’ve seen in these last 24 to 36 months are nothing short of amazing.” Badhwar said those results include the creation of the state’s first advanced heart failure program and the implementation of emerging artificial heart technology. There are currently 22 West Virginians awaiting a new heart. Being on a heart transplant list requires the patient live within four hours of a transplant center.

    What we’re trying to do is make sure people have the best possible health care in West Virginia. We should not have people going away to other places,” Gee said. “There’s no reason people should not come to this beautiful state and get the best possible health care, and that’s what we’re celebrating today. I want all of you to know you’ve made possible something very special.” Justice said the strides both West Virginia and WVU have made would be unbelievable as recently as 20 years ago. “Think about John Doe in West Virginia, how much he needs you. How much he needs the ability to not have to travel all over the place for decent health care, how much he needs you to be a star,” Justice said, later adding, “I mean it. There’s no way to be more proud of our state university than I am.

    Gee noted that heart disease is the state’s leading cause of death. He said WVU and WVU Medicine has the talent and determination to tackle it head-on. “If we have the will and courage to be great, we will be,” he said.

    Ben Conley, The Dominion Post 

  15. WVU Medicine Children’s Neurodevelopmental Center

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    Doctors and administrators gathered at WVU Medicine Children’s newest facility – a Neurodevelopmental Center on Baker’s Ridge Road – to celebrate its opening Thursday.

    Neurodevelopmental Center Photo 2Neurodevelopmental Center Photo 3
    It’s unbelievable,” Dr. Jodi Lindsey, center director, said of the 9,000 square foot space on Baker’s Ridge Road. Lindsey said there’s always been a need for this type of service in West Virginia and her dream, even before medical school, was to build a center like this. The center brings all levels of child neurodevelopmental disability treatment under one roof including diagnosis and evaluation, medical workup and treatment and therapy services she said.

    Albert Wright,president and CEO of the West Virginia University Health System, said the center was designed for a very specific purpose – helping pediatric patients with neurodevelopmental disabilities. Those disabilities include Autism Spectrum Disorder, developmental delay, cerebral palsy, and Tourette Syndrome. The best treatment is “intensive and early behavioral intervention,” Nikki Shriver, an applied behavior analyst (ABA), said.

    There are 10 individual rooms where ABA’s can work with their patients one-on-one and help build skills. Shriver said helping improve communication skills is a big focus because the ability to ask for what one wants and needs is important. The early part of “intensive and early” refers to the age patients start treatment. Shriver said the best time to work with kids is between the ages of 2 and 6 when their minds are still growing. She said anyone can learn, but the younger treatment starts the better. Intensive refers to the amount of time patients spend at the center. Some patients spend the equivalent of a school day in treatment – five days a week, Joseph Shane, ABA, said.

    The goal of treatment is to prepare patients for the next environment they will be in and for most that means getting them ready for school he said. The center also has a large play area where kids can work on group skills such as sharing and taking turns, Shane said. Kids will also eat lunch in the play area during their treatment and lunch is another opportunity to work on skills. If treating patients is the primary goal, one that’s almost as important is training the next generation of care providers.

    There are two assessment rooms used by pediatric psychologists connected by an observation room. Jenna Wallace, pediatric psychologist, said the observation space is about double the size of the previous space. Lindsey said she hopes that this center becomes a model used across the state where a team based approach is used in treatment.

    By William Dean, The Dominion Post

  16. WVU Medicine Children’s Announces $152-Million Project

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    WVU Medicine Children’s growing into new tower to be added onto J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital

    Three-year, $152-million project to add 150 beds

    MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WVU Hospitals announced today (Nov. 16) plans to construct a 10-story tower dedicated to WVU Medicine Children’s to address capacity issues and better serve the healthcare needs of all of West Virginia’s women and children. As a result of the project, 150 beds will be added to J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital.

    “As West Virginia’s leading academic medical center, we have a responsibility to the children of our state and their parents to provide the highest level of care close to home,” Albert L. Wright, Jr., president and CEO of the West Virginia University Health System, said. “The demand for our services has increased so that we must grow in order to meet their needs.”

    The $152-million tower will take three years to complete. It will include:

    • Entry, registration, administration, outpatient clinics, and building services
    • Loading dock, dietary services, diagnostic imaging, and connection to the Southeast Tower (the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute tower)
    • Operating rooms, cardiac catheterization, and endoscopy facilities
    • A 20-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and 10-bed procedure/sedation unit
    • A 50-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
    • A 40-bed pediatric acute care unit
    • A 30-bed obstetrical unit with potential for expansion
    • Pediatric subspecialty and maternal-fetal medicine clinics

    All of the inpatient rooms will be private. The tower will also include a satellite pharmacy, laboratory, respiratory therapy, and a cafeteria.

    “This new building will allow us to match our expanded programs for the women and children of West Virginia with a state-of-the-art facility,” J. Philip Saul, M.D., executive vice president of WVU Medicine Children’s, said. “The goal is for no child who needs us to leave the state for care.”

    PHOTO CAPTION: (From left to right) Albert L. Wright, Jr., president and CEO of the West Virginia University Health System; Gordon Gee, WVU president and chair of the West Virginia University Health System Board of Directors; J. Philip Saul, M.D., executive vice president of WVU Medicine Children’s, and Natalie Jefferis, former WVU Medicine Children’s patient and member of the WVU Medicine Children’s Leadership Council

    The new Children’s tower will be attached to the southeast tower (WVU Heart and Vascular Institute). The building will extend southward to Medical Center Drive.

    The construction of the tower will be subject to Certificate of Need approval by the West Virginia Health Care Authority. Construction costs are estimated to be $105.8 million with the remaining $46.2 million for financing and other related costs. A capital campaign will be launched to raise $60 million for the project. WVU Hospitals will finance the remainder of the cost. No state funds will be sought, and no extraordinary rate increase is anticipated as a result of the construction.

    “This is a necessity, not a nicety,” Gordon Gee, WVU president and chairman of the West Virginia University Health System Board of Directors, said. “The children and families we serve will be relying on our friends and alumni, our businesses, the people of West Virginia, and the Mountaineer Nation – wherever they may be – to pitch in and to make this project a reality. We’re launching this campaign right now, right here.”

    The tower is anticipated to be open to its first patient in late fall/early winter 2020.

    Click hear to read the article at

  17. Black Diamond Prepares Dinner for the Rosenbaum Family House – 9/11

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    On September 11th Black Diamond Realty prepared dinner for the guests of Rosenbaum Family House, a place for adult patients and their families to stay while receiving medical care at WVU’s Ruby Memorial Hospital. The team served hot meatball subs with a fresh garden salad and warm cookies for dessert. As always, the overwhelming joy and gratitude was a wonderful gift in itself.

    For information about the Rosenbaum Family House, and how you can help, click the link below.