Health network collaboration brings surgical medical students to rural W.Va.

Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 7:58 PM EST
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LOGAN COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - In rural Southern West Virginia if surgery is needed, advanced care is only available in cities like Charleston and Huntington. Certain specialized care can be even harder for patients from the Logan area who do not have close access.

U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., attended the announcement at Logan Regional Hospital that would change the way communities in Southern West Virginia get advanced care.

“When you are talking about obstetrics and pediatric specialties, cardiology these are things that are difficult to keep in rural areas because they are expensive with these partnerships those are solidified here in Logan,” Capito said.

A partnership between four health care organizations will bring the first rural surgical residency in the country to Logan Regional Medical Center. Medical students studying to be surgeons will be able to serve patients in the Logan area closer to home.

Logan Regional C.E.O. David Brash announced the hospital, its parent network Scion Health, The Mountain Health Network and Marshall Health have collaborated to bring this type of care.

“This is a platform for us to have an academic partner. We are getting ready to launch a rural general surgery residency program in July of this year,” Brash said.

Mountain Health Network C.E.O. Kevin Yingling said the collaboration will give the hospital access to services at Marshall Health and Mountain Health Network.

“There is unique aspects of rural health. There is unique aspects of health care in communities of this size,” Yingling said. “We see this as an opportunity for the next generation of general surgeons to practice in areas like Logan.”

Capito said while rural hospitals in other areas are closing, this collaboration makes rural health care in Logan strong.

“Not only is it serving the needs of rural West Virginia, which is a challenge, and it is different than a delivery system in a larger city, but it is also taking the expertise from each separate area and pulling it together,” Capito said.

Eventually, the collaboration will bring additional services for patients with heart disease, as well as advanced care for sick children.