WVSOM receives international recognition at conference

WVSOM International Recognition 2019

The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) was selected by the World Organization of National Colleges to make two presentations during its annual conference on Oct. 12-15, in Albuquerque, N.M.  

Hosted by the National Rural Health Association (NRHA), it was the first time in eight years the conference had been held in the U.S. 

NRHA CEO Alan Morgan said WVSOM is considered a national leader in rural medicine.

“As a national leader in rural medicine, WVSOM was recognized by the conference program committee as providing innovative and sustainable programs to combat the substance use epidemic,” he said.   

The Opioid and Prescription Drug Prevention and Awareness Toolkit was presented at the conference by Drema Mace, Ph.D., WVSOM’s vice president for community engagement and development; Preparing the Next Generation of Physicians to Address the Opioid Epidemic was presented at the conference by Haylee Heinsberg, M.Ed., and Julianna Quick, M.A., Ed.S., LPC. Heinsberg and Quick highlighted the school’s pilot opioid educational series for medical students.

Both WVSOM programs were funded through the state’s opioid response program.

WVSOM President James W. Nemitz said rural areas face the burden of fighting and preventing opioid addiction without the resources of more urban areas.

“Recognizing the problem, we felt it imperative to work on an initiative that could be developed and applied anywhere in the country or the world,” he said.

According to Nemitz, about 60 percent of WVSOM’s graduates practice in rural and underserved areas. He stated that Academic Medicine, the premier journal for medical education, ranked WVSOM first among all M.D. and D.O. medical schools in the nation for rural placement. 

While WVSOM is at the forefront of combating the opioid crisis through educating practicing physicians, medical students and communities throughout the state, Nemitz said the school’s work in developing community-engaged programs for prevention, treatment and care is a continuing priority.

“Understanding the need for collaborative efforts among institutions, communities and health care professionals statewide, we established that footprint in the first opioid educational series for students,” he said.

He praised WVSOM medical students for playing a major role in collaborating on the opioid educational series.  

“This series really grew from a concept proposed by the school’s Neuro-Psych Club, which provided the impetus for our broader collaboration,” Nemitz said.

As a panelist in the series, addiction medicine psychiatrist James Berry, D.O., told WVSOM students they should be proud of the initiative.

“I am so impressed with the leadership here willing to make this happen. I don’t know of any medical school in West Virginia that has offered a series like this, of this quality, for their medical students,” Berry said.












Date Added: 
Tuesday, October 22, 2019