Broad support for Marsh’s nomination to national health panel
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – One of West Virginia’s best-known doctors has been nominated to serve on the National Board of Health.
WVU Chancellor and Executive Dean of Health Sciences and the state’s coronavirus czar, Dr. Clay Marsh, may soon become a member of the National Advisory Council for Healthcare Research and Quality (NACHRQ). The committee provides advice across the health care system to promote better quality of care while controlling costs and improving access.
“I am very grateful to our entire congressional delegation who signed a letter of support and to Dr. Jay Cole who is the person who reached out and asked me if I would be willing to be nominated,” Marsh told MetroNews.
The delegation, including U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito and U.S. House members David McKinley, Alex Mooney and Carol Miller, was on a letter of appointment to Dr. Robert Valdez, director of the Agency for Health Research and Quality, last week.
“As members of the West Virginia congressional delegation, we are writing in support of Dr. Clay Marsh’s appointment to the National Advisory Council for Health Care Research and Quality (NACHRQ),” the statements said in part. legislators. “Dr. Marsh is familiar with the health challenges faced in the Appalachian region, which spans parts of 13 states stretching from Mississippi to New York and is home to 26 million people.
Marsh said there were many things learned from the pandemic response that would be helpful if appointed. He would bring crisis management as well as 35 years of experience as a doctor, researcher, professor and administrator.
“This team with the leadership we had is potentially a vehicle that we can use to further improve the health metrics and well-being of our population, which was our original mission,” Marsh said.
If named, Marsh would be part of a 21-member panel helping institutions serve the country during one of the most polarizing and evolving times in history. He said considering external factors is key when developing care strategies to improve outcomes and quality of life.
“Helping people intervene, not saving them but helping them,” Marsh said. “Because it’s a complex environment, we know food insecurity is a big problem, housing insecurity is a big problem, lack of jobs, training and education.”
Marsh said he understands the challenges of providing care in remote areas. These challenges have driven the development of telemedicine, with smaller clinics offering more services in rural areas with access to nearby level of care.
“Rural America, Appalachia is different,” Dr. Marsh said. “Not only do we have low population centers, but we have very challenging topography and geography.”
The “hub and spoke” concept of a recently opened small-format hospital in White Hall and proposed in Charles Pointe in Harrison County is another concept that could benefit other rural areas of the country. The concept places a small hospital in a rural area, but close enough to access an advanced care facility and shows promise for controlling costs and providing high quality care.
“To provide the ability to manage any complex issue a person in West Virginia – adult or child, male or female may have and allow them to stay in the state for excellent health care.”
Board appointees serve three-year terms.