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WVU president praises progress at Panhandle hospital

October 17, 2007|By DAVE McMILLION

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - New West Virginia University President Mike Garrison visited the City Hospital campus Tuesday and praised the work that has started there to attract more doctors to the Eastern Panhandle area.

Garrison made his first visit to the Eastern Panhandle as part of his inauguration week activities. Garrison will be formally sworn in as the university's 22nd president Friday, according to City Hospital spokeswoman Teresa McCabe.

Garrison visited a training center where medical school students finish their remaining schooling. The Eastern Panhandle has suffered from a shortage of physicians in recent years and officials believed that by offering medical students the opportunity to finish their training at the center, they will be more likely to set up practices in the area.

Fifty health care professionals - including faculty teaching at the center and medical students who have decided to practice here - who have moved into the area as a result of efforts to attract more doctors to the area, Garrison and other officials said.

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Not only are more doctors coming to the area, but they are establishing high-paying jobs that are good for the community, said Garrison, who participated in a press conference at the Erma Byrd Health Professions Education Center.

"I think it's only the beginning. It's going to grow," Garrison said.

"This is quite an accomplishment, and one that we could not have done alone," said Roger Eitelman, president of West Virginia University Hospitals-East, the organization that oversees City Hospital and Jefferson Memorial Hospital.

Medical students are recruited to the local training center from West Virginia University, Marshall University and the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg, W.Va.

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