Administrators Discuss Health Concerns at West Virginia Hospital Day at the Legislature

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

President and chief executive officer of Ohio Valley Health Services and Education Corporation, Michael Caruso, and chief financial officer, Lisa Simon,  traveled to Charleston, W.Va. Thursday to meet with Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, local delegates, and state senators to discuss healthcare issues, and how OVMC and EORH can improve care for the local community.  

“It was a  great day,” said Michael Caruso.  “We had a lot of time to spend with our legislative representatives, Senator Ryan Ferns (R), Delegate Jeff Kessler (D), Senator Bill Cole (R) , and the governor to talk about what we need to do as a healthcare organization to provide the highest quality of care to our patients.”

Administrators from more than 60 hospitals were invited to attend West Virginia Hospital Day at the Legislature.  Those in attendance heard messages from WVHA leaders who invited healthcare professionals working in the state’s hospitals to share the programs they’re initiating to help reduce the state’s tobacco use, battle obesity, and combat the most pressing problem of substance abuse.  

This marks the last year Governor Tomblin declares an official West Virginia Hospital Day at the Legislature as he is coming to the end of his term in office.  Governor Tomblin told those in attendance that substance abuse, prevention, and treatment is at the forefront of his concern in healthcare.  State Senator Ferns also spoke saying as chair of the Health and Human Resources Committee his focus has been on the prescription drug abuse epidemic that is sweeping the state, and ways to help addicts recover.  Ferns says education and awareness must come first to help deter young people from becoming addicted to prescription drugs, and heroin.


West Virginia hospitals contribute approximately $9.3 billion to the West Virginia economy every year, and that figure represents 9.3 percent of the state’s entire economic output.  This translates to more than 80,000 jobs at hospitals or other businesses due to hospitals or employee spending.  

Pictured are: Greg Zuk, Hillcrest Behavioral Health Administrator, Lisa Simon, OVHS&E CFO, WV Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, Michael Caruso, OVHS&E President and CEO, John Antal, Robert C. Byrd Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Administrator

Pictured are: Joseph Letnaunchyn, WVHA President and CEO, Michael Caruso, OVHS&E President and CEO, David Darden, WVHA Board of Trustees, and Lisa Simon, OVHS&E CFO