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Dr. PS Martin Named Director of WV Office of Emergency Medical Services

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Dr. Matt Christiansen, State Health Officer and Commissioner of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ (DHHR) Bureau for Public Health, today announces Dr. PS Martin as medical director for DHHR’s Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS), effective June 23, 2023. He replaces Dr. Beth Toppins, who served as interim OEMS medical director since April 2023.

“Dr. Martin brings a wealth of knowledge to this critical position with hands-on experience as a physician in emergency departments and as the medical director for multiple EMS agencies,” said Dr. Matthew Christiansen. “His unique and specialized background in the field of emergency medical services will be an asset to West Virginia, and will continue the work of Dr. Toppins. We are grateful for her service during a period of transition.”

Dr. Martin is an associate professor of emergency medicine at WVU’s School of Medicine and an emergency room physician at WVU Ruby Memorial Hospital, and is certified by both the American Board of Emergency Medicine and the American Board of Emergency Medicine Specializing in Emergency Medical Services. Dr. Martin earned his doctor of medicine degree and bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University. 

“I am honored to lead this office, which does incredible work to support West Virginia’s EMS systems and residents,” said Dr. Martin. “I look forward to working with OEMS staff and partners to  optimize the quality of emergency care across the state and improve the job satisfaction of our dedicated EMS providers.”

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Politics

Gov. Justice Appoints Jeffrey Stephens to fill Sixth District seat in House of Delegates

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Jeffrey Stephens

CHARLESTON, WV — Gov. Jim Justice announced Thursday he has appointed Jeffrey R. Stephens to the West Virginia House of Delegates Sixth District, which serves Marshall County. Stephens replaces Charlie Reynolds, who resigned earlier this month.

A John Marshall High School and West Liberty University graduate, Stephens is an educator with the Marshall County Schools system, teaching West Virginia Studies and serving as the athletic director at Sherrard Middle School.

Stephens also has coaching experience, having been the assistant girls’ basketball coach at John Marshall from 2010 to 2014, Sherrard girls basketball coach from 2014 to 2022, and Sherrard football coach from 2010 to 2022.

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Politics

Huntington Mayor Williams Files Pre-Candidacy for Governor

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City of Huntington

The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Huntington Mayor Steve Williams took another step Thursday in his announced plan to run for governor by filing his pre-candidacy papers with the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office.

Williams is the only Democrat in that race so far. Cecil Silva of the Lincoln County community of Spurlockville filed pre-candidacy papers in April, but the secretary of state’s office lists his candidacy as terminated. The secretary of state’s website lists eight Republican candidates for governor; one each from the Libertarian, Mountain and Constitution parties; and one with no affiliation.

In his filing announcement, Williams pointed to his “diverse background spanning finance, service in the West Virginia Legislature, and three successful terms as Huntington’s Mayor.”

“I’m running for Governor because I believe the best of West Virginia is yet to come,” he said. “From revitalizing Huntington’s economy to combating the opioid crisis with innovative solutions, my track record speaks for itself.”

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More here: Williams files pre-candidacy papers to run for WV governor | News | herald-dispatch.com

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Business News

Coalfield Development Selects Jacob Hannah as New CEO

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Last week, Coalfield Development Corporation’s Board of Directors unanimously approved Jacob Hannah, current Chief Conservation Officer, to be the next Chief Executive Officer of the West Virginia-based nonprofit. Hannah will assume the position effective January 1, 2024.

The October 17th vote occurred after a month’s long search process involving more than 40 applicants for the position.

“I am incredibly honored and excited for this opportunity to continue to serve Appalachia in this dynamic and transformative role. And through the innovative succession model that Brandon Dennison has thoughtfully established for this role transition, I heartily believe that our organization is stepping into a new phase that will empower the momentum for a truly just transition,” Hannah said.

Hannah replaces Coalfield’s founder and current CEO, Brandon Dennison, who was named Vice President of Economic Development at Marshall University in July of this year. Dennison will continue supporting Coalfield Development as Executive President. In this new role, Dennison will help shape strategy, partnerships, and fundraising. Coalfield’s new leadership model resembles the CEO/Executive Chair model more prominent in for-profits.

“This is an important milestone for Coalfield Development. I am genuinely excited for the organization, and I have complete confidence in Jacob as the new CEO. He is going to lead this organization to achieve greater impact than ever before, but he’ll do it with integrity, compassion, and creativity,” Dennison said.

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Dennison added, “Jacob is the right leader at the right time for our region. He has lived the mission of Coalfield Development, growing up in a coal mining family. Since joining us in 2018 Jacob has served multiple leadership roles within the organization, standing up entirely new programs and supervising more than 25 employees. And Jacob has been instrumental in the ACT Now Coalition, which recently brought $100 million of new investment to southern West Virginia.”

Coalfield Development Board of Directors President Kenzie New Walker applauded the diligent efforts of the board’s search committee.

“I want to commend our search committee for shepherding such a strong hiring process. This committee was diligent and persistent in running a thorough search which connected our organization with high caliber candidates. Jacob rose to the top of this competitive group, and we’re we appreciate all the applicants who applied,” she said.  

Hannah has been an employee of Coalfield Development for five years. He previously held the role of Chief Conservation Officer.

“I come from three generations of coal mining in my family, and I am a 5th generation West Virginian. My leadership style is to integrate an empathetic and grounded approach to the strategy of triple-bottom line sustainability; balancing People, Planet, and Prosperity in harmony with each other with a lens towards a fair and just transition.

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Hannah’s work intersects the throughline of environmental considerations with social wellbeing and economic development.

“This is truly an exciting time to be at Coalfield Development and the work we are doing to better the lives of our Appalachian communities,” he said.

About Coalfield Development: Coalfield Development is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization headquartered in Huntington, West Virginia focusing on rebuilding the Appalachian economy through social enterprise creation, job training, and community-based real-estate development.

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