Gov. Jim Justice today announced the
appointment of Dr. Matthew Christiansen as director of the West Virginia
Department of Health and Human Resources’ (DHHR) Office of Drug Control
Policy. Christiansen replaces Bob Hansen
who has announced his retirement.
“Even as we continue our efforts to respond to the ongoing pandemic, our
fight against the terrible drug crisis in our state has not stopped,” Gov.
Justice said. “Dr. Christiansen is familiar with West Virginia’s battle against
opioids and substance use, and he has worked closely with Bob Hansen. I’m
confident that he’ll do a great work in this important role.”
Dr. Christiansen practices primary care
and addiction medicine at Marshall Health and PROACT and is an associate
professor in the Department of Family and Community Health, Division of
Addiction Sciences, at Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.
Additionally, he is the medical director and board president of Ebenezer
Medical Outreach, a free clinic in Huntington.
“Combatting our state’s drug crisis
has been a number one priority for Governor Justice and his entire
administration,” said Bill J. Crouch, DHHR Cabinet Secretary. “I am pleased
that Dr. Christiansen will offer a seamless transition to this most important
position. We are very grateful for Bob Hansen’s service to the state and his
Dr. Christiansen holds a BS from
Denison University, an MD from Marshall University, and a master’s in public
health from Marshall University. Dr. Christiansen’s appointment is effective immediately
and he will transition into the position over the next month.
“I am truly humbled to serve on behalf
of my fellow West Virginians in this position,” said Dr. Christiansen. “Working
with individuals in recovery has been one of the most rewarding experiences of
my career and I look forward to working at a state level to expand and support
recovery services continuing Bob Hansen’s legacy with the ODCP. I look forward
to the day that we see our state recover from this terrible epidemic.”