West Virginia

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Department of Health Facilities Participates in Discussion Focused on Improving Access to Mental Health Services


The West Virginia Department of Health Facilities (DHF) participated in the West Virginia American College of Healthcare Executives Chapter Discussion, held at WVU Medicine Camden Clark in Parkersburg on Tuesday, May 28. As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, the event brought together medical professionals from a range of fields to discuss pathways to improving their patients’ emotional, psychological, and social well-being. 

Participants included Dr. Amelia McPeak, Medical Director of Behavioral Health Services at WVU Medicine Camden Clark; Dr. Adina Bowe, Psychiatrist at Vandalia Health and Associate Professor for WVU School of Medicine in Charleston; Dr. Susanne Holroyd, Professor and Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and Marshall Health Network; and Pat Ryan, CEO of William R. Sharpe Hospital in Weston. 

As CEO of Sharpe Hospital, Ryan oversees a range of services to patients committed to the hospital through the judicial system. The hospital works closely with the Community Behavioral Health Centers and other community organizations to ensure a smooth transition back to the community after discharge. 

“This is a nationwide issue, but we have people right here at home who need our help. We are wholly committed to expanding mental health services to the most rural areas of our state. We want to continue to seek effective collaborations and house meaningful discussions on how we can best provide care to all who need it,” said Ryan. 

Tuesday’s panelists discussed how they are addressing this widespread issue in their respective areas of focus, organizations, and communities; but brainstormed ways they can extend that much-needed service to underserved areas across the state. 

“One potential avenue is for entities to partner with mental health centers and law enforcement agencies in their areas to expand care and create a continuum of crisis services for patients, ensuring care is provided in the least restrictive environment,” added Ryan. 

Tuesday’s event was a collaboration between the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), Vandalia Health, Marshall Health, WV ACHE, and WVU Medicine.

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