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Coplin Health Systems, WVU-P announce clinic

PARKERSBURG — Coplin Health Systems and WVU Parkersburg have formed a partnership to establish a clinic to serve the needs of the college and Mid-Ohio Valley for greater access to health care.

“I believe the greatest service we can give our students, faculty, staff, their families and the community at large is high quality, free or reduced-cost healthcare available to them right on our Parkersburg campus,” said Chris Gilmer, president of WVU Parkersburg. “Coplin will be a wonderful partner because of our shared commitment to serve those who are currently underserved.”

Coplin Health Systems, established in 1978 as the Wirt County Health Services Association, services Wirt, Jackson, Meigs and Wood counties in West Virginia and Ohio with nine facilities, including three school clinics.

The community-based health clinic is scheduled to open on campus in the year 2021-2022. Services offered will include primary and acute (walk-in) care for all ages, behavorial health and on-site laboratory services.

“WVU Parkersburg and Coplin Health have large goals for the campus and community,” said Rob Dudley, Coplin Health Systems chief executive officer. “It is our priority to offer quality, yet affordable, healthcare and advocate for children and families. We have wonderfully skilled providers and would like to grow our services with the needs of our community.”

Coplin Health Systems is a federally qualified health center. As such, providers will care for individuals and families with full, partial or no insurance coverage. The organization also offers a sliding scale payment model to make care affordable regardless of a person’s income.

“Our employees have health insurance they can use, and WVU Parkersburg plans to work through its Foundation to develop a fund to cover the cost for students who might not be able to afford healthcare so the WVU Parkersburg community is fully served,” Gilmer said. “Students and employees from our Jackson County Center will also be welcome at Coplin’s Jackson county clinics.”

Jackson County Center students, faculty and staff will be able to receive the same services at the Ripley Family Care, Jackson County School Wellness Center or River Valley Family Care in Ravenswood.

Beyond medical services, the clinic hopes to serve as a learning environment for WVU Parkersburg nursing and health sciences students. Coplin Health Systems offers practicums to aspiring medical students and will discuss arrangements with the college to provide clinical experiences for those pursuing their certificate or associate degree in a qualifying program.

“Our two boards have entered into a memorandum of understanding which will hopefully culminate in the opening of this new facility,” Gilmer said. “We still have to work out the details, but we are very excited and optimistic about this partnership for our college family.”

Dudley also is hopeful about the opening of the clinic.

“We are excited to fulfill the vision for a university-based clinic,” Dudley said. “There is still much work to do, but we are excited to know Coplin Health and WVU Parkersburg will offer quality health and wellness services to the campus and surrounding community.”

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