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Making Adjustments: West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine holds open house

Dr. James Nemitz, right, is president of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine and Dr. Marla Heller, left, is the regional dean for WVSOM’s Central West Region campus site in Parkersburg. (Photo by Wayne Towner)

PARKERSBURG — The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine held an open house event Wednesday at its new training facility in Parkersburg.

The event featured tours of WVSOM’s Statewide Campus Office in Parkersburg at 2803 Murdoch Ave.

Dr. James Nemitz, WVSOM president, along with Dr. Marla Haller, the regional dean for WVSOM’s Central West Region campus site, were present for the open house.

“This new space will allow our osteopathic medical students who are in residence at the area’s hospitals to present medical cases, practice skills and hold end-of-rotation testing each month,” said Nemitz.

“Previously, we needed to rent space for these activities,” added Haller. “Now we have plenty of room.”

The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine held an open house Wednesday for its Central West Region campus site at 2803 Murdoch Ave. in Parkersburg. (Photo by Wayne Towner)

Many of the school’s third- and fourth-year students of osteopathic medicine do their rotations at WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center and the Memorial Health System in Marietta.

“We highly value our hospital partnerships in this region,” said Nemitz. “We’re happy to work with them to help provide a high level of health care in the Parkersburg area.”

WVSOM has seven regional campuses throughout West Virginia, he said. The Parkersburg facility was originally a rented office on Market Street, but the program outgrew that space, Nemitz said. The regional campus moved into the Murdoch Avenue location in 2020 but the COVID-19 pandemic caused officials to delay having an open house until this past week.

Through the school’s instructional program, Nemitz said students spend their first two years at the main campus in Lewisburg, then select a regional campus like Parkersburg or one of the others for their third and fourth years of study.

The Parkersburg office will serve as the physical location for the school’s local staff, along with providing classroom space for educational and training activities.

The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine’s new Central West Region campus on Murdoch Avenue offers space for education and training for third- and fourth-year students. (Photo by Wayne Towner)

“That supplements what they are learning in hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices,” he said.

“We’re one of the leading producers of physicians for the state of West Virginia and we’re really proud of that. In fact, we have a lot of graduates right here in the Parkersburg area,” Nemitz said.

The Parkersburg campus works with 21 third-year and 21 fourth-year students. Overall, WVSOM accepts 200 new students each year and works with 800 students throughout the state.

WVSOM is a leading producer of rural physicians in the state and across the country, Nemitz said, adding the school will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2022.

Haller said she graduated from WVSOM in 1993, before the school began developing its network of regional campuses.

“This affords the students an integrated third and fourth year that they can participate in at base hospitals and be able to enhance their education by having us out in the field with them and being able to provide education days and be a resource for when they need it,” she said.

“It’s really a great opportunity for us to be able to be an integral part of their education during their third and fourth years and see the success whenever they do graduate,” Haller said.

Wayne Towner can be reached at wtowner@newsandsentinel.com

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