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Organizational changes will help West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine maintain status as a leader in medical education

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LEWISBURG, W.Va. – The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM), the state’s largest medical school, has announcing a number of organizational changes coinciding with the start of the 2023-24 academic year.

The changes will allow WVSOM to retain its financial and academic strength while replenishing the school’s leadership team following the retirement of several longtime administrators in 2023.

With the retirement of Larry Ware, MBA, WVSOM’s vice president for finance and facilities since 2009, David Meadows, MBA, will assume the role of vice president for finance and facilities and chief financial officer starting Aug. 14. Meadows has extensive administrative experience in private and public education and in the banking industry. Most recently, he served as senior vice president for administration and chief financial officer at Carlow University, a 2,200-student private university in Pittsburgh, Pa.

James W. Nemitz, Ph.D., WVSOM’s president, said Meadows’ work will focus on maintaining and improving the school’s financial and physical infrastructure.

James Nemitz

“WVSOM’s ongoing financial stability continues to be a high priority,” Nemitz said. “We are fortunate to have had great stewards of our finances over the years, and we must continue to focus on our financial health. It is imperative that WVSOM function as efficiently and effectively as possible.”

Drema Hill, Ph.D., MSP, WVSOM’s vice president for community engagement, will take on an additional role as the school’s chief operations officer. She will develop and implement protocols for cross-functional collaboration and the analysis of business processes that help WVSOM achieve its strategic objectives. Hill also will oversee the school’s Center for Rural and Community Health, Marketing and Communications Department, Audio Visual and Production Department, Information Technology Department, WVSOM’s rural health policy director and the school’s foundation relations and institutional grants officer. She will continue to work with external partners on statewide initiatives to improve the health of West Virginians.

Hill said she is pleased to accept a position that will help the school achieve its objectives.

“This is an exciting time to work at WVSOM. It’s a time of growth, especially in the areas of research, programs and community engagement,” she said. “My goals as chief operations officer are to maximize WVSOM’s performance, drive revenues and maintain profitability while serving the school’s overall mission.”

As WVSOM continues to expand its research enterprise, Linda Boyd, D.O., WVSOM’s vice president for academic affairs and dean, will replace retired vice president for administration and external relations Edward Bridges, Ph.D., in overseeing the school’s Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. Boyd, who serves as WVSOM’s chief academic officer, will oversee Dovenia Ponnoth, Ph.D., who joined WVSOM in 2020 as an associate professor of pharmacology and recently became the school’s interim associate dean for research and sponsored programs.

Additionally, Jeffrey Shawver, J.D., WVSOM’s vice president for legal and governmental affairs, will add security and external affairs to his areas of oversight and will serve as the school’s chief legal officer. Along with his existing role of representing WVSOM in legal matters and providing legal guidance to the Office of the President, the WVSOM Board of Governors and school employees, Shawver will develop and implement WVSOM’s government relations, legislative affairs and policy agenda.

Machelle Linsenmeyer, Ed.D., the school’s associate dean for assessment and educational development, has been promoted to assistant vice president for institutional effectiveness and academic resources. Linsenmeyer will provide leadership for institutional effectiveness, strategic, tactical and operational planning; assessment; accreditation; and student learning outcomes. She also will manage resources such as WVSOM’s academic management system and library.

Nemitz said the organizational changes are key to WVSOM’s continued success as a leader in medical education in West Virginia and in the osteopathic medical profession nationwide.

“These changes will help us to refine our organizational efficiencies so that we can continue to offer the highest level of osteopathic medical education to our students and provide our state and nation with the next generation of physicians,” he said. “As we begin a new academic year, I’m proud that WVSOM stands positioned for expansion and continued success in meeting and exceeding the vision of its founders.”

WVSOM is a national leader in educating osteopathic physicians for primary care medicine in rural areas. Visit WVSOM online at www.wvsom.edu.