LEWISBURG — The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding with an August 2 reception at the Bavarian Inn, a resort and brewery in Shepherdstown, W.Va.
The reception was the latest in a series of state-wide events in which school officials commemorated the establishment of the institution to raise awareness of WVSOM’s impact on the state and the region and spark excitement among supporters who could turn to philanthropic support. lead. The total economic impact of WVSOM is $133.6 million.
The celebration was one of many visits by WVSOM President James W. Nemitz, Ph.D., and other school staff with stakeholders, alumni, students, faculty, and friends of the school at WVSOM’s Statewide Campus system, which consists of seven designated regions in West Virginia, with offices in Martinsburg, Lewisburg, Wheeling, Charleston, Huntington, Parkersburg and Bridgeport.
WVSOM’s Eastern Region Statewide Campus site is located at 2500 Foundation Way, in Martinsburg.
The event was also attended by WVSOM alumni Joseph Cincinnati, DO, and Troy Foster, DO, of the Martinsburg-based Center for Orthopedic Excellence. Nemitz announced at the celebration that the doctors have committed to establishing a scholarship through the WVSOM Foundation.
The endowment will be known as the Patricia Louise McClung Nemitz Memorial Scholarship, named after Nemitz’s late wife, who passed away in 2009 from complications of multiple sclerosis. The scholarship is awarded to exemplary WVSOM students, with preference being given to students from Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan counties in West Virginia and alumni from Concord University and West Virginia University – where Cincinnati and Foster, respectively, received their undergraduate degrees.
At WVSOM, the first two years of a student’s four-year program are spent on campus in Lewisburg, W.Va. The last two years are spent on medical rotations in clinics and hospitals on WVSOM’s Statewide Campus, where students provide approximately 1,050,000 health care hours per year.
A total of 39 WVSOM graduates currently practice in the areas included in the Eastern Region of the Statewide Campus.
“We have a lot to celebrate this year,” Nemitz said. “I want to make sure everyone knows the value WVSOM brings to West Virginia. Not only do we have a huge economic impact in the state, but WVSOM is the state’s largest medical school, with approximately 800 students enrolled each year. WVSOM is also the number one medical school in the state providing primary care physicians in rural and underserved areas. We want to share our incredible message and celebrate the founding of the school.”
Zachary Bloom, a fourth-year college student from New Jersey, attended the reception and shared his experience at WVSOM.
“The school provides us with abundant resources, whether that means having a professor come in on the weekend or seeking out the ASPIRE (Academic Support and Intervention Resources) program, which helps us deal with the demands of medical school by providing resources to maintain our mental and emotional health,” said Bloom. “There is a fairly unanimous opinion among students that WVSOM provides a healthy balance in learning.”
Bloom also pointed out the benefits of WVSOM’s Statewide Campus.
“It’s unique and it helps students experience the diversity of different geographic regions,” Bloom said.
Andrew Colebank, a fourth-year student from Pennsylvania, discussed the school’s community engagement efforts.
“WVSOM not only provides extraordinary assistance to students, it also helps immensely in the community,” he said. “I plan to delve into rural medicine and family medicine, and it was refreshing to see President Nemitz’s humanitarian efforts.”
An annual program of events will take place at the WVSOM campus in Lewisburg, statewide, and at national conferences in 2022. A list of events can be found on WVSOM’s 50th Anniversary Web page at www.wvsom.edu/ 50 years.