Charleston—West Virginia’s capital and largest population center—faced a medical crisis in the 1970s. The medical community was aging and no local medical school was available. West Virginia University had a problem, too: its medical school and other health professions programs were growing to a point where the Morgantown campus teaching hospital could no longer accommodate the number of students who needed clinical training.
Community leaders, physicians, and elected officials in Charleston developed an innovative solution: the Charleston campus of WVU. In 1972, this was one of the first regional health sciences campus opened by any University in the country. Over the past five decades, it has grown from a minor outpost to a full-fledged hub that annually educates hundreds of learners and treats hundreds of thousands of patients in partnership with teaching hospital, Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC).
Over 100 University faculty and hundreds of community professionals who serve as clinical faculty provide training and oversight to our students. Each year more than 80 medical students and over 180 residents, interns and fellows in Charleston.
WVU’s School of Pharmacy faculty members participate in interdisciplinary practices in family medicine, geriatrics, pediatrics, and poison information and toxicology. Typically, 30 pharmacy students select the Charleston campus as the hub for their rotations.
The WVU School of Nursing pioneered distance education for nurses who want to advance their careers while remaining at work in their communities. The Charleston Campus School of Nursing is one of the first sites nationally to be awarded accreditation for the doctorate of nursing practice degree.
The Charleston campus is singularly effective in producing nurse practitioners who deliver primary care to rural southern West Virginia. Through CAMC—one of only two Level 1 trauma hospitals in the state—WVU Health Sciences Charleston offers leading-edge care in endovascular, colorectal, pancreatic, pediatric, and robotic surgery.
As a state, West Virginia faces significant health disparities. Our faculty and students are well positioned to change these statistics through our academic, clinical and research programs. With support through endowments and other gifts we will continue to expand our offerings that advance healthcare in our region.