Governor announces opposition to WVSOM privatization

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Gov. Jim Justice announced Tuesday that he is opposed to a plan to privatize the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg.

“It makes absolutely no sense to divest yourself of such a strong asset,”  Justice said. “WVSOM graduates more physicians annually than both West Virginia University and Marshall University and more than half of the primary care physicians practicing in West Virginia are graduates of the Osteopathic School. Privatization of this outstanding educational facility will also drive up in-state tuition, dramatically, for our state’s brightest young women and men and that would be counterproductive.”

Justice noted that WVSOM has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best medical schools in the country for 18 consecutive years and is ranked No. 1 in the nation among all medical schools graduating physicians who practice in rural areas by Academic Medicine.

“At a time when West Virginians need access to quality health care, especially in our most rural areas, we simply can’t afford to even entertain the thought of giving up WVSOM,” Justice said.