[caption id="attachment_39394" align="alignleft" width="300"]<img class="size-medium wp-image-39394" src="https:\/\/mountainmedianews.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/13\/2019\/11\/WVSOM-Clingman-daughters-300x278.jpg" alt="" width="300" height="278" \/> Gwen Clingman\u2019s three daughters attended the opening ceremonies of the Clingman Center for Community Engagement at Montwell Commons on Tuesday, Nancy Clingman Deitz (left), Alice Clingman Hollingsworth and Sharon Clingman Shutzer.[\/caption]\r\n<h2>Like the woman whose name it bears, the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine\u2019s (WVSOM) Clingman Center for Community Engagement recognizes the importance of giving back to the community. The value of serving others was a recurring theme of those who spoke at the school\u2019s Oct. 29 ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new facility.<\/h2>\r\nThe Clingman Center, located in Lewisburg\u2019s Montwell Commons, will serve as a bridge between WVSOM and the surrounding area, allowing the school to deliver programs that teach community members skills to help them manage healthier lives. It\u2019s named for the late Gwen Clingman, who for many years provided meals to WVSOM students, faculty and administrators at her downtown Lewisburg business, Clingman\u2019s Market.\r\n\r\nThe Clingman Center is currently used for community workshops and trainings and will provide further options for community engagement and healthy activities as its infrastructure develops. A commercial teaching kitchen has been constructed in the building to offer culinary training and outreach on healthy cooking, and the site also will be used for workforce development programs and community-based health research.\r\n\r\nBob Foster, D.O., WVSOM\u2019s associate dean for osteopathic medical education, served as master of ceremonies at the ribbon cutting. Clingman\u2019s daughters, Alice Hollingsworth and Sharon Clingman Shutzer, and a granddaughter, Heather Hollandsworth, spoke at the ceremony. Other family members were also present.\r\n\r\nHollingsworth said her mother loved WVSOM and the thousands of students she fed.\r\n\r\n\u201cOur mother used to say that there\u2019s no use passing this way if you don\u2019t help people,\u201d she said. \u201cShe would say that the osteopathic school was born in her little store. Mother knew that the vision Roland [Sharp, WVSOM\u2019s first president and Clingman\u2019s cousin] and other doctors discussed over lunch was to educate men and women to be the best physicians they could be, serving in rural communities while being compassionate and caring for all people.\u201d\r\n\r\nWest Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, who attended the ceremony with First Lady Cathy Justice, spoke about the school\u2019s history in Lewisburg and commended WVSOM for its significance to medical education and to West Virginia\u2019s rural population.\r\n\r\n\u201cThis school is essential not just to Lewisburg and Greenbrier County but to our state, to our nation and to the world,\u201d Justice said. \u201cYou\u2019re pumping doctor after doctor into our rural areas. I celebrate all that you\u2019re doing.\u201d\r\n\r\nOthers who spoke at the ceremony included Florian Schleiff of the Greenbrier Valley Restoration Project, from whom WVSOM is leasing the building that houses the center; James W. Nemitz, Ph.D., the school\u2019s president; and Heather Antolini, WVSOM\u2019s director of institutional development.\r\n\r\nNemitz said the Clingman Center is an example of WVSOM\u2019s commitment to meeting the health care needs of West Virginians. He highlighted the fact that the center\u2019s programs will address nutrition, chronic disease management and addiction recovery, among other community health concerns.\r\n\r\n\u201cMany West Virginians are dying of chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart problems, so we\u2019re going to teach people to eat right. We\u2019re also going to bring people who are in recovery because of the opioid epidemic here to learn skills so that they can be contributing members of society,\u201d he said. \u201cWe\u2019re going to teach people how to live better and healthier lives.\u201d\r\n\r\nNemitz said he thinks the Clingman Center could become a model for other, similar community facilities statewide.\r\n\r\n\u201cI believe this will be the start of something even bigger,\u201d he said. \u201cWe\u2019re going to collect data to see which programs work, and then we\u2019re going to share it with others and encourage other communities to create centers like this around the state so that we can improve the quality of life for all West Virginians.\u201d\r\n\r\nAfter the ceremony, attendees were invited to take home flower arrangements used as d\u00e9cor at the event in exchange for a donation to the WVSOM Gwen Clingman Memorial Scholarship Fund, which is presented annually to a student who has demonstrated a commitment to community service throughout his or her time in medical school.\r\n\r\nLewisburg Mayor Beverly White and West Virginia Delegate Jeff Campbell were also present at the ceremony, as were West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute Director Sally Hodder, M.D., West Virginia University Office of Health Services Research Director Adam Baus, Ph.D., and U.S. Department of Agriculture Business and Cooperative Programs and Rural Development Director Lisa Sharp.\r\n\r\nThe Clingman Center is also available to the public as a rental space for events such as meetings, weddings, receptions and private parties through the WVSOM Foundation. Those interested in renting the facility may contact the foundation at 304-793-6852.