Two WVSOM presidential candidates invited to campus


The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) Presidential Search Committee will host campus visits in January for two individuals who are under consideration as the next WVSOM president.

After an extensive national search, the committee conducted preliminary interviews the first week of November. Committee members have since narrowed the candidates down to Steven Eshenaur, D.O., who will be interviewed on campus Jan. 8-10 and James Nemitz, Ph.D., who will be interviewed Jan. 17-19.

The two candidates’ visits will involve meetings with a range of key campus constituent groups and individuals. Each candidate will also provide a Community Presentation on the future of medicine and where they would lead WVSOM. Dr. Eshenaur will provide his presentation on Monday, Jan. 8 and Dr. Nemitz will provide his presentation on Wednesday, Jan. 17. Both presentations will take place at 5 p.m. in the Student Center on WVSOM’s campus.

Following the on-campus interviews, the candidates will also meet with the WVSOM Presidential Search Committee in conjunction with the WVSOM Board of Governors meeting on Jan. 26 in Charleston.

Steven Eshenaur, D.O.

Dr. Eshenaur is a 1996 WVSOM graduate and is currently the State Surgeon for the West Virginia Army National Guard. In this role, which he has had for the past eight years, he serves as the senior physician to oversee the medical readiness, deploy ability and retention criteria for a force of more than 4,000 soldiers. Dr. Eshenaur serves as an emergency physician and medical director for a variety of hospitals and clinics; mentors students in WVSOM’s Rural Health Initiative program; and teaches as an associate professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine. Previously, he volunteered as the medical director for the Summit Bechtel Reserve.

After receiving his medical degree, Dr. Eshenaur completed an internal medicine internship at Portsmouth Naval Hospital in 1997 and a family medicine residency at Charleston Area Medical Center in 2005.

Jim Nemitz, Ph.D.

Dr. Nemitz has been employed with WVSOM for the past 31 years. He has been the Vice President for Administration and External Relations for the past seven years. In this current role, Dr. Nemitz oversees the accreditation and institutional effectiveness processes; research and grants; community outreach; government relations at the local, state and national levels; and manages special events such as graduation, grand affair and convocation/white coat ceremony. He has also been WVSOM’s associate dean for preclinical education, director of the Office of Rural Recruitment and Retention and has served as an anatomy professor. He has provided service to the national osteopathic profession and West Virginia higher education – he received the American Osteopathic Foundation Educator of the Year award in 2002 and the West Virginia Professor of the Year award in 2000.

Dr. Nemitz received his Ph.D. in anatomy at Medical College of Virginia in 1980. He completed postdoctoral fellowships in neuroscience at Yale University School of Medicine in 1983 and Medical College of Virginia in 1984. He completed a health policy fellowship at the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2017.