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West Virginia Resources

Understanding the Public Health Consequences of Suspending a Rural Syringe Services Program: A Qualitative Study of the Experiences of People Who Inject Drugs
Details a study on the public health outcomes associated with discontinuing syringe services programs (SSPs) in rural areas where people who inject drugs (PWIDs) are prevalent. Focuses on the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department in West Virginia.
Author(s): Sean T. Allen, Suzanne M. Grieb, Allison O’Rourke, et al.
Citation: Harm Reduction Journal, 16
Date: 05/2019
Type: Document
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The Appalachian Region: A Data Overview from the 2013-2017 American Community Survey Chartbook
Presents data form the American Community Survey for Appalachia from 2013-2017. Details data pertaining to health insurance coverage, transportation, and internet access, among other measures.
Author(s): Kelvin Pollard, Linda A. Jacobsen
Date: 05/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Appalachian Regional Commission
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Estimating the Number of People Who Inject Drugs in A Rural County in Appalachia
Demonstrates how a group of researchers conducted data collection in Cabell County, West Virginia in June and July 2018, to estimate the number of people who inject drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine, and fentanyl. Features statistics including demographics and breakdowns by type of drug injected.
Author(s): Sean T. Allen, Allison O'Rourke, Rebecca Hamilton White, et al.
Citation: American Journal of Public Health, 109(3), 445-450
Date: 03/2019
Type: Document
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Selected Rural Healthcare Facilities in West Virginia
Shows the state’s Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), as well as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) located outside of urbanized areas.
Date: 01/2019
Type: Map/Mapping System
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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Identifying Priority and “Bright-Spot” Counties for Diabetes Preventive Care in Appalachia: An Exploratory Analysis
Details a study of type 2 diabetes prevalence and mortality in rural Appalachian counties and compares rates with non-Appalachian counties.
Author(s): Peter J. Mallow, Michael Topmiller, Jennifer Rankin, Jene Grandmont, David Grolling
Citation: Journal of Appalachian Health, 1(1), 27-33
Date: 2019
Type: Document
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Serum Cotinine Versus Parent Reported Measures of Secondhand Smoke Exposure in Rural Appalachian Children
Highlights a study of secondhand smoke exposure in Appalachian children. Features data collected from children aged 7-9 and compares rates to national and Appalachian-state rates.
Author(s): Samrat Yeramaneni, Kimberly Yolton, Kurunthachalam Kannan, Kim N. Dietrich, Erin N. Haynes
Citation: Journal of Appalachian Health, 1(1), 15-26
Date: 2019
Type: Document
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The Social Determinants of Health and the Decline in U.S. Life Expectancy: Implications for Appalachia
Study explores life expectancy in the U.S. and compares these trends to those in Appalachia. Looks at social determinants of health such as substance use, injuries, and suicide, among others, as possible contributing factors.
Author(s): Steven H. Woolf, Heidi Schoomaker, Latoya Hill, Christine M. Orndahl
Citation: Journal of Appalachian Health, 1(1), 6-14
Date: 2019
Type: Document
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Red Flags and Warning Signs Ignored: Opioid Distribution and Enforcement Concerns in West Virginia
Report highlights a U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce investigation into the opioid crisis in West Virginia. Examines the policies of the various drug distribution companies who shipped opioids into the state, as well as the effectiveness of the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) oversight.
Date: 12/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: House Energy and Commerce Committee
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Qualitative Case Study of Needle Exchange Programs in the Central Appalachian Region of the United States
Reports on a qualitative study in West Virginia to address barriers and identify supports that may impact the development of needle exchange programs (NEPs) in rural areas of the U.S. Interviews were conducted in West Virginia with program directors, police chiefs, law enforcement members, and people who inject drugs to obtain information on program implementation and operations, and future growth of NEPs.
Author(s): Stephen M. Davis, Danielle Davidov, Alfgeir L. Kristjansson, Keith Zullig, Adam Baus, et al.
Citation: PLoS One, 13(10)
Date: 10/2018
Type: Document
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Rising Rates of Injection Drug Use Associated Infective Endocarditis in Virginia with Missed Opportunities for Addiction Treatment Referral: A Retrospective Cohort Study
Describes the geographic, clinical trends and characteristics of infective endocarditis related to injection drug use (IDU-IE). Study site serves a large rural area in West Virginia and Virginia. Counties of residence for patient admissions with IDU-IE were identified as rural or urban. Discusses opportunities for improved quality of care for people who inject drugs.
Author(s): Megan E. Gray, Elizabeth T. Rogawski McQuade, W. Michael Scheld, Rebecca A. Dillingham
Citation: BMC Infectious Disease, 18, 532
Date: 10/2018
Type: Document
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Minnie Hamilton Health Care Center Experiencing Improved Community Feedback
Updates the quality improvement work of a Critical Access Hospital in West Virginia that operates a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and Rural Health Clinic (RHC). Focuses on the hospital's accomplishments around patient experience and clinical quality as part of the Small Rural Hospital Transition (SRHT) Quality of Care and Transition Project.
Date: 10/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Rural Health Resource Center
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Perceived Benefits and Barriers of a Community-Based Diabetes Prevention and Management Program
Examines the factors that motivate or impede participation in a community-based diabetes program by individuals who are overweight or obese adults with diabetes and prediabetes, and living in predominately rural counties of West Virginia. Provides suggestions for improving future diabetes prevention and management programs.
Author(s): Samantha Shawley-Brzoska, Ranjita Misra
Citation: Journal of Clinical Medicine, 7(3), 58
Date: 03/2018
Type: Document
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The Appalachian Region: A Data Overview from the 2012-2016 American Community Survey
Provides state and county-level information on population, age, race and ethnicity, housing occupancy, education, labor force, employment, income, health insurance coverage, disability, and veteran status, for the 13 states with Appalachian regions. Includes breakdowns by five levels of urban or rural county types.
Author(s): Kelvin Pollard, Linda A. Jacobsen
Date: 03/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Appalachian Regional Commission
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Minnie Hamilton Health Care Center: SRHT Project Well Under Way
Profiles Minnie Hamilton Health Care Center's (MHHCC) progress as part of the Small Rural Hospital Transition (SRHT) Project, completed in 2017, focused on improving quality of care and transitions of care throughout its facilities. MHHCC is an 18-bed, not-for-profit Critical Access Hospital in Grantsville, West Virginia. MHHCC also operates a Rural Health Clinic in Grantsville and a Federally Qualified Health Center in Glenville.
Date: 02/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Rural Health Resource Center
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Creating a Culture of Health in Rural West Virginia: State Rural Health Plan 2018-2022
Presents a state plan representing the vision and goals for the health and well-being of people in rural West Virginia as identified by healthcare advocates within the state. Key health conditions and health indicators are discussed, including behavioral health, cardiovascular disease, lung disease, obesity, and social determinants of health. Priorities to support positive change are focused on improvements in the following areas: access to healthcare, health outcomes, workforce development, and community engagement.
Date: 01/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organizations: West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, West Virginia State Office of Rural Health
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Mental Health Disparities: Appalachian People
Breaks down the mental health disparities across Appalachia. Looks at behavioral health indicators, such as rates of depression, excessive drinking, and suicide, among others, as well as social determinants indicators, such as median household income, poverty, and education, among others.
Date: 2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: American Psychiatric Association
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Health Care in West Virginia: A Workforce Supply and Demand Analysis Report
Contains an assessment of the healthcare workforce in West Virginia, providing information for stakeholders, citizens, policymakers, and decision-makers on how West Virginia's healthcare needs are affecting the state. Includes several county-level maps illustrating data on workforce supply and demand for physicians, physician assistants, dentists, physical therapists, pharmacists, and many other health professionals. Also discusses the state's workforce pipeline and incentive programs, aimed at improving access to primary care services in underserved areas.
Date: 08/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: West Virginia Rural Health Association
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Spit It Out-West Virginia
Video highlighting the Spit it Out program, which serves six West Virginia Coal Country counties. Describes how the Southern Coalfields Tobacco Prevention Coalition Network partnered with mining companies to reduce tobacco use, particularly smokeless tobacco use.
Date: 08/2017
Type: Video/Multimedia
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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Williamson Health and Wellness Center
Video highlighting a West Virginia community health worker program that helps patients with chronic illness connect with services and manage their health.
Date: 07/2017
Type: Video/Multimedia
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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Medicaid Expansion: Behavioral Health Treatment Use in Selected States in 2014
Report to Congress describing the population of Medicaid expansion enrollees with behavioral health diagnoses in 2014, and the use of behavioral health treatment among the enrolled population. Results are based on the experience of four states: Iowa, New York, Washington, and West Virginia. Includes a discussion on rural/urban geographic distribution of enrollees and the barriers to accessing treatment for enrollees living in rural areas.
Additional links: Full Report
Date: 06/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Government Accountability Office
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Harm Reduction – West Virginia Local Health Departments Lead Efforts to Mitigate Human and Financial Costs of Opioid Epidemic
Describes West Virginia public health departments' efforts to promote harm reduction programs, as a response to the opioid crisis and resulting overdose deaths. Gives examples of successful programs from across the state.
Date: 04/2017
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: West Virginia Association of Local Health Departments
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Surgical Care Improvement Project Measures among Rural and Urban Hospitals in West Virginia
Reviews data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP) from 10 rural community hospitals in West Virginia to determine the quality of surgical care given by rural providers. Data reported was compared to a set of process measures demonstrating the rates of surgical morbidity and mortality, surgical site infections, and other complications following surgery.
Author(s): Yuya K. Kudo, Linda V. Davis, Dustin M. Long, John C. Honaker, Don K. Nakayama
Citation: American Surgeon, 82(1), E20-E22
Date: 08/2016
Type: Document
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Network Spotlight: Mountain Health Alliance
Highlights the Cumberland, Maryland based Mountain Health Alliance (MHA), which works to advance a culture of health within the region's rural communities through collaboration and community engagement. Covers MHA's network characteristics, lessons learned, accomplishments, and challenges faced through an interview with network director, Kimi-Scott McGreevy. MHA serves the uninsured, underinsured, and low-income populations in a three-state (PA, MD, WV), five-county region.
Date: 06/2016
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Rural Health Resource Center
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Community-Based Diabetes Screening and Risk Assessment in Rural West Virginia
Reports on a cross-sectional study to assess diabetes risk among 540 individuals, 18 years or more, from 12 rural counties in West Virginia. A noninvasive survey combined with a glycosylated hemoglobin or A1C blood test was used to identify individuals with prediabetes, or at high risk for diabetes. Discusses the factors contributing to the high rates of diabetes and prediabetes, and the need to effectively lower the risks of diabetes in the state.
Author(s): Ranjita Misra, Cindy Fitch, David Roberts, Dana Wright
Citation: Journal of Diabetes Research, 2016
Date: 01/2016
Type: Document
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Increases in Acute Hepatitis B Virus Infections - Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia, 2006-2013
Reports on increased rates of hepatitis B infections in three Appalachian states, particularly among injection drug users and in non-urban areas.
Author(s): Aaron M. Harris, Kashif Iqbal, Sarah Schillie, et al.
Citation: MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report), 65(3), 47-50
Date: 01/2016
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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Rural Disparities in Cancer Care: A Review of Its Implications and Possible Interventions
A literature review about the disparities in cancer care in rural Appalachia, specifically West Virginia. Discusses possible solutions to bridge the gap, such as teleoncology, virtual tumor boards, patient support groups, and physician training programs. Includes data and statistics for rates of cancer and oncologist availability.
Author(s): Lynne J. Goebel
Citation: West Virginia Medical Journal, 112(3), 76-82
Date: 2016
Type: Document
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Travel Distance Study for Rural/Competitive Bid Area/Neither Rural nor CBA Census Tracts to Hospitals and Home Medical Equipment Suppliers: Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Measures rural populations' proximity to hospitals and home medical equipment suppliers in Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin in comparison with their urban counterparts.
Date: 12/2015
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: University of Northern Iowa Geoinformatics Training, Research, Education, and Extension (GeoTREE) Center
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Increases in Hepatitis C Virus Infection Related to Injection Drug Use Among Persons Aged ≤30 Years - Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, 2006-2012
Discusses opioid abuse, drug injecting, and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in central Appalachia, with data on HCV infection rates for four states. Includes data for rural and urban areas by gender and race/ethnicity.
Author(s): Jon E. Zibbell, Kashif Iqbal, Rajiv C. Patel, Anil Suryaprasad, Kathy J. Sanders, Loretta Moore-Moravian, Jamie Serrecchia, et al.
Citation: MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report), 64(17), 453-458
Date: 05/2015
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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West Virginia Health Sciences and Rural Health Report Card 2015
A review of medical school enrollment, licensing rates, student debt ratios, residency training, and retention rates in West Virginia with a special focus on the Rural Health Initiative Program. Includes information on dental, advanced practice nursing, pharmacy, and physician assistant programs. Describes the Medical Student Loan Program, and the Health Sciences Services Program providing financial awards to health professionals who agree to practice in underserved areas of West Virginia.
Date: 2015
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
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Examining Community Paramedicine in Rural West Virginia
Provides an analysis of current use of community paramedicine in rural West Virginia and highlights the potential for expanded use across the state.
Author(s): Kristi Valcik
Date: 2015
Type: Document
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Community Health Center Growth & Sustainability: State Profiles From the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States
Provides health and economic data, and Medicaid policy information regarding community health centers (CHCs) in rural and urban areas, from 13 Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia) and the District of Columbia.
Author(s): Dan Lowenstein, Nancy Lager, Tom Manning, et al.
Date: 12/2014
Type: Website
Sponsoring organizations: Primary Care Development Corporation, RCHN Community Health Foundation
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Journal of Appalachian Health
Highlights issues relating to the health and wellness of rural Appalachian communities. Features peer-reviewed, open access research on health outcomes in Appalachia.
Type: Journal/Newsletter
Sponsoring organization: University of Kentucky College of Public Health
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Rural Syringe Services Program
Features links for resources related to syringe services, including recommendations and reasons for establishing a syringe service program, types of programs, and examples of successful programs. Includes information on state laws in Kentucky, North Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Virginia allowing the establishment of syringe services programs.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Harm Reduction Coalition
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Health Disparities in Appalachia
Presents an interactive report and map that detail various healthcare and social determinants of health indicators for counties within the rural Appalachian region.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organizations: Appalachian Regional Commission, Center for Applied Research and Environmental Systems, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
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West Virginia Health Data Portal
A database of healthcare workforce supply and demand data, medical specialties, the number of providers in an area, access to food, and the driving distance to a clinic, medical office, or hospital.
Type: Map/Mapping System
Sponsoring organization: West Virginia Rural Health Association
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ERS State Fact Sheet: West Virginia
State-level data on population, poverty, food security, educational attainment, employment, and income. Includes data for rural areas, urban areas, and the state as a whole.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
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West Virginia KIDS COUNT Data Center
Provides data on child well-being for the state. Covers demographics, economic well-being, education, family and community, health, and safety and risky behaviors. Some data available by county.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Annie E. Casey Foundation
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West Virginia QuickFacts
State-level data on demographics, housing, income, and other social determinants of health, with the option to add data for counties and cities and towns with a population of 5,000 or more. Includes information from multiple U.S. Census Bureau censuses, surveys, and programs.
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Census Bureau
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West Virginia State Health Facts
State-level data on demographics, health status, healthcare costs and access, healthcare providers, and more.
Type: Database
Sponsoring organization: Kaiser Family Foundation
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Additional resources are available. See a full list of West Virginia Resources.


Last Updated: 5/24/2019