High school student Rania Zuri has made it her mission to end book deserts in West Virginia. Book deserts are places without libraries and bookstores, threatening literacy rates for young children. A senior at Morgantown High School, Zuri founded the LiTEArary Society to provide books to preschool children across West Virginia.Continue Reading Take Me to More News
Dr. Matthew Christiansen, the current director of the Department of Health and Human Resources Office of Drug Control Policy, has been named the new Public Health Officer. Interim DHHR Secretary Dr. Jeff Coben said he brings a wealth of experience to his new position.
Christiansen had served as the director of DHHR’s Office of Drug Control Policy (ODCP). He was appointed to that position in Oct. 2020 by Gov. Jim Justice. He also serves as an associate professor in the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Department of Family and Community Health where he practices primary care and addiction medicine.
Prior to joining DHHR, Christiansen was active in primary care and addiction treatment across the lifespan. He earned his medical degree and Master of Public Health degree from Marshall University.
Coben said Christiansen is well positioned to join the state’s health leadership team.
“I think that is a great asset to bring a primary care physician who is a West Virginian and is trained in public health, to help with the leadership of that bureau,” Coben said.
In a press release, Chrtistiansen said he looks forward to implementing a continued vision to improve health for all state residents.
Dr. Christiansen replaces Dr. Ayne Amjad, who will continue to serve as a health adviser to the governor.
Rachel Thaxton, ODCP assistant director, and Christina Mullins, DHHR deputy secretary of Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders, will handle administrative functions of ODCP while a search is conducted for a permanent ODCP Director.