Justice Praises Ohio County Medical Society

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The Ohio County Medical Society played an integral role in quelling the state’s medical malpractice crisis, said West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Elliott Maynard.

Maynard’s comments highlighted the society’s installation of officers dinner held Tuesday at Sandscrest Conference and Retreat Center in Wheeling.

He commended society members for their work to have the state Legislature address tort reform earlier this decade. Doctors, at the time, were leaving the state due to high costs of medical malpractice insurance at a rate of 10 per month, Maynard noted.

Many physicians took leaves of absence in protest of the rates, forcing the Legislature to act.

‘‘It’s made a huge difference today. Premiums are doing down. Five years ago you couldn’t even get insurance, now it’s going down. During the last 18 months, 232 new doctors have come to West Virginia,’’ Maynard said. ‘‘I want to thank you for having the guts to lead and make it happen.’’

Maynard also introduced the society’s new officers: Dr. Chris Tiu, secretary/treasurer; Dr. Robert Vawter, vice president; Dr. Rajai Khoury, president-elect; and Dr. G.N. Reddy, president.

Reddy said he plans to continue to promote the society’s goals, which include improving patient health care and public health initiatives. For doctors in West Virginia, two of the toughest health care challenges are diabetes and increasing obesity rates in children, noted Dr. John Dudich, outgoing president.

The Ohio County Medical Society currently has 160 members.
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