Calling their service commendable, the West Virginia State Senate on March 6 adopted a resolution honoring School of Medicine resident physicians for their work at the Legislature providing physician resources through the Paul Ambrose Health Policy Fellowship Program.
Dr. Kimberly R. Becher, a third-year resident from Sissonville, W.Va., Dr. Matthew Q. Christiansen, a first-year resident from Spencer, W.Va., and Dr. Kane A. Maiers, a third-year resident from Short Gap, W.Va., were honored by the resolution authored by Sen. Robert H. Plymale of Wayne County.The resolution also names Dr. Tracy Hendershot, MUSOM class of 2008, who served as the first Ambrose fellow.
“Our physicians have worked diligently to help our lawmakers explore and vet dozens of issues that affect the health and well-being of the citizens of West Virginia,” said Dr. Stephen M. Petrany, co-director of the health policy track at Marshall and chairman of the department of family and community health. “One of the goals of this program is to help young physicians fine-tune their leadership skills so they can effectively contribute to the health policy process. They have committed many hours to the process and we are very proud of their efforts.”
Both Becher and Maiers have served in the program for three years and tackled such topics as this year’s catastrophic water crisis in central West Virginia and the Methamphetamine Lab Eradication Act.
The Ambrose Health Policy Program was started at Marshall University in 2010 and is believed to be the only such program of its type in the country. It is a partnership of Marshall’s department of family and community health, Robert C. Byrd Center for Rural Health, and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. It was inspired by namesake Paul Wesley Ambrose, a Marshall medical alumnus whose life and dynamic health policy career were cut short on September 11, 2001.
Photo: Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine Ambrose Health Policy Fellows are, from left, Dr. Kimberly Becher, Dr. Kane Maiers and Dr. Matthew Christiansen. Photo by Martin Valent, West Virginia Legislative Photography, 2014.