OVP Health gifts $100,000 in support of Brad D. Smith Center for Business and Innovation


The Marshall University Foundation Inc. has announced that OVP Health has pledged a gift of $100,000 in support of the new Brad D. Smith Center for Business and Innovation facility at Marshall University.

The facility is slated to be built in the 1400 block of Fourth Avenue and is scheduled to open in January of 2024.

OVP Health, a Huntington, West Virginia, based company with an extensive range of primary care and addiction treatment facilities in West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, South Carolina and Virginia, is led by president and co-founder Robert A. Hess, M.D., FAAFP. Hess said the company is excited to partner with Marshall University in support of the state-of-the-art facility that will bring new economic development and world-class students to the region.

“More than ever before, the economic health, viability and future of Huntington, West Virginia, are tied to Marshall University and its ability to prepare students to meet the growing demands of an ever-changing world,” said Hess.

Hess, an accomplished health care professional, earned his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Marshall University in 1980. After graduating from the Marshall University School of Medicine in 1984, he found success with Huntington Internal Medicine Group (HIMG), eventually becoming president of the large physician practice.

In 1999, Hess partnered with the late Stephen C. Shy, D.O., to establish Ohio Valley Physicians, now known as OVP Health.  For the past 23 years, he has been instrumental in leading the tremendous growth and success of the company, which now employs nearly 500 people.

Outside of his primary responsibilities as president and corporate medical director of OVP Health, Hess has dedicated himself to supporting Marshall University, including the establishment of a diversity internship program with its Lewis College of Business to provide opportunities for master’s degree students of color working in health care administration.

“As a growing, Huntington-based company with operations in five states, OVP Health is delighted to support the Brad D. Smith Center for Business and Innovation,” Hess said. “It will not only provide students with the state-of-the-art learning environment needed to acquire that preparation but will also help to build a pipeline that will supply local, regional and national companies with a reliable stream of world-class employees and business leaders. And for the city and community of Huntington, that can only help to ensure a brighter, stronger and healthier future.”

The Brad D. Smith Center for Business and Innovation will serve as a hub for the economic development of the region, as well as provide Marshall University students with cutting-edge instructional facilities. The facility also features a unique design that provides flexibility for a changing academic environment and classrooms that encourage active learning of various types.

Marshall University officials say they hope to attract new students eager to take advantage of one of the most innovative business schools in the country to the region.

To learn more about OVP Health, visit www.ovphealth.com. For more information about the Brad D. Smith Center for Business and Innovation and the Brad D. Smith Schools of Business, visit www.marshall.edu/cob.


Photo: Pictured with the ceremonial check are, from left) Dr. Ron Area, CEO, Marshall University Foundation Inc.; Dr. Avinandan Mukherjee, interim provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at Marshall University; Robert A. Hess, M.D., FAAFP, president and co-founder, OVP Health; Stephen C. Shy II, D.O., vice president and medical director of ER Services at OVP Health; Lance West, vice president for development at the Marshall University Foundation Inc.

Contact: Melanie Whitt, University Relations Specialist, 304-696-3045, melanie.whitt@marshall.edu

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