CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — The new West Virginia Department of Health has a familiar face at the helm.
The newly revamped West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources now has three new cabinet secretaries after the agency was split up.
Dr. Sherri Young has been appointed as the new Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Health.
Young is best known for her years of service as the executive officer of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.
She led Kanawha County through the COVID-19 pandemic and even gained national attention for her local health efforts when she appeared on the cover of Time Magazine.
Young most recently was Associate Chief Medical Officer for CAMC hospitals. But public health care is Doctor Young’s passion, so she will lead the state’s efforts.
“But I want to take the opportunity to look at what we have, and what we need. And try to help bolster what we have, so that we can address diabetes and address other health issues such as health disease and making sure that people have the health care that we need,” Dr. Sherri Young, WV Secretary of Health.
Dr. Young added, “As a physician, I can tell you that being in a physician’s office and getting your medications, that’s 20 percent of what helps a person to become healthy. The other 80 percent is where they eat, where they are able to get their health care, do they have transportation?”
Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV) also appointed Dr. Cynthia Persily as the new Secretary of Human Services and Michael Caruso as the Secretary of Health Facilities.
In 2023, the legislature voted to divide DHHR into three distinct agencies, as lawmakers feared it just became too large with too many employees for just one cabinet secretary to run efficiently.