CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice appointed Dr. Matthew Christiansen as the director of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ Office of Drug Control Policy.

Christiansen replaces Bob Hansen, who announced his retirement this week. His appointment is effective immediately and he will transition into the position over the next month. 

“West Virginia’s drug crisis has not taken a break even though we are experiencing a worldwide pandemic,” Justice said.  “Luckily, Dr. Christiansen is familiar with West Virginia’s issues and has worked closely with Bob Hansen. I think he’ll step into the job with one-foot running.”

The WV DHHR says Christiansen practices primary care and addiction medicine at Marshall Health and PROACT. He is also an associate professor at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine’s Department of Family and Community Health, Division of Addiction Sciences and the medical director and board president of Ebenezer Medical Outreach in Huntington.

“Combatting our state’s drug crisis has been a number one priority of this administration,” said Bill J. Crouch, DHHR Cabinet Secretary.  “I am pleased that Dr. Christiansen will offer a seamless transition to this most important position. We are very grateful for Bob Hansen’s service to the state and his countless efforts.”

Christiansen received his BS from Denison University, MD from Marshall University, and a master’s in public health from Marshall University, according to the WV DHHR

“I am truly humbled to serve on behalf of my fellow West Virginians in this position,” said Christiansen. “Working with individuals in recovery has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career and I look forward to working at a state level to expand and support recovery services continuing Bob Hansen’s legacy with the ODCP. I look forward to the day that we see our state recover from this terrible epidemic.”