Welcome to the Department of Anesthesiology at West Virginia University (WVU). These are exciting times in West Virginia and I am honored to lead the Department. Let me share with you why I am optimistic about the future of WVU Health and the Department of Anesthesiology.
The Department of Anesthesiology at WVU has a long and impressive history and I am privileged to serve as Chair. The mission of the Department is to provide exceptional care for our patients, conduct innovative research that advances the care of patients everywhere, and train the best students, residents, and fellows.
Since 2016, WVU Health has undergone explosive growth and the Department of Anesthesiology has been a critical contributor. Housed in J. W. Ruby Memorial Hospital, the Department provides anesthesia care for more 40,000 procedures per year. At our new state-of-the-art Heart and Vascular Institute (link: https://wvumedicine.org/heart/ ), the Department provides anesthesia care for 1,000 open cardiac, 1,000 thoracic, and 1,000 vascular procedures. WVU Heart and Vascular Institute has been recognized by the American Heart Association as a Mitral Valve Repair Center of Excellence and has received the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) Gold Level Center of Excellence Award. The cardiac anesthesia team is instrumental to all aspects of operative care and provides advanced intraoperative TEE imaging, including 3-D, for mitral valve repair and all cardiopulmonary bypass procedures.
Opening in February 2022, our new free standing nine-story Children’s Hospital will have 150 beds, including a 23-bed Pediatric ICU and a 54-bed Level IV Neonatal ICU. Our fellowship-trained pediatric anesthesia team provides anesthesia care to more than 7,000 pediatric patients while our OB anesthesia team provides patient-centered care to more than 2,000 new mothers every year. Our Regional Anesthesia and Acute Pain (RAP) service performs more than 2600 peripheral nerve blocks and improves the care of patients in pain with more than 2,000 acute pain consults. The Center for Integrative Pain Management has more than 32,000 patient visits every year and was recently recognized as a Model Integrated Program by the Margolis Center for Health Policy at Duke University (link: https://healthpolicy.duke.edu/publications/exemplary-integrated-pain-management-programs-west-virginia-university-center )
In addition to working to directly improve the health of the patients we serve in West Virginia, we are eager to extend our reach and improve the care of patients around the world. We recognize that one of the best ways to do this is through authentic engagement in research. Many members of the Department participate in clinical research projects that range from investigator-initiated projects that reflect an innovative approach to our clinical expertise to industry-funded drug and device studies. Other members of the Department participate in education research in order to improve the education of physicians and non-physicians. This group has studied everything from the impact of fatigue on resident well-being to the effect of biases on patient perception of physicians to the impact of novel techniques such as generative retrieval on learning.
The Department is committed to excellence and innovation in education. The Department supports nine ACGME-accredited residency positions every year for a total of 36 residents. We have two fellows in ACGME-accredited cardiothoracic anesthesia, one fellow in ACGME-accredited regional anesthesia and acute pain, and two fellows in ACGME-accredited Pain Medicine fellowship. We extensively use a highly-recognized, anesthesiologist-developed simulation center for education in all levels of training.
The Department takes great pride in our new CRNA training program, which began in 2020, and trains 15 student nurse anesthetists (SRNAs) each year. We are very excited to graduate our first class in December 2022.
Home to West Virginia University, Morgantown is a vibrant college town with a population that is open, diverse, and welcoming. Morgantown is the most educated city in West Virginia and has received numerous accolades. Some of these include:
- Designation as a top STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) city by Insurify (link: https://insurify.com/insights/2019-top-stem-cities-awards/)
- #1 place to live in West Virginia from The Best Place to Live in Every State by Money magazine (link: https://livability.com/best-places/2019-top-100-best-places-to-live/ )
- One of the ten best places to raise a family by Livability (link: https://livability.com/best-places/10-best-places-to-raise-a-family-2018/morgantown-wv/ )
- Ranked #8 in the “30 Best Small Sports Cities in the Country” by Wallet Hub (link: https://wallethub.com/edu/best-sports-cities/15179 )
- Ranked as one of the “Best Small Places for Business and Careers” by Forbes (link: https://www.forbes.com/places/wv/morgantown/?sh=682cae23690e
- Selected as one of the “South’s Best Small Towns” by Southern Living (link: https://www.southernliving.com/travel/west-virginia/morgantown-wv
As Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology, I welcome you to take a moment to explore our Departmental website. I encourage you to learn more about our Department, the clinical programs, professional education, research and practice opportunities. Please do not hesitate to contact me or any member of this amazing team to learn more about our WVU Anesthesiology.
Edward C. Nemergut, MD Professor and Chair