telephone directory main number 304 469 2905
ncqa seal

Rosie SmilingColon Cancer Awareness -by Rosalie McCauley

Colon Cancer Awareness
“Say it, Fight it, Cure it”

Hello to all! As many of you already know, I am currently battling Colon Cancer. March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. So lets get to it …

Did you know, according to the American Cancer Society; colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer found in men and women in the U.S. (not including skin cancers). Overall, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 20.

Colon Cancer is a health issue that needs far more attention than it gets. No one knows what causes Colon Cancer. Research has shown that people with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop the disease.

Risk Factors (taken from) The Colon Cancer Alliance Web site (Please go to their website to learn more).

Risk Factors for Colon Cancer include:

-Age over 50- More than 90% of people with the disease are diagnosed after age 50. Average age of diagnosis is 72.
-Colon Polyps- Polyps are growths on the inner wall of the colon or rectum. They are common in people over 50. Most polyps are benign, but some are adenomas (can become cancer). Finding and removing these polyps may reduce the risk of colon cancer.
-Family history of colon cancer- Close relatives (parents, sisters, brothers or children) of a person with a history of colon cancer are more likely to develop the disease themselves, especially if the relative had cancer at a young age.
-Genetic alterations- Changes in certain genes increase the risk of colon cancer.
-Personal history of cancer- A person who has already had colon cancer may develop colon cancer a second time. Also, women with a history of cancer of the ovary, uterus, or breast are at a somewhat higher risk of developing colon cancer.
-Ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease- A person who has had a condition that causes inflammation of the colon for many years is at increased risk of developing colon cancer.
-Diet and Lifestyle- Studies suggest that diets high in red meat and fat (especially animal fat) and low in calcium, Folate, and fiber may increase the risk of colon cancer. Also, some studies suggest that people who eat a diet very low in fruits and vegetables may have a higher risk of colon cancer. However, results from diet studies do not always agree, and more research is needed to better understand how diet affects the risk of colon cancer.
-Cigarette smoking-A person who smokes cigarettes may be at increased risk of developing colon cancer.

As stated above, there are many risk factors. Which is why it is so important to find out what your personal risk factors are. For me, I learned only after my diagnosis, that my mother had to have emergency surgery on her colon after a tumor ruptured when she was only 33 years old. This was in the early 1970’s and to my knowledge she was never tested for cancer, but fortunately, she made a full recovery.

After my diagnosis, she began digging into her own family history and learned her aunt (my great aunt) died of colon cancer. All of my siblings have now been screened and as our children approach adulthood they will be screened for colon cancer too.

I feel it is important to share my symptoms, in order to help others recognize the warning signs. I was 41 years old, ate healthy, exercised, and thought I was healthy. I began to have abdominal pains after consuming certain foods and drinks. My energy level was unusually low. I made an appointment with Jennifer Boyd at NRHA. Jennifer ordered blood work and learned my hemoglobin was seven (12 to 14 is normal). I was called by NRHA and told to go to the emergency room. This phone call saved my life.

I was admitted into the hospital and a series of tests began. Eventually, a colonoscopy was done and I learned I had late stage 2 colon cancer.

I was scheduled surgery to remove the cancer and I am undergoing 12 rounds of Chemotherapy. I am currently on treatment 8. I feel like I am getting over the hump, and I look forward to returning to work this fall!

I want everyone at New River Health to know how grateful I am for the health care that led to my diagnosis. Anemia is a sign of colon cancer, and it is so important that routine blood test are performed on patients.

Thank you, to all the wonderful friends at NRHA for wearing blue on Fridays during March, and for all the support, cards and love. I am forever grateful!

Rosalie McCauley
School Based Health Educator



blue ribbon wrapped around nrh logoMarch is Colon Cancer Awareness Month!

What can you do? Get screened for colon cancer. Be aware of your family history- ask your relatives about the history of colon cancer in your family. Be aware of the signs of colon cancer:

The word You in a blank circleSchool Health Enrollment Challenge for Valley, Collins and Oak Hill High School

Have YOU Taken the enrollment challenge?

If we get 100 new school health enrollees by March 14th then all enrollees will be entered in a prize drawing! Enrollment forms are available from your student at school or at



Pulmonary Therapist teaches patient to use exercise machineNovember is COPD Awareness Month

November is COPD awareness month: A new program at New River Health offers pulmonary rehabilitation to patients who suffer from COPD or other causes of shortness of breath. Initiated by the Grace Anne Dorney pulmonary rehabilitation program and Ted Koppel, our new facility features state of the art equipment and pulmonary therapist Amanda Jones. We are thrilled to have this program and encourage patients who have shortness of breath to contact us for an evaluation at 304-469-2905.


pink ribbon wrapped around New River Health LogoOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, besides skin cancer. We at New River Health are committed to helping women get the screening they need. Contact us to help schedule your yearly mammogram. 304-469-2905


New River Health Association, Inc. Ready to Help Educate and Enroll Patients

healthcare outreach workersBeginning in October 2013, there is a new way to find a quality health insurance plan that fits your needs and your budget through the new WV Health Insurance Marketplace.

All plans must cover the care you need, including doctor visits, hospital stays, preventive care, prescriptions, and more. Low-cost and free plans are available, and financial help is available based on how much money you make. No one can be denied coverage because they have a pre-existing condition. There is no sales pitch or fine print, just side-by-side comparisons of each plan. In addition to the health insurance marketplace, Medicaid health coverage will be available to anyone who lives in West Virginia, is a US citizen, is under age 65 and earns less than 138% of the federal poverty level.

The following chart highlights some of the income levels for eligibility:

healthcare info chart
New River Health Association, Inc. is prepared to assist uninsured patients with the enrollment process for both the enhanced Medicaid program and the WV Health Insurance Marketplace. We employ staff that has been trained as certified application counselors to guide people through the application. Health center staff will also be conducting community outreach programs to provide information about the new health insurance options.

Across the state, health centers serve as a medical home to 379,702 West Virginians and care for 91,000 uninsured people. There are more than 240 health center locations in West Virginia.

To learn more about the new health insurance options available to you, call (304) 465-2355 or email

Individuals seeking additional information and linking them to a health center close to their home can also contact the West Virginia Primary Care Association at 1-877-WVA-HLTH.


Flu Shots Available NOW

Flu Shots AvailableNeed a Flu Shot? Call 304-469-2905 or stop in! Flu Shots available at ALL our School-Based Health Centers. Most major insurances accepted. Adults who are self-pay or whose insurance doesn’t cover flu shots $44.75. FREE to students enrolled in school-based health- your insurance may be billed. $15 if you’re entitled to sliding fee. For sliding fee please bring proof of income.

Girl gets tooth filledOpening of the Valley School-Based Health Center on WV Public Broadcasting

August 23, 2013 · The children of Smithers, WV in Fayette County now have access to health care at school.
The New River Health Association has opened its ninth school-based health center. Its eight other sites are located throughout Fayette, Raleigh and Nicholas counties. The newly constructed 1250-square-foot building...Read or listen to the whole story at WV Public Broadcasting

New River Health's Black Lung Clinic on WOAY

New River Health's Susie Criss and Tammy Campbell-Cline featured on WOAY's series about Black Lung in West Virginia.

See the WOAY Article

See the WOAY Article

See the WOAY Article

New River Health Black Lung Clinic

John Schultz Interview on WOAY

WOAY interviewd New River Health's new CEO, John Schultz.

Part 1

Part 2

School Health Forms are Now Available Online

Need an immnunization consent form for your school based health center? Forms are now online for your convenience. Check out our School Health Page.

New River Health and Congressman Rahall Honor Helen Powell

New River Health Association honored our long time board member and women's health advocate Helen Powell in a ceremony Tuesday October 18th in the new conference room at the Robinson Annex. Dave Sotak started out the ceremony introducing Congressman Rahall who spoke enthusiastically about the work of community health centers like New River Health that serve 1 in 5 West Virginians. The Congressman spoke about the recent American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects that have improved facilities At New River Health while at the same time providing 6.5 new full time jobs here. He then went on to warmly praise the work of Helen Powell, friend, advocate, community member and board member of New River Health for more than 28 years. A stone dedicating her service has been placed in front of the women's health center in Whipple. Ms. Powell was deeply moved.

New River Health Association Gains National Quality Recognition

New River Health Association has achieved the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s highest level of recognition as a Patient-Centered Medical Home for five of its primary care sites.

NCQA informed New River Health last week that its Scarbro, Whipple, Gulf Family Practice, Lisa Elliott Center and North Fayette clinics had each received Level 3 Recognition. ncqa seal

“This is a terrific honor and one that we’re very proud to share with our clinical and support staff, our patients and our communities,” said CEO Dave Sotak. “It shows that the community health center model of high-quality, affordable and accessible primary care really does work.”

Patient-Centered Medical Homes employ evidence-based processes that emphasize long-term relationships in which patients and, when appropriate, their families take an active role in their own care.

“The idea is to promote an ongoing partnership between our patients and their personal clinicians, so that we can meet all of their health care needs and coordinate treatment with other medical providers, if that becomes necessary,” Sotak explained.

The three NCQA Recognition levels allow practices with a range of capabilities and sophistication to meet the organization’s standards. Level 3 is the highest awarded.  

NCQA standards include six “must-pass” elements that are considered essential to the patient-centered medical home, and are required for practices at all recognition levels. These elements include: access during office hours; use of data for population management; care management; support of the patient self-care process; the ability to track referrals and follow-up care; and, the implementation of continuous quality improvement.

New River Health is a private, nonprofit organization that has provided quality primary patient care in Fayette and Raleigh counties for 30 years. It is a member of the West Virginia Primary Care Association, which comprises 30 community health centers and 160 locations, serving one in five Mountain State residents.

September is Recovery Month

National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month (Recovery Month) is celebrated each September in communities across the country to help people recognize that substance use disorders are treatable and recovery is possible. Treatment and other recovery support programs are as effective as treatment for other chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease—yet nationally, only 10% of Americans who need treatment for substance use disorders actually receive it, according to the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Recovery Month encourages people affected by addiction to seek treatment and recovery services so they can reclaim healthy lives in their local community.

New River Health Association partners with many local organizations to identify substance abuse (SA) problems early and refer to services as necessary. Primary care providers include questions about substance use in a complete health history. We participate in an early screening and brief intervention program (SBIRT) with the local community mental health center (FMRS Health Systems, by locating their clinician in several of our sites. NR patients are often referred to FMRS for SA intensive out-patient or residential treatment. We also have our own mental health team to assist primary care providers with assessment and collaborative treatment. The MH team is actively involved in the NR Chronic Pain-Interdisciplinary Team (CP-IDT) to help providers help patients follow the protocol for best practices when using prescribed opiate medications. NR providers refer patients to local Alcoholics Anonymous ( and Narcotics Anonymous ( meetings and meeting schedules are freely available and distributed. In fact, a Friday noon AA meeting takes place in our administrative building, the Robinson Annex, each week. NR also partners with the Fayette County Commission by providing a certified addictions counselor for group treatment at the Fayette County Day Report Center which is an alternative to incarceration for non-violent offenders who maintain sobriety.

Recovery Month is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s ( Center for Substance Abuse within the US Department of Health and Human Services. This year marks the 21st annual celebration of Recovery Month, which honors people in recovery from substance use disorders as well as those who provide treatment and recovery services, and promotes the need for treatment access and long-term recovery.

Submitted by Gail Kinsey, MA,LPC

Gulf Pharmacy Now Open

New River health opened a new pharmacy location at 302 W. Main Street in downtown Sophia. Currently the Gulf Family Practice Pharmacy is open only to New River Health patients. It is open Monday - Friday from 8-5. Call with any questions 304 683 3809

New River Health Remembers and Thanks Roy "Shorty" Withrow

Tribute to Roy "Shorty" by Dan Doyle, MD

Shorty Withrow was one of the first people to greet us when Linda and I first visited Oak Hill in April 1977. We met at the Summerlee UMWA Union Hall on a Sunday afternoon. Other people attending the meeting were Paul Lively, Edith Dempsey, Alice Hymon, and Sparky Holmes. Craig Robinson, who was then working as a clinic organizer for the UMWA, brought Linda and me to the meeting.

The meeting went well. We were able to talk with each other and discovered that we had a lot of common goals for health care. Linda and I liked the area. Withinn the next few weeks, New River Health Association offered to hire Craig and me as a leadership team of administrator and medical director. We accepted and the work began.

...At that point NRHA had no building, no money and no staff. We started from scratch. We had counted on a retainer arrangement with the UMWA funds which had helped start other coalfield clinics. But in November a 110 day coal strike started and a long cold winter began for many coal mining families in West Virginia. When it ended there was no more UMWA Funds retainer. So we turned to other sources of funding including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Fayette County Commission.

During that winter we kept working. The Withrow home on the back alley in Scarbro was the unofficial headquarters for New River Health. Sis always had on a pot of coffee and something to eat. The board would meet in the game room over the garage. Shorty was a one-man building committee. During the strike, on the coldest of days, he was down working in the old warehouse building along the creek, turning that space into a clinic with three exam rooms, a small lab area, reception area, and waiting room. Shorty also recruited Alice Hymon and Kenny Dangerfield from Wingrove to come on to the board...

Shorty and Sparky Holmes went to the New River Coal Company in Mount Hope and got them to donate the old Wingrove Slate Dump site for us to build a larger, modern clinic. Many locations were considered for the clinic, but Shorty really wanted it to be in his town of Scarbro. And he won out.

Craig and I thought we needed an architect to design the first temporary clinic and then the new larger one down the road. Shorty couldn't see why. He had built lots of things without architects; it was simple. Seemed like a waste of money to him. But he bent and gracefully went along with this new idea nd lots of other ones as time went by...

No one was prouder than Shorty when we opened the first clinic in that red warehouse building on June 8, 1978 and when Governor Jay Rockefeller helped us dedicate the new Scarbro Clinic on April 18, 1980...

Shorty continued to serve on the Board of New River Health for 32 years. During those years, he was amazed and proud to see his project flourish and meet important community needs. Amazed to see us go from one site to more than twenty. Amazed to see our staff grow to more than 100 employees...He and the other board members never lost their nerve, continuing to pick good leaders and make good decisions. Shorty chaired the building committee through all those new buidlings and growth projects.

Roy Shorty Withrow was many things to many people. But to me he was a friend and teacher. I am grateful for his trust and partnership over the years as we shared the adventure of buidling and expanding a community health center open to all, regardless of ability to pay. Shorty, we have already been missing you; but we will never forget you.

May is Asthma and Allergy Month

Asthma  and Allergies are conditions that affect people of all cultures, all walks of life, and all ages.  Certain times of the year can be worse than others and various substances, called allergens can trigger symptoms or make them worse.
Some common allergens include pollen, animal dander, house dust, feathers and various foods.  Some studies have indicated that one in every six Americans is hypersensitive to one or more allergens.

Asthma is a respiratory disorder characterized by recurring episodes of shortness of breath, wheezing on breathing in or out, that is caused by constriction of the bronchi, coughing, and thick mucoid secretions.  These episodes may be caused by inhalation of allergens or pollutants, infection, cold air, vigourous exercise, or emotional stress.

There are several effective treatments for both conditions, talk to your NRHA provider to find out more about available testing and treatment.


Dentist looking at teethMt. Hope Dental Clinic is Open!

Our dental clinic in Mt. Hope opened April 6th. The location is equipped with x-ray capabilities and full-service dental care. The dentist is available every Tuesday, all day. Call for an appointment 304 574 2076

January is Cervical Cancer Screening Month


Start screening with pap tests at age 21 or 3 years after becoming sexually active.Continue screening every 1-2 years under age 30 and every 2-3 years over the age of 30 once there have been 3 consecutive normal tests
Stop screening at age 65-70 if regular screening tests have been normal
No screening is needed if there has been a hysterectomy for benign reasons
If hysterectomy for dysplasia screening can be stopped after 3 annual normal tests
Services are available through the Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening and Family Planning Programs for those who qualify
Prevention—3 doses of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine (Gardasil) is recommended for girls age 9-26 to prevent the most common cause of cervical cancer

For more information contact: The American Cancer Society; The American Congress of Gynecology or the United States Preventive Services Task Force