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Rev. Cummings named to W.Va. health authority

WHEELING — The Rev. Darrell Cummings of Wheeling was named Wednesday as a member of the newly reconstituted West Virginia Health Care Authority.

Gov. Jim Justice appointed Cummings to a five-year term on the board, effective immediately and continuing through June 30, 2023. Active as a community leader, Cummings is pastor of Bethlehem Apostolic Church in Wheeling and Shiloh Apostolic Faith Assembly in Weirton.

Circuit Judge James Mazzone administered the oath of office to Cummings on Wednesday. Cummings affirmed his commitment to uphold the responsibilities of the authority.

The new board member said of the appointment, “I’m excited and humbled and honored and a little scared.”

Mazzone said Justice made a fine selection in choosing Cummings. The judge lauded the minister’s dedicated service to the community.

Noting the continuing changes to health care in the state and locally, Cummings said he wants the authority “to hear our voices from our community to see what they would like to see” in the health care field. He predicted that serving on the state board will be “challenging, but worth it.”

Cummings served on the board of directors of Ohio Valley Medical Center for about 10 years, until the hospital’s sale to Alecto Healthcare Services of Irvine, Calif.

On Wednesday, Justice also appointed Charlene M. Ferrell of Huntington, Robert J. Gray of South Charleston, Samuel G. Kapourales of Williamson and Martha Yeager Walker of Charleston to five-year terms on the health care authority. Walker will serve as chair of the board.

“These seasoned individuals make a strong and experienced team as the newly functioning Health Care Authority Board,” Justice said. “Each has knowledge in the health care industry to help make smart and informed decisions regarding the health and well-being of our citizens.”

House Bill 2459, passed by the West Virginia Legislature and signed into law by Justice in April, reconstituted the health care authority to fall under the supervision of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

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