Tuesday, February 05, 2013

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Physicians with the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine will provide expanded specialty health care beginning this month at the Larry Joe Harless Community and Health Center in Gilbert, W.Va.  The Marshall clinic began last year as part of a state-wide initiative to deliver health care to the most rural parts of West Virginia.

In addition to cardiology and endocrinology services already in place for area residents, Dr. Joseph I. Shapiro, a nephrologist, will begin seeing patients Monday, Feb. 18, at the clinic.   Nephrology is the area of medicine concerned with the study and treatment of kidney disease.   Shapiro is also dean of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

Dr. Melissa D. Lester, an interventional cardiologist, and Dr. Henry K. Driscoll, an endocrinologist and section chief, along with the endocrinologists in his section, have been seeing patients since last year at the clinic and will continue their monthly clinical visits, which are generally on the fourth Friday of the month.   School of Medicine resident physicians also see patients at the clinic as part of their rural medicine rotations.

The Harless Health Center is a collaborative partnership that includes the West Virginia University School of Medicine, the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, the town of Gilbert, and the Harless Center to provide health services to the region.

The U.S. Department of Health Resources and Service Administration awarded the center nearly $3 million in 2010 to help renovate the community center to create the health care clinic.  The funding request was spearheaded by the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd.

Scheduling for the Gilbert clinic is available by calling 304-691-1000 for endocrinology and nephrology, and a physician referral is required.  Dr. Lester accepts physician referrals as well as self referrals, and appointments may be made by calling 304-691-8500.  A toll-free number for scheduling is also available: 855-774-7279.  The phone number for the Larry Joe Harless Community and Health Center is 304-664-2500, ext. 102.