WVU names behavioral medicine/psychiatry chairman


For The Herald-Dispatch

CHARLESTON-James P. Griffith, M.D. FACP, has been named chairman of the West Virginia University Health Sciences Charleston Campus department of behavioral medicine and psychiatry.

In his role as chairman, Dr. Griffith will oversee behavioral medicine and psychiatry department faculty, as well as all faculty appointments and educational activities. He will also help advance strategic planning of the department and its research activities for WVU’s health sciences campus in Charleston.

“We are delighted that Dr. James Griffith has accepted the position of professor and chair of the department of behavioral medicine and psychiatry at the WVU Health Sciences Charleston Campus, succeeding Dr. Martin Kommor, who served with distinction as chair for more than three decades,” said John C. Linton, Ph.D., ABPP, associate vice president for health sciences and dean of the school of medicine at West Virginia University’s Health Sciences Charleston campus.

“Dr. Griffith is a widely respected internist, psychiatrist and geriatrician, who has been a faculty member on the Charleston campus since 1990, and brings a vast knowledge and skill set to his new role. Dr. Griffith also serves as Associate Dean for Student Services at our campus and will remain in that role. Please join me in sincerely congratulating Dr. Griffith as he takes the helm of Behavioral Medicine,” Dr. Linton said.

A native of Charleston, Dr. Griffith graduated from West Virginia University School of Medicine in Morgantown in 1985, with his third and fourth year clerkships at the health sciences campus in Charleston.

He completed his residency training at Charleston Area Medical Center with a focus on internal medicine and psychiatry.

A professor of behavioral medicine and psychiatry, and professor of internal medicine for the West Virginia University School of Medicine, Dr. Griffith is board certified in psychiatry, internal medicine and geriatric psychiatry. He serves as medical director for psychiatric services for Charleston Area Medical Center, as well as associate dean of student services for the WVU Health Sciences Charleston Campus.

An experienced teacher, mentor, author and researcher, Dr. Griffith was honored in 2017 with the David Z. Morgan Mentor Award by the West Virginia University School of Medicine Alumni Association, an award whose mission is to recognize educators with the ability to understand, inspire and develop in students the qualities needed to be competent and compassionate physicians.

As one of the nation’s oldest regional medical education campuses, West Virginia University’s Health Sciences Charleston Campus was formed in 1972 as part of a federal rural health initiative in order to expand medical schools beyond the traditional campus. An affiliation with Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC) to direct CAMC residency programs was also established that year.

Over 100 WVU faculty and 400 clinical faculty provide training and educational oversight to both medical student clerkships and to the CAMC residency programs. Each year, 70 to 80 students and more than 150 residents are on the health sciences campus in Charleston furthering their education. These and other health care students in the disciplines of medicine, nursing, and pharmacy come through WVU’s Health Sciences Charleston Campus to complete their clinical rotation requirements.



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