HOSPITAL LEADER KAREN L. BOWLING ASSUMES CHAIR OF 340B HEALTH BOARD OF DIRECTORS
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Karen L. Bowling, a distinguished leader for safety-net health care in West Virginia, is the new chair of the Board of Directors for 340B Health, representing hospitals and health systems participating in the 340B drug pricing program.
Bowling is the executive vice president of government affairs for the West Virginia University (WVU) Health System, the state’s largest health care system and largest private employer. She also serves as president and CEO of Princeton Community Hospital, one of the Health System’s 24 hospitals. She previously served as the president and CEO of both Summersville Regional Medical Center and Braxton County Memorial Hospital. Prior to these positions, she was Cabinet Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) from 2013 until January 2017.
Before taking the helm of DHHR, Bowling held a variety of direct care and leadership positions in the health care and education arena. Her career started as an emergency room nurse in a small rural hospital in southern West Virginia. She continued to work in acute care and hospital supervision until 1983, when she joined the Wyoming County Board of Education to develop the School Health Program.
“We are thrilled to have such an experienced, knowledgeable, and dedicated safety-net health care leader taking the helm of our board to provide important guidance on the future of our organization and 340B,” said 340B Health President and CEO Maureen Testoni. “340B has never been more important for the health and well-being of patients throughout the nation who are most in need, and it has never faced more challenges than it does today. Karen’s strong experience with advocacy and policymaking, especially in expanding access to health care for patients, will be invaluable as we continue to work for the healthy future of 340B on behalf of the hospitals and health systems that participate.”
“I am honored to be part of this outstanding organization and to help it continue its strong efforts in advocating for the critically important 340B drug pricing program, which benefits tens of thousands of West Virginians and millions of Americans,” Bowling said. “Given how many Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck and can barely make ends meet, ensuring the 340B program remains strong and widely accessible to those most in need will be my top priority.”
340B enables the WVU Health System, which operates under the brand WVU Medicine, to expand access to crucial care for its patients, especially those living with low incomes in the largely rural communities that WVU Medicine serves. The Health System uses its 340B savings to provide the most advanced level of care to residents of West Virginia and bordering states, including through a Level I trauma center at its 700-bed flagship academic medical center in Morgantown. It also provides 340B-funded health services and wraparound care through such initiatives as free community screenings and health fairs, lodging for patients undergoing treatment, diabetes and behavioral health support groups, and prescription delivery and counseling for discharged hospital patients.
Testoni also thanked outgoing Board Chair Patricia Vilt, senior vice president, chief financial officer, and chief compliance officer at Riverside Medical Center in Virginia, for her dedicated service.
“Patt is the longest-serving member of our current board, and her service as board chair has been instrumental in making 340B the success story it is today for safety-net hospitals and patients,” Testoni said. “We cannot thank Patt enough for her leadership and for her steadfast commitment to the 340B mission we all share.”
Contact: Jon Tilton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-536-2285