A Beckley woman has been named by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to head West Virginia’s Department of Health and Human Resources.
Karen Bowling, a former CEO of Raleigh General Hospital, assumes her new duties July 1.
The appointment follows an in-depth audit that recommended dozens of reforms and improvements for the sprawling health department.
Bowling also arrives on the heels of the governor’s decision to expand Medicaid.
She was chief executive at Raleigh General Hospital from 2002 until 2010. She chaired the West Virginia Hospital Association during that tenure.
More recently, Bowling has helped the University of Charleston take over health programs from the now-closed Mountain State University.
Bowling takes over from acting Secretary Rocco Fucillo. The Legislature recently agreed to nearly double the health secretary’s salary from $95,000 a year to $175,000.