WVVA sits down with new DHHR secretary, Karen Bowling - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

WVVA sits down with new DHHR secretary, Karen Bowling

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BECKLEY (WVVA) -- Governor Earl Ray Tomblin recently named Karen Bowling, from Beckley, the new secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources.  Bowling tells WVVA, she is very excited about her new position. 

"This just gives me another opportunity to be able to do something that I think might be able to make a difference in the lives of the people here, and that, if nothing else, that means the world to me," says Bowling.

Bowling started her healthcare career as a nurse.  Bowling worked her way up in the work environment, all the way to CEO of Raleigh General Hospital.

"All of those things have given me lessons, I think, that I've learned that will help me in my leadership role at the DHHR," says Bowling.

Most recently, Bowling worked at Mountain State University, overseeing their health science programs, helping to maintain accreditation.  Since MSU lost their accreditation at the end of 2012, she's been helping students in those programs with the teach-out into UC Beckley. 

Starting later this summer, on July 1, Bowling will take on her new role as a cabinet secretary.  She says it's a big undertaking with the Governor's recent decision to expand Medicaid, rising obesity numbers and more.  Bowling will be discussing strategies to best serve the people with the rest of her team. 

"Without some collaboration and discussion among all the different stakeholders involved in what's going on in healthcare and at looking at healthcare improvements, I'm not sure what the bill might look like because we have to see how that collaboration can be structured so that we can make positive change, and again, I think it's going to take a lot of work from a lot of people to make that happen," says Bowling. 

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