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By Ry Rivard

Charleston Daily Mail Capitol Reporter

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As many as 4,800 West Virginia drivers failed a Department of Motor Vehicles eye examination last year, the agency estimates.

A year after a state law took effect mandating the exams for license renewal, about 400 of the 21,000 drivers who come into renew their license each month have failed, said Steve Dale, deputy DMV commissioner.

He said the numbers were a ballpark figure. There are about 1.3 million drivers in West Virginia.

WVU Expanding Eye Care Services to Rural Areas

The Charleston Gazette

January 21, 2010

By Veronica Nett

West Virginians have fairly convenient access to eye care services, but the issue in rural areas is providing specialized care that is generally centralized in Charleston and Morgantown, said Judie Charlton, chairwoman of WVU’s Department of Ophthalmology.

West Virginians face a “pending epidemic” when it comes to their eyesight, the chairwomen of West Virginia University’s Department of Ophthalmology says.

This rate of state residents with glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy is on the rise, Dr Judie Charlton, said Wednesday in an interview with the Gazette.

Both conditions can cause blindness if not treated early, and occur in conjunction with the aging population, smoking and diabetes, Charlton said. West Virginia has one of the oldest populations in the nation and also has some of the highest rates of diabetes and smoking.

Copyright 2009 Palo Alto Daily News

Palo Alto Daily News (California) 

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News 

November 14, 2009 Saturday 

SECTION: STATE AND REGIONAL NEWS 

ACC-NO: 20091114-PL-VA-hospital-1114 

LENGTH: 820 words 

HEADLINE: VA hospital: State requests probe of VA hospital \\?? 23 glaucoma patients suffered serious vision loss 

BYLINE: Jessica Bernstein, Palo Alto Daily News, Calif. 

BODY:

   Nov. 14--The state consumer affairs department has formally requested an investigation into the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, where 23 glaucoma patients experienced significant vision loss while receiving treatment.

   California Department of Consumer Affairs Director Brian Stiger made the request in response to an administrative petition the California Academy of Eye Surgeons and Physicians, the American Glaucoma Society and the California Medical Association filed in September with his agency.

   "As the events at the VA hospital do concern consumers, I am formally requesting that the Board of Optometry, together with the Medical Board of California, investigate the occurrences at the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Hospital regarding the eye

   care provided to veterans, including the role of optometrists and physicians in that care," Stiger wrote in a Nov. 10 letter addressed to Dr. James Ruben, president of the California Academy of Eye Surgeons and Physicians.

   "To the extent permitted by existing state and federal law, I am also requesting that those boards make public the findings of the investigation," Stiger said.

As he listened in a Bible study class, Dr. James Caudill felt as if the passages were directed at him.

In the gospel of Matthew, chapter 25, Jesus says: "I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in; naked and you clothed me; I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me."

When people ask Christ when they had seen him in such dire conditions, he responds, "Inasmuch as you did it to the least of these my brothers, you did it to me."

Special Supplement/Helping Hands – India Abroad

August 21, 2009

By Arthur J Pais

Dr Vadrevu K Raju has received many honors for his humanitarian work in saving the eyes of the poor not only in India but half a dozen countries ranging from Iraq to America – but the emotions he felt Srinu Muddula, who earned his doctorate in pharmaceutical studies from Rutgers University this year and began working for a major company, and who presented his first paycheck to the Eye Foundation of America that Raju started I n 1979, was transcendent.

It was in 1979 that Muddula had corneal transplants to both eyes, at the age of 2. His family had travelled to Morgantown, West Virginia, Raju’s home for more than three decades. The surgery was free and most of the other expenses were also born by Raju – now, it was time for Muddula to pay him back.

“You feel blessed when something like this happens,” he said, referring to Muddula’s gesture.

Muddula, who attended a fundraiser for the Eye Foundation of America last year which raised $750,000, declared: “If it wasn’t the foundation, I would not be here. I would not be talking to you. I would have been blind.”

State Journal

The July edition of Medical Economics magazine contained what might be a surprise to a lot of West Virginians.

The publication named the Mountain State as one of the 10 best places for physicians to practice. West Virginia ranked ninth on the list.

The positives the article listed included the state’s relatively low unemployment rate, which was 7.5 percent at the time the magazine was published. That was well below the national rate and the rates of neighboring states at the time.

Another positive was that the state saw income increase in 2008 as opposed to decreases in the rest of the nation. The magazine quoted a recruiter who said some annual compensation packages for doctors who come to West Virginia run $200,000 to $225,000.

Meanwhile, Medical Economics lists the state’s median annual primary care compensation at $151,500, which was the lowest listed in the article.

West Virginia came in just ahead of Alaska, which was ranked at 10. The rest of the list was:

8. Alabama

7. Minnesota

6. Oregon

5. New Hampshire

4. North Dakota

3. Indiana

2. Wisconsin

1. Texas

 

Although West Virginia made the list, the article did mention some negatives about practicing here.

“Despite reforms in 2001, malpractice liability insurance rates, while on the downward trend, are still some of the most expensive among the 10 Best Places to Practice,” the journal said. “The state is also gradually enacting a number of corporate and income tax reforms, which add to an already higher than average tax burden, according to the Tax Foundation.”

West Virginia’s malpractice insurance rate listed in the article at $20,528 to $23,057 per year. The only other state on the list that comes close is Texas, which as a rate range of $8,839 to $31,668. The median rate in Texas, however, is $16,674.

Medical Economics lists Beckley as the “Best town you’ve never heard of.”

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