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Brumage: Move to WV Office of Drug Control Policy ‘a natural progression’


Charleston Gazette-Mail

Dr. Michael Brumage is the new director of the state Office of Drug Control Policy.
(Gazette-Mail photo by Craig Hudson)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Dr. Michael Brumage, who has served as executive director and health officer of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department for nearly three years, has begun working — just not officially — as director of the state Office of Drug Control Policy.

“I haven’t officially started but I have effectively,” Brumage said, following an emergency meeting of the Kanawha County Board of Health Wednesday afternoon.

State officials announced Monday that Brumage would replace Jim Johnson as head of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ Office of Drug Control Policy.

The Kanawha-Charleston Board of Health met Wednesday to accept his resignation “at a mutually agreeable date certain.” Brumage and John Law, spokesman for the health department, said that meant Brumage would continue to be paid by the health department and fulfill health officer duties, while Lolita Kirk serves as acting executive director, until Brumage’s contract with DHHR begins. Brumage has also begun working in his new position, although he is not being paid yet and his contract is still being worked out, he said.

Brumage said that most of his duties with the health department had to do with the opioid epidemic, “so it’s almost a natural progression for me to begin taking this on in a broader sense.”

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