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Details still being worked out on West Virginia DHHR three-way split

By Steven Allen Adams, Parkersburg News and Sentinel

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The interim leader of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources told lawmakers Monday work remains on a plan to implement a split of the massive agency.

Dr. Jeffrey Coben, the interim cabinet secretary for DHHR, briefed the Legislative Oversight Commission on Health and Human Resources Accountability on Monday as part of the second day of three-day April interim meetings at the Capitol.

House Bill 2006, relating to reorganizing DHHR, was passed by the Legislature during the 2023 regular session and signed into law by Gov. Jim Justice.

HB 2006 would terminate DHHR and split it into a Department of Human Services, a Department of Health and a Department of Health Facilities. The change would be effective Jan. 1, 2024.

All three new departments would have their own cabinet secretaries, but share one central Office of Shared Administration for administrative support services similar to the departments of Commerce, Tourism and Economic Development.

Coben told the committee he has yet to put together a document on how he plans to implement splitting up DHHR into three new departments. A meeting with the Governor’s Office to discuss a plan to split the department has yet to be held for its input. Those meetings will begin next week. …

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