It's well known that small, rural West Virginia counties struggle to find good health-care providers.
That's the case in Doddridge County, where the local medical center has had difficulty recruiting new doctors to replace Drs. Art Calhoun and Jim LeVos when they decide to retire.
"We've tried recruiting physicians in the past and it hasn't worked," Calhoun said recently.
But Doddridge County residents don't have to worry -- Calhoun and LeVos have worked to merge the current practice with United Physician Care, a group operated by the United Hospital Center.
Bruce Carter, president of the local medical center, told a group of Doddridge residents recently that UPC plans to operate primary care units in West Union, Pennsboro and Harrisville.
Those three new sites join UPC's other locations in Mannington, Shinnston, Philippi and Gassaway.
UPC's commitment seems to solidify the United Health System's commitment to its smaller communities.
There had been growing concern that the possible move of United Hospital Center to the Interstate 79 area would further damage health care in western Harrison, Doddridge and other counties in that area.
But UPC's efforts demonstrate a concern for those constituents that hospital officials have assured will continue as the hospital moves toward the future -- be it in its current location or a new one.
That's good news for everyone.
John G. Miller
Telegram Editorial Board member