Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Mercer county resident named recipient of Farson-Smith-Earley Award
PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (May 26, 2021) – Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia today announced that Kayla Odle, a 2021 graduate of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM), in Lewisburg has been chosen as the recipient of the seventh annual Farson-Smith-Earley Award.
“Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia is pleased to partner with WVSOM in an effort to improve the accessibility and delivery of primary health care services in the rural areas of our state”, said Jim Fawcett, president of Highmark West Virginia. “We commend Kayla for her decision to practice family medicine in rural West Virginia after the completion of her residency, as well as serving as a rural health advocate for our state.”
Odle, a resident of Mercer County, will serve her residency at AccessHealth Teaching Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Care Center (FQHC) in Beckley, WV. The facility’s mission of providing patient-centered primary health care and health education through innovative programs dedicated to community engagement, perfectly aligns with Kayla’s long-germ goals of serving rural West Virginia.
The award, which honors three former presidents of the Blue Cross Blue Shield plan in West Virginia, Thomas D. Farson, Gregory K. Smith and J. Fred Earley II, is presented annually to an outstanding WVSOM graduate who makes a commitment to practice medicine in a rural portion of West Virginia. Farson, Smith and Earley served as presidents of Blue Cross Blue Shield from 1973 to 1995, 1995 to 2009 and 2009 to 2016, respectively.
The annual recipient receives a permanent honorary plaque at the WVSOM campus and a $2,800 stipend.
About Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia serves approximately 246,000 members through the company’s health care benefits business and hundreds of thousands of additional members through the BlueCard® program. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of West Virginia holds the largest share of the commercial market, and more West Virginians carry a Blue Cross Blue Shield card than any other insurance carrier in the state. With offices in Parkersburg and Wheeling, Highmark West Virginia employs approximately 700 people and serves as a key economic driver in the state with its total economic impact reaching $262 million.
For more information, contact:
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia
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