Building on a strong foundation of practice-based learning, the West Virginia University School of Public Health has added a seasoned practitioner to its leadership team who will help provide faculty and students the opportunity to teach, learn and engage in public health practice.
This month, Michael Brumage, MD, MPH, executive director and health officer for the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, joins the WVU School of Public Health as assistant dean for public health practice and service. While Brumage will maintain his role at KCHD, he also will assist the School in building partnerships with health departments around the state and enhancing professional practice opportunities for faculty and students.
“Dr. Brumage is an invaluable addition to the School of Public Health’s leadership team,” said Jeffrey Coben, M.D., dean of the WVU School of Public Health. “He has always been a friend to the school and Health Sciences. Now, in this official role with WVU, Dr. Brumage will open doors to new practice-based experiences for students and find additional ways for faculty to engage in projects that enhance the clinical and health enterprise of West Virginia.”
Brenda Isaac, president of the Kanawha-Charleston Board of Health, noted, “As the state’s first nationally accredited local health department, we’re delighted Dr. Brumage is lending his expertise and knowledge to WVU and other state and community organizations dealing with public health. This affiliation will allow Dr. Brumage to determine barriers to care by participating in public health education on a statewide basis. By his example and teaching, he will encourage students and those entering the program to pursue public health careers.”
According to Clay Marsh, M.D., vice president and executive dean of WVU Health Sciences, Brumage is uniquely qualified for this new role at the School of Public Health.
“As one of West Virginia’s public health leaders, Dr. Brumage’s appointment brings a wide range of experience and insight to our students and faculty and helps connect them directly to our state’s public health organizations,” said Dr. Marsh. “His work in addressing major public health problems in West Virginia – such as the opioid and heroin epidemic, the damaging effects of obesity and tobacco-related illnesses – make him uniquely qualified to serve as a skilled collaborator, mentor and educator in public health and medicine.”
In 2016, Brumage was instrumental in the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department becoming the first health department in West Virginia to receive accreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board. The health department is one of about 200 state and local health departments nationwide to receive the recognition.
Prior to joining the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, Brumage retired as a Colonel after a 25-year career in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. His past assignments included a year-long deployment to Iraq as a Division Surgeon with the First Infantry Division and two deployments in the Balkans. Initially a Staff Internist for a decade, he completed a second residency in Preventive Medicine at Madigan Army Medical Center, Chief of Preventive Medicine at Tripler Army Medical Center and Public Health Emergency Officer for Joint Task Force-Homeland Defense. He was Commander of the Schofield Barracks Health Clinic, one of the largest ambulatory clinics in the Department of Defense serving 35,000 beneficiaries. He subsequently served as the Commander of the U.S. Army Public Health Command Region-Pacific, headquartered in Japan. Brumage was intimately involved in the Department of Defense’s (DOD) response to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami near the Tōhoku Region, Japan, which led to the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant disaster and largest DOD humanitarian relief effort in U.S. history.
Brumage earned his medical degree from the WVU School of Medicine and his master’s degree in public health from the University of Washington. He has served WVU as an assistant clinical professor in behavioral medicine and psychiatry in the WVU School of Medicine, an adjunct faculty member in the WVU School of Public Health and co-chair of the WVU Health Sciences Center Mindfulness Committee.
CONTACT: Kimberly Becker; School of Public Health, Director of Marketing and Communications