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Justice appoints Patrice Harris, reappoints two others to WVU Board of Governors

A three-time West Virginia University graduate who has completed her term as the first African-American woman president of the American Medical Association will join the WVU Board of Governors.

Patrice Harris

Gov. Jim Justice announced the appointment of Dr. Patrice Harris today (July 24) replacing JR Rogers. Also, current members Tom Jones and Taunja Willis Miller have been reappointed.

“We appreciate Gov. Justice’s appointment of Dr. Harris to our Board of Governors,” WVU President Gordon Gee said. “His collaboration during the COVID-19 pandemic with Dr. Clay Marsh, as well as other University experts, has been invaluable as we work together to address this health crisis. Adding Dr. Harris’ voice to our Board during this critical time reinforces these continued efforts on behalf of our campus community and the state.”

A native of Bluefield, Harris received her undergraduate psychology degree and medical degree at WVU in addition to a master’s degree in counseling. She also completed a psychiatry residency and child psychiatry fellowship at Emory University School of Medicine. Harris has served as a WVU Foundation Board of Directors member and is a 2007 inductee to the WVU Academy of Distinguished Alumni.

In addition to her time as AMA president, Harris served on the Association’s board of trustees, including a term as chair. Harris serves as chair of the AMA Opioid Task Force and has held positions of leadership with the American Psychiatric Association, the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association, the Medical Association of Georgia and The Big Cities Health Coalition. 

“I am honored and excited to become a member of West Virginia University’s Board of Governors. I want to thank Gov. Justice for this opportunity and for his work with Dr. Marsh and others in leading West Virginia through this pandemic,” Harris said.

Miller, first appointed in 2016, currently serves as the Board Secretary. She currently manages Jackson Kelly PLLC’s Morgantown office. She has represented government entities and non-profit corporations in the healthcare field and has also worked in the areas of economic development in higher education.

She received both her undergraduate and law degrees from WVU, where she earned membership in Phi Beta Kappa and Order of the Coif.

Jones serves the BOG vice-chairman and was first appointed in 2014. He is the retired CEO of West Virginia United Health System where he oversaw the expansion from two hospitals – J. W. Ruby Memorial in Morgantown and United Hospital Center in Clarksburg – to include hospitals in Martinsburg, Ranson and Parkersburg.

He has also been active in the state’s business community, and was inducted in 2012 into the West Virginia Business Hall of Fame.

A native of Glen Dale, Jones graduated from WVU with a business administration degree and received a master’s degree in hospital administration from the University of Minnesota.