Provider Spotlight: Jessica Weiner, PA-C

Provider Spotlight: Jessica Weiner, PA-C

A physician assistant (PA), at a glance, is an easily misunderstood role—becoming a physician assistant requires more than a four-year education, and it is likely you’ve been treated by a PA while assuming they were a physician. In reality, a PA typically has more time than a doctor to spend time with patients and provide care. To learn what it means to be a physician assistant, we spoke with one of our resident PA’s at Myers Clinic in Philippi, West Virginia, Jessica Weiner.

Q. First of all, tell us a little about your current position and how long you’ve been at it?

A. My name is Jessica Weiner. I am a physician assistant (PA) at the Myers Clinic. A PA is a medical professional who is licensed both federally and locally to practice medicine. My scope of practice includes examining patients, ordering and interpreting tests, performing procedures, and diagnosing and treating pathology under the supervision of a collaborating physician. I have been working a little over two years now at the Myers Clinic. Prior to that, I was in school for about seven years preparing for this career.

Q. What drove you to choose this career path?

A. I spent seven years as a Pharmacy Technician before deciding to become a Physician Assistant. A friend in the program recommended this direction and like many of my colleagues, I was drawn to this profession through a passion to help people. The broad range of options following graduation as well as the ability to take more time with each patient and not have a rushed schedule was appealing to me.

Q. Misconceptions do people often have about your job?

A. Some people assume PA’s have doctor status and that being a PA limits our ability to treat patients. One misunderstanding is that a PA is still in school or training to be a doctor. I respond by explaining that I already spent a lot of time in school in order to become a PA and that I am a fully licensed medical professional who has completed all requisite training. I want my patients to feel comfortable knowing they are being cared for by a well-trained, proficient professional.

Q. Most enjoyable part of the job?

A. Having a positive impact on someone’s life is the most rewarding part of the job. It is certainly not all happy times. I have stressful days, but the patient who sincerely appreciates your care quickly buffers any acidic memories.

Q. When not at BCHA, what do you enjoy doing?

A. Along with being a committee member for our local Young Life group, I enjoy spending time with my 18-month daughter and helping my husband with his involvement with the Alderson Broaddus University Cross Country and Track & Field teams.

Top 6 Reasons to Attend Our Pulmonary Screening Event

Top 6 Reasons to Attend Our Pulmonary Screening Event

Partnering with Broaddus Hospital Pulmonary Staff, Barbour Community Health Association is excited to be providing FREE Pulmonary Screenings to the Barbour County community at the Myers Clinic on Thursday, May 24th.

There are many reasons to consider scheduling an appointment for a pulmonary screening. Mild breathing problems or shortness of breath can be a sign of a serious condition or disease including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sleep apnea and chronic bronchitis. As with any disease prevention, early detection and treatment are key. Here are our top six reasons to schedule an appointment today:

  1. Screenings are FREE for Barbour County community members
  2. Appointments are limited so schedule your screening ASAP
  3. Screenings can aide in early diagnosis and prevention
  4. We’re close to home – The Myers Clinic is local, you can find us at 3 Healthcare Drive in Philippi
  5. Screenings are for ALL ages
  6. Free pulmonary screening events don’t occur often, so take advantage of this opportunity

Free pulmonary screening events don’t occur often, so take advantage of this opportunity. By scheduling a free pulmonary screening, you are paving the way to improved lung health and better quality of life. To make an appointment or for more information call Christina at 304-457-2800, Ext. 223.

Recognizing Mental Health Awareness Month

Recognizing Mental Health Awareness Month

This May, the Barbour Community Health Association (BCHA) recognizes National Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health is a particularly important topic all year round for our patients, families, caregivers, and staff. Preventing and treating mental health issues such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), depression, substance misuse, sleep problems, pain management, or stress and anxiety are key components of the person-centered care provided at BCHA. Our psychologists, counselors and caseworkers strive to provide the resources and treatment needed for our patients, family members and staff to feel and function at their best. Please see the following mental health services and programs provided at BCHA:


  • Individual Therapy
  • Psychological Assesment
  • RehaCom Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy
  • Parent-Child Interactive Therapy
  • Couples Therapy
  • Family Services
  • Outpatient Alcohol and other Drug Addiction Services

Caring for

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Trauma | Anxiety Disorders
  • Depression | Mood Disorders
  • Addiction | Developmental Disorders
  • Neurocognitive Disorders
  • Eating Disorders

5 Reasons to Attend PANIC

5 Reasons to Attend PANIC

During the past eleven years, the PANIC (Physical Activity and Nutrition in the Community) program has been a fun opportunity for the entire family to learn exercise and nutrition tips to lead healthier and happier lives. Here are the top 5 reasons to participate in PANIC this year:

  1. Learn How To Have Fun Exercising – We have a variety of fun exercises, from yoga, square dancing, Zumba and more. Get motivated in a group workout session and learn new ways to exercise from home or the gym.
  2. Learn A Lot – Guests speakers will present on various health and wellness topics, filling you in on relevant health news. Take home informational packets on the topics presented to share with your family and friends.
  3. Get Prizes – You can win BIG just for participating! From Wellness Center memberships to blender bottles and gift certificates you could take home a prize. 
  4. It’s Free – Did we mention it’s FREE? Don’t miss out on the fun, prizes and healthy tips you’ll gain from this year’s PANIC sessions.
  5. Get Six Free Gym Coupons – A coupon for six free admissions to the Belington Wellness Center will be given to each registered participant to use during the six-week program if you do not have a current membership. These coupons are only valid for those that are registered for the program and are non-transferable. Use excludes any scheduled weekly classes.

Don’t miss out on the fun at Belington Middle School. Remember that sessions are held on Monday evenings March 4th through April 8th from 6PM to 8PM. You’ll need to bring along your water bottle and clean shoes. Free healthy snacks will be provided. Register NOW >> 

Fight “The Flu”

Fight “The Flu”

No doubt about it, flu season is upon us! The flu typically occurs from October through March and peaks during the months of December, January and February. Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness that is spread through respiratory secretions from person to person or by coming into contact with the virus on unclean surfaces such as clothing, doorknobs and shopping carts. Most people become contagious the day before symptoms appear and remain infectious for up to 5-7 days after symptoms begin. The flu can occasionally cause severe symptoms, particularly in high-risk populations such as children younger than 5, adults 65 and older, pregnant women, nursing home residents and certain people with chronic health conditions.

Influenza Treatment

Your first instinct may be to reach out to your doctor, make an appointment and hope for relief in antibiotic form – however, research and studies have shown that antibiotics are ineffective against the flu and other viral illnesses. Antibiotics should only be prescribed for bacterial infections, such as bacterial pneumonia, urinary infections and strep throat. The majority of the time, respiratory illnesses, even sinus infections and bronchitis, are caused by viruses rather than bacteria and will not be helped by antibiotics.

Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics and are prescribed for the treatment of the flu in high-risk populations to prevent complications. If you are in a high-risk group and develop influenza symptoms, contact your healthcare professional as soon as possible. Antiviral medications to treat the flu are most beneficial if taken within the first 48 hours. Antiviral drugs can also be prescribed to decrease the chances of developing the flu in a high-risk patient that has been exposed. If you are in a high-risk group and have been in contact with someone who has the flu, call your healthcare professional as soon as possible to inquire about prophylactic (preventive) antiviral medications.

Most healthy patients with mild-moderate symptoms, don’t require medical care or antiviral drugs. Rest, hydration, use of over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers or fever reducers and staying at home are the best measures to take. However, if you develop any of the following symptoms you should seek emergency medical care:

  • Adults: Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, chest or abdominal pain, confusion, not drinking enough fluids which can lead to dehydration, sudden dizziness or severe vomiting.
  • Children: Rapid or difficult breathing, bluish discoloration of the skin (especially the hands and face), not drinking enough fluids which can lead to dehydration, difficult or unable to wake up or interact with others, severe irritability (child does not want to be held), severe headache or stiff neck.
  • Infant: An infant with the flu and any of the following symptoms should be taken to the emergency room immediately: Fever above 100.3 (if under 3 months old), unable to eat, no tears when crying or significantly fewer wet diapers than normal.


We Are Here

Barbour Community Health Association is always here to address questions and concerns regarding your health. We have walk-in hours available at Belington Medical Clinic from 7:30am-8:30am Monday through Saturday and at Myers Clinic from 7:30 am-11:30 am Monday through Saturday & from 1:00 pm-4:00 pm Monday through Friday. Our school-based clinics, Brandon Wellness Center and ABU Wellness Center offer walk-in hours from 8:00 am-12:00 pm Monday through Friday for students and staff at those locations.  In addition to our walk-in hours, Barbour Community Health Association makes every effort to arrange same day appointments and see patients as soon as possible. You may contact us by clicking HERE.

Could Your Family Benefit From Parent-Child Interaction Therapy?

Could Your Family Benefit From Parent-Child Interaction Therapy?

The expansion of the BCHA Behavioral Health program includes the initiation of the Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) Center located at the Belington Medical Clinic. To support the new program is new hire Robert W. Kiser, a Licensed Professional Counselor from Buckhannon. Kiser sat down with us to answer some questions on the new program and share his thoughts on how offering PCIT will impact the Barbour community for the better.

Q. What is the difference between therapy and PCIT?

Kiser: Unlike traditional psychotherapies, PCIT focuses on parent-child relational strengthening using a “live” approach, where the therapist is able to easily assist the parent in gaining the skills and confidence necessary to effect positive and lasting behavioral changes. These skills may be continued routinely and integrated into the child’s daily routine which makes PCIT so effective.

Q. How does PCIT work?

Kiser: Prior to starting treatment, a child is first evaluated to identify specific parent concerns. When PCIT is recommended as the treatment of choice, an initial meeting is scheduled with the parents where a clinician orients them to the treatment model. A diverse range of families participate in PCIT services, including: grandparents, divorced, single, two-parent households, foster and adoptive families.

The first phase of treatment focuses on Child-Directed Interaction (CDI), which involves increasing positive engagement and offering praise in order to strengthen the parent-child relationship and reinforce appropriate behaviors. Parents are also taught to use selective attention to encourage pro-social behaviors while diminishing more problematic ones. After parents have learned the basics of CDI, they practice these skills with their child, while the therapist observes from behind a one-way mirror. The therapist helps parents succeed by unobtrusively coaching them via a small earpiece.

The second phase of treatment focuses on Parent-Directed Interaction (PDI), which entails teaching parents how to follow-through and increase consistency and predictability when giving their child directions. After learning this second phase of the treatment, parents practice PDI and CDI skills simultaneously while their therapist observes and coaches them from behind the one-way mirror. This involves having the parent practice giving clear and effective instructions as well as setting appropriate limits to noncompliance while reinforcing positive interactions via the use of their CDI skills.

Q. How long does it take to complete PCIT?

Kiser: While treatment duration is always focused on the particular needs of every parent and child, on average, many participants complete treatment within 16 weeks when attending sessions and following therapist recommendations on a regular and consistent weekly basis.

Because PCIT treatment is tailored to each child it plays a key role in successfully alleviating behavior issues and gives parents the effective tools necessary to address problems as they arise in the home.

“PCIT is a powerful intervention for families struggling to find harmony in their home and allows parents to regain confidence in their ability to positively and effectively parent their child,” Kiser states.

The program is expected to help Barbour County families learn effective communication and behavior management practices within families while strengthening positive social skills and self-esteem in children. For more information on the PCIT Center contact the Belington Medical Clinic at 304-823-4000.

Barbour Community Health Association Receives AIMS Grant

Barbour Community Health Association Receives AIMS Grant

A $175,000 grant was awarded to the Barbour Community Health Association’s (BCHA) Behavioral Health program recently to aid in the development and expansion of mental health services. Funded through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), BCHA was one of 1,178 health centers and 13 rural health organizations in the United States to receive monetary support to increase access to behavioral health services with a strong focus on substance abuse. These grants go directly to local organizations, which are best situated to address mental health issues in their own communities.

Other areas of emphasis include the treatment, prevention and awareness of opioid abuse, leveraging health information technology and providing training in the primary care setting. In addition to expanding the BCHA Behavioral Health program, the grant enables the hire of additional staff including Robert W. Kiser, a Licensed Professional Counselor from Buckhannon, to support the increase in services.

Kiser’s education and professional experience are rooted in clinical counseling and music therapy. The implementation of the AIMS grant will allow for early intervention and the ability to work with children and young adults before trauma or adverse experiences can have a lasting negative effect. Kiser states, “With early intervention, these young individuals will be able to go on to lead happy and productive lives.”

Contact Us for more information on the AIMS grant or behavioral health services.

Partnership Eases Student Access to Behavioral Health Services

Partnership Eases Student Access to Behavioral Health Services

Barbour Community Health Association benefits from its new partnership with the WVU School of Medicine Telepsychiatry Program. Through collaboration with the Brandon Wellness Center at Phillip Barbour High School, students will now have the opportunity to receive telepsychiatry health services.

This partnership allows WVU’s Telepsychiatry Program to implement its new initiative called the West Virginia Children’s Access Network at the Brandon Wellness Center where psychiatric and pediatric specialists can connect with students via teleconference. By allowing this vital interaction, medical professionals can screen, consult and treat patients efficiently and successfully at the Brandon Wellness Center, bridging the gap between rural settings and specialized health care services.

Secure and independent, the West Virginia Children’s Access Network ensures timely care for students in Barbour County, where access to specialized health care is limited. The program’s other focuses include early detection of students at high risk for obesity, diabetes, asthma and oral health problems. Educational and administrative video-conferencing services are also provided.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call the Brandon Wellness Center at 304-457-4000.

Smoking Cessation Programs Offered in Barbour County

Smoking Cessation Programs Offered in Barbour County

Quitting smoking isn’t easy, but it’s easier with the right help. Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the U.S., killing close to half a million people each year. Living a smoke-free life will benefit your health, wallet, and give your loved ones some peace of mind.

If you made 2018 your year to stop smoking Barbour Community Health Association is here to support your smoke-free goal. Take charge of your health in 2018 with the help of Belington Medical Clinic and Myers Clinic.

The Belington Medical Clinic and Myers Clinic will each be offering a free program developed by the American Lung Association called Freedom from Smoking. Participants can attend either the Belington or Philippi sessions interchangeably throughout the seven weeks.

Eight classes are held over seven weeks. Group leaders are certified facilitators who will discuss preparing and planning to quit as well as lifestyle changes that support tobacco-free living. The Myers Clinic’s eight sessions, which are held from 2-4pm, take place each Thursday beginning January 18th. Belington Medical Clinic’s sessions will be held each Monday from 6-8pm and begin January 15th.

To find out more information about the program or to register, please call Lesa Jordan at the Belington Medical Clinic at 304-823-2800, ext. 151 by January 10.

Antibiotics: Can Less Be More?

Antibiotics: Can Less Be More?

Getting sick is never fun – naturally, the sooner you beat whatever ails you the better. After some thought, you decide to muster up the energy and meet with your health care provider for answers and much needed relief.

Frankly, you’re ready to get your life back.

While you may leave one of our offices with answers about what’s ailing you it’s possible you won’t be leaving with an antibiotic prescription in hand. We are working to change the way our patients think about antibiotics and the consequences of misuse.

Organizations such as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working to educate patients and healthcare professionals on the proper use of antibiotics for treating illness and disease. Cases of antibiotic-resistant disease have risen which is a great cause for concern and improving antibiotic prescribing is now a priority at the Barbour Community Health Association.

The issue at hand is the overprescribing of antibiotics and prescribing antibiotics in unnecessary situations. Even if you have rarely been prescribed antibiotics in the past taking antibiotics in cases they are not effective or needed can still cause serious harm and result in bacterial resistance within an entire community. It is important to understand that in many cases, antibiotics are not needed; for example, when treating a viral infection such as a cold or the flu. Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them speeds up antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic-resistant infections are more complex, harder to treat and has led to strains of bacteria resistant to a variety of often-prescribed antibiotics.

Be aware that although you may have been prescribed an antibiotic in the past, your health care provider may not recommend an antibiotic in the future for your own protection. Feeling inconvenienced by a short-term illness such as a cold is better than becoming seriously ill with an antibiotic-resistant disease later on.

There are ways to alleviate your cold or flu symptoms, such as over-the-counter medications, rest and staying hydrated. Tips to combat the common cold can be found via our blog. Remember to always seek the advice of your qualified healthcare professional before taking antibiotics. Here at Barbour Community Health Association we are committed to your health and wellbeing; as always please contact us with any questions or concerns regarding antibiotic-use or other topics.