When asked what first sparked her interest in medicine, Dr. Jennifer Rose gave credit to her family.
“My mom’s a nurse,” Rose said, “and I grew up on a farm in Hillsboro. I was the oldest of four kids, so providing care kind of came naturally.”
Knowing her future would lie in human or veterinary medicine, Rose made her way to West Virginia University following her 2003 graduation from Pocahontas County High School and set her sights on pursuing a degree in Animal and Nutritional Sciences.
“Animal and Nutritional Science, as a major, gives you the option to go in a lot of different career directions,” Rose explained, “and while I was in college, I did some shadowing with a veterinarian. I enjoyed taking care of the animals, but caring for animals also sparked an increase interest in human medicine, too.’”
Her decision solidified, Rose fine-tuned her focus to family medicine.
“I knew all my life that this [Pocahontas County] was where I wanted to live,” she said, “and I knew a career in family medicine would allow me to do that.”
Following her graduation from WVU in 2007, Rose entered the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg – which she called a mini-coming home. Rose studied there for four years and after her graduation in 2012, entered into the last leg of her training – a three year residency program at the WVU-Charleston Division at Charleston Area Medical Center in Charleston, West Virginia.
“During my residency training, I trained in a dually-accredited program,” Rose said. “I’m an osteopathic physician, meaning I went to an osteopathic school, and I received extra training in osteopathic manipulative treatment and osteopathic principles and practices, but received the same medical knowledge training that an allopathic, or MD physician, would.”
What that means is that Rose has received training from both the MD [Doctor of Medicine] and DO [Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine] sides of medicine.
“CAMC is one of the largest training centers in West Virginia,” Rose said, “so they’re trying out a lot of new disease treatments and teaching about new drugs every day. Training in an academic teaching center like CAMC allowed me to learn the most up-to-date, evidence-based medicine in a wide variety of specialties.”
During her time in Charleston, Rose was appointed Chief Resident of Family Medicine. It was also during this time that she was approached by Community Care of Marlinton–which is a branch of Community Care of West Virginia–with the opportunity to return home.
Rose’s achievements were not without their fair share of hardships.
“Being away from home was hard,” she said. “I’ve been gone consistently for twelve years. I missed my family and seeing familiar faces. The coursework was tough. I spent countless hours studying. I had long work hours–sometimes over eighty hours per week–during residency spent taking care of patients in the office and hospital, too.”
The journey may have been hard at times, but the end goal was well worth the wait. Following her residency, Rose became board-certified by the American Board of Family Medicine – meaning she graduated from medical school, obtained her medical license, completed three years in a family medicine residency training program and passed a board–medical knowledge–exam.
In addition to her board certification, Rose is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the West Virginia Academy of Family Physicians, the West Virginia Osteopathic Association and the American Osteopathic Association.
When asked if she had any advice for those interested in the medical field, Rose said it was best to prepare early.
“Research,” she said, “research the profession, talk to someone who has, like myself, been through medical school and residency. It’s a huge commitment, and even I didn’t realize what kind of commitment it is when I was getting in. It’s been my entire twenties, basically. It’s hard work, but there’s good job security in medicine today whether you’re a nurse, doctor, medical assistant or therapist – there’s a lot of different options, and it’s certainly a rapidly growing, high-need field. You can work pretty much anywhere in the world.”
When she’s not working, Rose enjoys spending time with her family–parents James “Bee” and Connie, brothers Eric and Evan and sister Jillian Seldomridge–and friends, being outdoors, working on her family’s farm and gardening, as well as sports and cooking.
“It’s like a dream come true,” Rose said. “It’s still very surreal that I have the opportunity to be home and take care of friends, neighbors and family for the rest of my life – or the rest of my career, rather. I’m excited to be a part of the Community Care organization. I’m excited to be new, and feel energized to be able to take care of the community – to bring my style of medicine to the county.”
Dr. Rose is accepting new patients at Community Care of Marlinton, located at 821 3rd Avenue in Marlinton. Appointments with Dr. Rose are available Tuesday through Friday with extended evening hours offered on Tuesdays.
A staple in the community for several years, Community Care of West Virginia first appeared in northern Pocahontas County.
“We were in Durbin in the Northern Pocahontas Clinic first,” said Donna Shearer. “Then they decided they wanted to move into the Marlinton area. We’ve been here [in Marlinton] for about six years.”
Since then, Community Care of West Virginia has continued with its expansion and has made the move from Durbin to Green Bank, where they have two dentists, Drs. Josh and Laura Abbott, a dental hygienist, Courtney Wilkes, physician Dr. Jennifer Beverage and physician’s assistant Rachel Taylor.
“Rachel Taylor and Jennifer Beverage both came back to the community after their educational training to work, just like Dr. Rose,” said Shearer. “We have a lot of locals.”
The local employment does not stop there. “Dr. [Pat] Browning also works for us in Marlinton,” said Shearer, “and she will soon be moving and re-opening her clinic in Hillsboro in her old office. She and her husband had a clinic in Hillsboro for many years before she joined our practice. When the new clinic opens, it will be Community Care of Hillsboro.”
Dr. Browning will be available in the Marlinton office one day a week and two days a week in Hillsboro but will remain in the Marlinton location until the Hillsboro clinic opens in September.
“It’s often looked at that rural communities like what we have don’t have access to modern, up-to-date medicine with a number of providers,” said Rose, “and we have multiple providers in three different locations in the county. Every little nest in the county now has a clinic and it’s one of ours. It’s a really awesome service.”
According to Shearer, Community Care also operates in the schools.
“We do school-based health services, so we’re in every school in the county except for Hillsboro right now. During the school year, we have clinics open. Rachel Taylor will start working in the school-based sites at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year and will be available in Green Bank Elementary/Middle School, Pocahontas County High School, Marlinton Elementary School and Marlinton Middle School.”
Taylor will be at each of the school based clinics at various times throughout the week. Information on Community Care’s school-based health services will be included in the packets given to each student at the beginning of the school year.
“The parents will fill out the paperwork,” Shearer explained, “and if your child has an earache, then they can come to the clinic at school. They can see the provider, and the provider will always call and tell you what’s going on with your child. We do a lot of well-child screens, preventative medicine. It’s really great for the community because a lot of parents work Monday through Friday, and they have to take off to take their child to see the doctor.”
With the school-based services, Community Care of West Virginia eliminates that need.
“We also see school employees,” Shearer added. “A lot of school employees will be seen in the school clinics so they don’t have to leave the school before or after work.”
School-based clinics also offer services to students’ siblings up to preschool-age and, like all Community Care of West Virginia locations, accept all insurances, as well as offer sliding-fee for those who do not have insurance.
“The sliding fee program is based on your income and family size. You can bring last year’s income tax forms and complete an application,” said Rose. “You then pay for qualifying medical services based on your income if you do not already have health insurance.”
Community Care also has resources available to help those without insurance to obtain insurance through the Affordable Care Act and the Insurance Marketplace.
More information on Community Care of West Virginia and their locations, hours, and services is available on their website, www.ccwv.org.