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Buckeye native Dr. Zachary Grimes, DO, participated in an online COVID-19 Q&A session last Wednesday co-hosted by Pocahontas Memorial Hospital. Grimes provided research-backed, fact-based answers and opinions about the virus.

With our “new normal” of social distancing, crowd restrictions, and general event cancellations, organizations and groups are learning new ways to gather virtually and disseminate information. 

A special online COVID-19 Q&A session was held last Wednesday, cohosted by Pocahontas Memorial Hospital and the Pocahontas County Board of Education.

The online event featured Dr. Zachary Grimes, DO, who grew up in Pocahontas County and graduated from Pocahontas County High School in 2008, Shepherd University in 2012, and West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in 2016.  He completed his residency with the Icahn School of Medicine in 2020 in anatomical and clinical pathology.  This year, Grimes was selected as a COVID-19 hero for work on one of the largest COVID-19 autopsy studies in the United States.  Grimes was at the very front of the pandemic crisis in New York City.

Questions were submitted prior to the event and discussion facilitated by PMH Acute Care Coordinator Erica Faulknier, RN, and Jenny Friel, RN and School Nurse for Pocahontas County Schools. 

Questions ranged from the meaning of COVID-19 related dreams and mental challenges while infected, face shields versus face masks, vaccine development, and long term effects on children who acquire COVID-19.  Grimes offered no medical advice during the Q&A, but provided research-backed, fact-based answers and opinions.  The event lasted for an hour and will soon be available in a recorded format on the PMH website and Facebook page for those who missed the live discussion.

It has to be pointed out that all three of the “faces” of the event – Grimes, Faulknier and Friel – are Pocahontas County High School graduates who chose medicine as their career. 

Pocahontas County is indeed proud of these three individuals for their contri- butions to both our county and the health of our citizens.  The event had special meaning for Pocahontas Memorial Hospital, as Grimes is the son of Velma Wilfong, a much loved nurse at the hospital for more than 20 years.

Many thanks are extended to Joanna Burt-Kinderman with Pocahontas County Schools, who provided the technical assistance and logistics for the event; and Susan Wilkins, with Pocahontas Memorial Hospital, who coordinated online publicity.

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