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HUNTINGTON — An endowed scholarship has been established by an anonymous physician in honor of his mentor, Dr. Joseph W. Werthammer.

The Dr. Joseph W. Werthammer Scholarship is designated for entering first-year medical students from Boone, Lincoln, Logan, McDowell, Mingo, Wayne or Wyoming counties in West Virginia. The scholarship is renewable for three additional years, pending normal academic


Werthammer, a longtime neonatologist and physician leader at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, is a graduate of Marshall University and earned his medical degree from the West Virginia University School of Medicine.

He completed his pediatric residency at the University of California — San Diego and a neonatology fellowship at Harvard Medical School, Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

Following his fellowship, Werthammer returned to Huntington in 1981 to join the Department of Pediatrics at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and served as chair of pediatrics from 1988 to 2011. In 1981, Werthammer and Dr. Gilbert A. Ratcliff established the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Cabell Huntington Hospital, where he served as the medical director from 1981 to 1995.

Following his chairmanship, Werthammer went on to serve the School of Medicine in various leadership roles, including senior associate dean for clinical affairs and chief medical officer (2010-2013) and vice dean for clinical affairs and chief medical officer (2013-2016). He now serves as professor of pediatrics and senior associate dean of clinical affairs and special advisor to the dean, and continues to care for infants in the NICU at what is now Hoops Family Children’s Hospital at Cabell Huntington Hospital.

Courtney Hessler is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch, covering police and courts. Follow her on and via Twitter @HesslerHD.

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