Tomblin announces new WVU Board of Governors member - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announces new WVU Board of Governors member

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Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin appointed J. Thomas Jones to the West Virginia Board of Governors on Feb. 14.

Jones, who retired last year as head of the West Virginia United Health Systems, is filling the unexpired term of the late Charles Vest.

"Tom Jones will be an excellent addition to our board," BOG Chair James W. Dailey II said. "He is imminently familiar with our university because of his long association with the WVU health systems."

WVU President Gordon Gee said Jones' experience will be an excellent and critical part of the university's mission.

"These perspectives are invaluable, and I look forward to his contributions and sage advice," Gee said.

During his 11-year tenure at United Health System, Jones oversaw the expansion from two hospitals – Ruby Memorial in Morgantown and United Hospital Center in Clarksburg – to include hospitals in Martinsburg, Ranson and Parkersburg and become the largest health system in the state.

Jones began his health care career in 1973 as an assistant administrator at Wheeling Hospital, rising to the post of chief operating officer. In 1990 he became CEO of St. Mary's Medical Center in Huntington; in 2000 he was named to lead Genesis Hospital System, which included St. Mary's, Cabell Huntington and Pleasant Valley hospitals.

He has also been active in the state's business community, and was inducted in 2012 into the West Virginia Business Hall of Fame. He has been chair of the Board of Directors of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, and has served on the boards of the American Hospital Association, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and many other local, state and national groups. In 2008, WV Executive magazine named Jones one of the 50 Most Influential Leaders in West Virginia.

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

He will serve until June 30, 2016, filling the term left vacant by the passing of Vest last year. He will be eligible for reappointment by the governor to a full four-year term.