CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Cabinet Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources Bill Crouch is retiring from his position, according to West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice.

Dr. Jeff Coben, Associate Vice President for Health Affairs & Dean of the School of Public Health at West Virginia University, will serve as interim Cabinet Secretary of DHHR following Crouch’s retirement, Justice says. Coben has served in several positions since joining WVU in 2004 and has served in several national health care organizations.

Crouch was appointed by Justice to the position in January 2017. He came into the position with decades of experience in healthcare. According to the DHHR, Crouch began a health care consulting firm in 1987 that provided health care management and consulting services throughout the state, and was also a partner in a long-term care company that managed long-term care facilities in West Virginia.

Before launching his consulting firm, Crouch spent several years working in acute care hospitals as well as the West Virginia State Health Department Office of Community Health Services and was the first executive director of what is now the West Virginia Health Care Authority.

Justice says Crouch plans to remain available to assist the state and DHHR throughout the transition.

“We’re gonna wish Bill the greatest in retirement – second retirement,” Justice said.

Justice says COVID Czar Clay Marsh and retired Maj. Gen. James Hoyer will assist him in the search for a permanent replacement for Crouch.