Martha Sparks Society Editor
September 6, 2013
Four Logan County residents were “coated” during the 2013 Convocation and White Coat Ceremony held at West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) in Lewisburg on August 24.
The White Coat Ceremony welcomes first-year medical students into the osteopathic medical profession and marks the student’s transition from the study of preclinical to clinical health sciences.
Three of the local students graduated together at Logan High School in 2009. Twin brothers Justyn and Jasyn Blankenship and Christopher Evans. The fourth student, Brent Thornhill, is a 2007 graduate of Logan High School.
The Blankenship brothers are the sons of Rev. Tildon and LaDonna Blankenship of Crooked Creek. Evans is the son of James and Judy Evans of Verdunville and Thornhill is the son of Wally and Martha Thornhill of Pecks Mill.
Keynote speaker for the ceremony was Kelli Ward, MPH, DO, a West Virginia native, WVSOM graduate and Arizona State Senator.
“We did not have a White Coat Ceremony when I was attending WVSOM. The ceremony is an important milestone in the student physician’s career,” Ward said. “It marks the moment when they accept the responsibility to care for others. I’m very excited to be participating in this year’s event.”
While at WVSOM, Ward served as the national president of the Student Osteopathic Medical Association. She completed her residency in family medicine in 1999 at Garden City Osteopathic Hospital in Garden City, Mich.
With her mother, Lorraine Byrd, DO, Class of 1990, she opened Lakeview Family Healthcare in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. She has served as the Director of Medical Education at Kingman Regional Medical Center since 2007.