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Gov. Justice appoints new director for the Office of Drug Control Policy

CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WVVA) - Today, Gov. Jim Justice announced the appointment of Dr. Matthew Christiansen as the new director of the WV DHHR's Office of Drug Control Policy.

Dr. Christiansen replaces Bob Hansen, the former director of the Office of Drug Control Policy, who recently announced his retirement.

Dr. Matthew Christiansen, the new director for the Office of Drug Control Policy

“West Virginia’s drug crisis has not taken a break even though we are experiencing a worldwide pandemic,” Gov. Justice said.  “Luckily, Dr. Christiansen is familiar with West Virginia’s issues and has worked closely with Bob Hansen. I think he’ll step into the job with one-foot running.”

Dr. Christiansen practices primary care and addiction medicine at Marshall Health and PROACT and is an associate professor in the Department of Family and Community Health, Division of Addiction Sciences, at Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

Dr. Christiansen is also the medical director and board president of Ebenezer Medical Outreach, a free clinic in Huntington.

“Combatting our state’s drug crisis has been a number one priority of this administration,” said Bill J. Crouch, DHHR Cabinet Secretary.  “I am pleased that Dr. Christiansen will offer a seamless transition to this most important position. We are very grateful for Bob Hansen’s service to the state and his countless efforts.”

Dr. Christiansen holds a BS from Denison University, an MD from Marshall University, and a master's in public health from Marshall University.

Dr. Christiansen’s appointment is effective immediately and he will transition into the position over the next month.

“I am truly humbled to serve on behalf of my fellow West Virginians in this position,” said Dr. Christiansen. “Working with individuals in recovery has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career and I look forward to working at a state level to expand and support recovery services continuing Bob Hansen’s legacy with the ODCP. I look forward to the day that we see our state recover from this terrible epidemic.”

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