Dr. Mike Lewis – Medical Treasure
West Virginia has lost a true medical treasure. Mike Lewis, MD, died with peace and dignity at the Hubbard Hospice House in Charleston, where he received compassionate comfort measures for his end-of-life care. This is reflective of his dynamic medical career advocacy for hospice services and end-of-life care through advanced directives. Mike was beloved by his wife Mino, daughters Beth and Tana, six grandchildren, immediate family, friends, colleagues and patients. A “Celebration of Life” service is planned for 1 PM on Saturday at Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home in Charleston.
A rural Raleigh County native and distinguished family physician, he resigned as the Department of Health and Human Resources cabinet secretary for health reasons a little over a year ago. He headed the agency for 18 months and upon leaving this position Governor Earl Ray Tomblin described Lewis as “a compassionate healthcare advocate who has provided outstanding service since he accepted the position of cabinet secretary. . . a man who is kind, intelligent, patient and dedicated to his profession and the health of all West Virginians.” Well, that just about says it all.
In his DHHR letter of resignation, Mike expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve West Virginia. “My life has come full circle, from the chronically-ill child raised in southern West Virginia in need of healthcare to heading the department responsible for delivery of the same,” he wrote. “Serving West Virginia has been the greatest honor of my life.”
Thom Stevens, WVAFP’s Lobbyists in a column for the Sunday Gazette-Mail on June 24, 2012, “It seems like Mike was preparing for the DHHR cabinet secretary position during his entire medical career. With his degree from the WVU School of Medicine, he also served there as Chair of the Department of Family Medicine, Associate Dean of the Charleston Division and Associate Vice President for Health Sciences. He also was the Director of Graduate Medical Education at CAMC, Board Member of the WVU Hospitals/United Health System, and Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences at the Higher Education Policy Commission.”