West Virginia state Senator Ron Stollings (D-Boone), M.D., a member of the Class of 1982, is the second recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award in recognition of his successful internal medicine practice and his honorable service in the West Virginia State Senate. He accepted the award during the 26th Annual Homecoming Banquet on Friday, Sept. 7.
“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized for this award as I am very proud of my medical school and its mission,” Stollings said. “We have outstanding physician alumni who have left a great mark on healthcare and society not only in our region and state but nationally.”
Stollings, a native of Madison, received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from West Virginia University before coming to the School of Medicine. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University and has been in private practice at Madison Medical Group and on the staff of Boone Memorial Hospital since 1985. He is a professor of medicine for the West Virginia University School of Medicine and serves as field faculty for the Rural Health Education Partnership.
Most recently, he has been elected as a Fellow to the American Academy of Physicians and is a past president of the West Virginia State Medical Association (WVSMA). He is a founding trustee of the West Virginia Medical Foundation.
In 2006 Stollings was elected to the 7th Senatorial District in the West Virginia State Senate and reelected in 2010. He serves as chair of the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee, and serves on a number of other committees.
In June Stollings joined more than 80 primary care physicians from across the country in a White House Health Information Technology Town Hall event in Washington, D.C., hosted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The physicians were recognized for their successful implementation of electronic health record (EHR) technology. Stollings’ practice, the Madison Medical Group, was the first health care practice in the state to meet the requirements of Stage 1 of Meaningful Use, i.e., using certified EHR technology in ways that can be significantly measured.
In August, at the West Virginia Primary Care Association’s 27th Annual Conference in Charleston, Stollings received the Inaugural Distinguished Community Health Champion Award in recognition of his leadership on issues that impact the lives of the 365,000 West Virginians who rely on community health care centers, as well as his continued fight for the advancement of primary care since he joined the West Virginia Senate.
Stollings has found a way to give back to his alma mater as well. In 1996 he established an endowed scholarship in memory of his mother, Alma Stollings. “My mother did not have a college education, but she knew the value of education and wanted her baby boy to excel,” Stollings said. “Looking back I can only understand how hard she worked so I could have a ‘normal’ childhood as the child of a single mother. I just wish she would have lived long enough to know that her investment paid off and so I could show her the deep appreciation I have for her. This is a way to pay it forward so other students with similar backgrounds may benefit. My hometown knew my situation. I was so blessed to have people like Gus and Mary Lee Shaffer, Don and Margie Weaver, Ira and Judy Handley and many others who were supportive of me.”
Another strong influence in Stollings’ life is his older brother, Barry. “He always challenged me to succeed,” Stollings said. “I know I would not have turned out the same without his guidance and love. He raised two of the best guys—Travis, a graduate of MU, and Barry II. They both have a great work ethic and are so fun to be around. My daughter, Whitney, is a work in progress. I see so much of me in her. My soon-to-be 7-year-old grandson, Seth, has me in the palm of his hand.”