LEWISBURG, WV (WOAY) – Drema Mace, Ph.D., MSP, has been named vice president for community engagement and development at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM). She will serve as one of seven vice presidents of the school.
In her new position, Mace will work at the intersection of higher education, community workforce development, community engagement and partnerships to guide the creation, implementation and evaluation of integrated strategies that generate health improvements.
WVSOM President James W. Nemitz, Ph.D., said Mace will play a significant role in its ongoing efforts to develop collaborations with organizations in communities throughout West Virginia.
“In the short time that Dr. Mace has been associated with WVSOM, she has made an impact on the local, state, national and international levels,” Nemitz said. “She is a remarkable person who will move our institution forward.”
Mace has served as executive director of WVSOM’s Center for Rural and Community Health (CRCH) since 2016. The CRCH is a resource center designed to improve the health and well-being of West Virginians through initiatives in which professionals and community members work together on research, education and outreach. Mace will continue to oversee the CRCH in her new role. Additionally, she will lead the work of the WVSOM Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization that accepts charitable gifts made to the school and provides oversight of student scholarships, the WVSOM Endowment Fund and short-term student loans, as well as financial stewardship of student club accounts.
In her time with WVSOM, Mace has replicated six opioid prevention and awareness toolkits in West Virginia, created an international research project in partnership with Kilimanjaro Medical University in Tanzania and helped bring millions of dollars in funding to WVSOM. Most recently, she facilitated the partnership through which the school is leasing the barn at Lewisburg’s Montwell Commons that will be known as the Clingman Center for Community Engagement.
Mace, who was raised in Boone County, W.Va., and currently lives in Alderson, said growing up in a rural area has helped her understand the needs of West Virginia residents and will aid her in helping WVSOM meet those needs.
“I know the strength and resiliency of individuals and families living in small rural communities across our state, and I look forward to working with our collaborative partners,” she said. “I am excited that President Nemitz recognizes the importance of community engagement as we meet our mission to improve the health of all West Virginians.”
Before coming to WVSOM, Mace worked in leadership positions for the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, the Tennessee Department of Health, the Nashville Health Management Foundation, Vanderbilt University’s Comprehensive Care Center and the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Health Office. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in public service management and a doctorate in human services with a specialization in health care administration.