All in the Family: Manchin family providing health care to Marion County (West Virginia) for 40+ years | WV News
FARMINGTON, W.Va. (WV News) — More than 40 years after opening the Manchin Clinic in Farmington, the Manchin family has continued to provide health care to all of Marion County and beyond, with the third generation of Manchin health-care providers recently graduating from med school.
John Manchin Jr. opened the Manchin Clinic in his hometown on Aug. 6, 1979, after finishing med school. He told WV News that it was his plan throughout his schooling to return home, and he’s happy he did.
“I always wanted to come back to my hometown,” Manchin said. “My dad always said that everything we got was from Farmington. I felt that the need was there. We had several active coal mines, and I was sort of a coal miner’s doctor at that time.”
“… My desire was always to come back to Farmington and be a doctor. I always said that as an undergrad. I wanted to take care of the people whom I grew up with. It was a dream of mine.”
Nearly 42 years later, Manchin is still providing health care to residents of his home county, not only at the Farmington location but also at the Manchin Clinic South in White Hall and the Manchin Clinic of Bridgeport.
“I feel very blessed that I had the opportunity to take care of the hometown people and in the surrounding area,” he said.
During his years as a medical professional, Manchin has worked with the Marion County Rescue Squad and a number of local fire departments, served on the Board of Governors for the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine — his alma mater — and is even a past president of the West Virginia Society for Osteopathic Medicine.
Manchin isn’t the only member of his family currently working at the clinics. His oldest child, Angie Hager, has worked with him as a physician’s assistant since she graduated from Alderson Broaddus University in 1996.
Following that, Manchin’s two other children got involved in the business as well, with his other daughter, Christina Manchin, joining as a physician’s assistant in 2007 and his son, John Manchin III, coming on as the administrator of the clinics and two assisted living facilities under the Manchin banner, one in Farmington and the other in White Oaks.
In addition, Manchin’s grandson, John Manchin IV, graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine earlier this year.
Hager believes her passion and her siblings’ passion for the health-care sector was passed down to them by their father.
“At first, I wasn’t into thinking I wanted to get into the medical field,” Hager said. “At first, I was an English major at WVU. I think he always wanted me to do (health care), and maybe there was a little bit of rebelling at the beginning. It took some time, but after seeing him in the medical field, I felt that it was my calling, too. …
“Working beside Dad was something I really enjoyed as a physician. He’s my father, but he’s also a great physician, so I saw him be very good at his job, and I wanted to be in that with him. … It’s hard working for a family business, and there are still times where I say, ‘What if I went down this path or that path?’ but there’s something to be said about working for family.”
Likewise, Manchin is thrilled to have his children involved in the business, and he’s happy to know that his daughters are helping the people of Marion County right alongside him.
“It gives me a great sense of pride and appreciation to have my girls (at work),” Manchin said. “I don’t think there’s anything more rewarding than to be able to have patients say how they love Angie and Christina and our other mid-level, Sherri. That’s quite a joy, for sure.”
Manchin added that although he’s operated his clinic for 42 years, he and his children are still students of the medical field, and their ability to expand their knowledge and add to their skills over the years has helped them be so successful.
“The whole thing about being a physician is that you’re a perpetual student, because you’re learning every day,” Manchin said. “There are always new cases that are teaching you, and you’re able to work with specialists and sub-specialists. … It’s a team effort with many of the patients, especially as they get older. …
“You’re a perpetual student and a perpetual teacher. It’s nice, too, to have the girls always pick my brain, and I pick their brain. It’s enjoyable to work with your own children and see how they’ve succeeded and how they’ve become so important to their patients. It’s a joy.”
Manchin has deeply enjoyed his work over the past four decades, and looking ahead, he sees no end in sight.
“I’m still very enthused,” he said. “I have the same enthusiasm that I did when I started. I enjoy medicine. I feel blessed that I had the opportunity to be a physician. I don’t want to retire. It’s not in my vocabulary.”
Fairmont News Editor John Mark Shaver can be reached at 304-844-8485 or [email protected]