CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Jeremiah Samples, director of health policy for the West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner, will join the Department of Health and Human Resources later this month as Secretary Karen Bowling's assistant.
The appointment becomes effective July 16.
Bowling made the announcement Monday.
"Jeremiah's broad-based experience adds great value to our team in accomplishing the mission of the department -- helping West Virginians," Bowling said in a prepared statement. "Jeremiah began his DHHR career seven years ago and returns with tools and knowledge essential to helping our agency move forward."
Prior to his work for the insurance commissioner, Samples worked for DHHR's communications and legislative affairs office, as well as for the agency's general counsel and deputy secretary. He left that position to manage website development and health policy planning at the Governor's Office of Health Enhancement and Lifestyle Planning.
During his time with the insurance commissioner's office, Samples has worked to help the state respond to health insurance reforms under the federal Affordable Care Act.
Samples is a West Virginia University graduate, where he earned degrees in history and political science. He is currently pursuing his master's degree in legal studies at WVU.
A small fire at the state Division of Motor Vehicles' central offices in Kanawha City shut down operations for more than an hour Monday.
DMV spokeswoman Natalie Harvey said employees noticed wires sparking around 10:30 a.m. She said a surge protector malfunctioned.
"Within just a short hour or two, we had folks on site and had it repaired. We're up and running again," Harvey said.
Workers replaced all surge protectors in the office. The call center was back online by noon.
Harvey said the DMV is having its landlord check all wiring in the facility as a precautionary measure.