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Founded in 1999, Ohio Valley Physicians (OVP) was the result of a friendship that began nearly three decades ago between Dr. Steven Shy and Dr. Robert Hess. It was not until Dr. Hess came back to Huntington to practice with HIMG that he met Dr. Shy in his private practice. During their time working in hospitals and on committees together, they furthered their expertise on both the business side and medical practice side of the industry.
In 1992, Dr. Hess became the president of HIMG, the company purchased Dr. Shy’s practice, and placed him on the HIMG board of directors. A few years later, a need arose for management of physician staffing at the Ironton Hospital. The two of them saw an opportunity here, and OVP was born.
Eventually, the Ironton hospital closed and many of the nurses moved to a brand new facility known as the Holzer Hospital in Jackson, Ohio. Holzer management soon learned of the nurses’ positive experiences working with OVP, subsequently resulting in a call from the original CEO of Holzer Jackson to Dr. Shy and Hess. A call in which they were asked to use OVP for the staffing of physicians in the Jackson Emergency Department. In addition, OVP began to staff providers at Highlands Hospital in Prestonsburg, KY, which quickly became the next hospital with whom the company partnered.
Through 2010, OVP continued physician staffing in the Jackson, Ohio Emergency Department. When the Holzer Clinic and Holzer Hospital merged, Holzer Medical Clinic bought out the OVP physician staffing contract, and OVP continued to work in Prestonsburg, added King’s Daughters in Portsmouth, Ohio, and subcontracted a number of additional hospitals.
In the fall of 2015, Holzer leadership reached out to OVP and brought them on to manage physician staffing at all three emergency departments, as well as the hospitalists services for hospitals in Jackson and Gallipolis.
Along the way, OVP has opened several outpatient offices which are primarily staffed by Nurse Practitioners or Physician Assistants. Further, one of our physicians introduced us to the use of the medication suboxone for treatment of opiate addiction. After exploring it, we decided to get involved and to partner the process with counseling, as well as everything else necessary ‘under one roof’; this is how Appalachian Health Services (AHS) was created.
The first AHS office was in Gallipolis where we hired two counselors, partnered with Woodland Centers, and from there we grew to 6 locations spread across the region. We noticed that many of our rehabilitation patients were not getting the follow-up health care they needed, so we made it convenient for them by implementing acute care into our process. At the heart of all we do, we have a simple philosophy - we enjoy medicine, and we like taking care of patients.
We are a two-family company and, when you look at it on paper, it probably shouldn’t work. But 17 years and 100+ employees later, it is working! We are a group of people that enjoy our jobs, value our co-workers, and provide excellent care for our patients.