Former WV DHHR deputy secretary releases statement on leaving

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – The former assistant secretary of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources released a statement Monday regarding his departure from the department.

In the statement, Jeremiah Samples cited a difference in views as the reason for his abrupt departure from the department last week.

Samples had served as assistant secretary since 2017.

Read Samples’ full statement regarding his departure below:

“I would like to thank the many colleagues, leaders and community partners I have had the honor to serve during my time at DHHR. I have been overwhelmed by the hundreds of messages of support I have received from people from all three branches of government, the advocacy community, private providers, the National Guard and VM families who have trusted to help them when needed. I cannot properly express my gratitude.

Specifically, I want to thank Governor Justice and the Legislative Assembly. Our state has a historically low unemployment rate, a vibrant growing economy, remarkable tourism success, infrastructure expansion and record budget surpluses.

At the same time, the Governor and Legislature have dedicated more resources to supporting vulnerable populations and to empowering people on the path to self-sufficiency than at any other time in the state’s history.

Despite an allocated budget of approximately $7.5 billion, tireless dedication from staff and wonderful commissioners, and an expectation of success from the Governor, DHHR has struggled to make, and even lost, progress in many critical areas. Child protection, substance use disorders, protection of the vulnerable, public health facility management, EMS and provider capacity, transition support for public assistance clients to the labor market, contract management and many other DHHR responsibilities simply did not meet anyone’s expectations, especially my own.

Although the answers to these problems are complex, solutions must be found. As a society, we can never forget that every statistic is a real person. We must do better.

For every child protected from harm and their family supported, I am much more aware, even haunted, of those who have not been saved or who will not be saved tomorrow. I cannot properly express the level of responsibility that I personally feel for those who are suffering and struggling and whom I have not been able to help.

Unfortunately, Secretary Crouch and I did not share the same views on the issues, how to deal with them, or the urgency of getting results, but I respect this separation of paths and pray for the success of the state in solving these problems.

I remain hopeful. My departure from DHHR is an opportunity to rededicate myself to the service of West Virginia and our people. Despite our challenges, I am optimistic about the future and the many new ways I can help our state. I look forward to continuing this work with dedicated partners in the future. Thank you for allowing me to serve you.

No further information has been released.

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