WVU Medicine to return as Ogden Wellness Weekend sponsor

Photo by Derek Redd Douglass Harrison, bottom left, president and CEO of WVU Medicine Wheeling and Reynolds Memorial hospitals, look over posters for this year’s Ogden Newspapers Wellness Weekend presented by WVU Medicine. With Harrison are, from left, Eric Anderson, publisher of the Green Tab, Wetzel Chronicle and Tyler Star-News; Brian Clutter, operations manager for The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register; and Joe Lovell, Special Events Coordinator for The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register.

WHEELING — WVU Medicine ultimately is in the wellness business, said Douglass Harrison, president and CEO of WVU Medicine Wheeling and Reynolds Memorial hospitals. The organization not only wants to provide the best care when patients walk through those hospital doors, but wants the residents of the Ohio Valley to feel and be their best every day.

So Harrison said WVU Medicine’s return as the title sponsor of the Ogden Newspapers Wellness Weekend was a no-brainer.

“I think that’s important for us, to get involved in community events like this that promote a wellness theme,” Harrison said. “So many people look at a hospital for the emergency room or an acute care need. But, really, if you look at what we do day to day and out in the community, it is trying to promote health and wellness.”

The Ogden Newspapers Wellness Weekend presented by WVU Medicine is a signature Ohio Valley event, bringing runners, walkers and urban warriors into downtown Wheeling to test their skills and fitness levels and to just have fun in a family atmosphere.

This year’s event will take place May 25 and May 26. Registration for all of the weekend’s events — the Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic, the Tough as Nails Urban Challenge presented by The Health Plan, the 5K Run and 5K Walk, the Ogden Tiny Trot and the Ogden Fun Run and the Wheeling Heritage Trail Bicycle Tour — is open now at ogdenwellnessweekend.com.

Harrison said the beauty of the weekend is the diversity of events, allowing for something for everyone to enjoy. Hardcore runners and walkers can take on the half-marathon, recreational runners and walkers can tackle the 5K, there are opportunities for children to get some exercise with the Tot Trot, and the Tough As Nails Urban Challenge presented by The Health Plan offers a unique opportunity to conquer obstacles throughout the city.

“You can be the weekend warrior and get involved,” Harrison said. “You can be the true athlete and get involved. And then there’s family events as well.”

WVU Medicine itself will participate in the weekend in a diverse set of ways. WVU Medicine staff will man physical therapy tents before and after the races. The organization will also hold a Health Expo to showcase some of the benefits and procedures its hospitals offer.

Harrison also is excited to showcase some new physicians that have joined WVU Medicine locally. He mentioned Dr. Ron Sismondo who oversees orthopedic sports medicine, who Harrison said does incredible work. He also pointed out Dr. Ivan Tarkin, who he said is a “top-notch” orthopedic surgeon.

“We want to showcase the level of talent that we’ve recruited,” Harrison said. “And in building a comprehensive service line around sports medicine, I think it will align with this weekend very, very well.”

Organizers of the Ogden Newspapers Wellness Weekend presented by WVU Medicine continue to be pleased with the way WVU Medicine has aligned with the weekend’s mission to promote healthy living in fun ways that people of all ages can enjoy.

“We’re ecstatic that WVU Medicine continues its strong relationship with the Ogden Newspapers Wellness Weekend,” said Perry Nardo, general manager of The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register. “We appreciate the organization standing shoulder to shoulder with us once again this year to advance the importance of a healthy lifestyle for everyone in the Ohio Valley and beyond. There couldn’t be a more perfect partnership.”

Harrison agrees that the union between WVU Medicine and the Ogden Newspapers Wellness Weekend is a “glove fit” for everyone involved. He remains impressed with the way the weekend has grown since WVU Medicine joined the mix, and how the Ohio Valley community has embraced it as a summer staple.

Harrison also is happy that WVU Medicine can join in celebrating the legacy of G. Ogden Nutting, the late publisher of The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register.

“With his passion for this weekend, for us to still be involved with it, I think it’s a special thing,” he said, “and hopefully a legacy opportunity for us as well as a community to continue this under his name.”


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