Local doctor receives prestigious award
Marlinton, W.Va. – Dr. Robert Must, of Hillsboro, received the “Outstanding Rural Health Provider of the Year” award during the West Virginia Rural Health Conference on November 15. The conference bestows this award every year to recognize a direct service provider who has exhibited outstanding leadership in the improvement of health care services to rural areas of West Virginia.
Dr. Must was nominated for the award by Pocahontas Memorial Hospital, where he serves as President of the Board of Trustees. He has spent 27 years as a primary care physician and has developed into a practitioner-educator regarding healthy lifestyle practices.
Dr. Must grew up on air force bases around the United States and England. He graduated from high school in Hiawasee, Georgia and attended Georgia Tech for three years. After serving in the US Army, Dr. Must moved to Pocahontas County where he bought land and built a home. He went on to graduate from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in 1984 and interned at Logan General Hospital. He was then recruited to work for Pendleton County Community Care. Dr. Must returned to Pocahontas County in 1985 where he worked in the Emergency Department of Pocahontas Memorial Hospital and then as a physician at the Hillsboro branch of Northern Greenbrier Health Clinic, Inc.
In 1991, Dr. Must began his own private practice, Little Levels Clinic, where for ten years he focused on providing wellness-oriented health care at the most affordable cost possible. Dr. Must was known for taking more time with patients than the average doctor and making countless home visits. He recognized that many patients struggled to pay medical bills and kept his charges for all patients far lower than the average clinic’s.
Faced with increasing costs to stay in business, Dr. Must took additional work at a correctional center two afternoons a week. In 2001, he was recruited to work by Anthony Youth Correctional Center in Neola and Denmar Correctional Center in Hillsboro on a fulltime basis and has practiced correctional medicine ever since. Dr. Must is recognized as a “standard setter” for wellness outcomes and was recently awarded a certificate of recognition for exceeding company expectations in the delivery of patient care.
Dr. Must is extremely civic-minded as evidenced by his years of service with the Pocahontas Community Club and volunteer work with the local drug-prevention group. His work with Pocahontas Memorial Hospital began when he served on a local doctors’ advisory group, going on to join the Board of Trustees. “Dr. Must’s commitment to health and his community leadership has impacted thousands of lives. He truly makes a difference,” says Barbara Lay, CEO at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital.
Dr. Must is married to Virginia “Ginger” Must and they have two grown children, Andrew Must of Hillsboro and Molly Must of Asheville, North Carolina.