The mothers, the millennials, and the mavens. Changing our communities.
This is our seventh annual unveiling of 50 amazing women who are raising the bar in their communities, serving as beacons of light in their industries, and forcing change for the greater good. Meet this West Virginia Wonder Woman, Joanna Bailey, and many more that are creating a better West Virginia with their can-do attitudes and Mountain State spirit.
Stop That Truck
After completing medical school and residency at West Virginia University, Joanna Bailey knew she was headed back home to Pineville. She chose family medicine and settled in as one of a handful of practicing physicians in Wyoming County, spending her days at the Tug River Health Association.
Bailey says it was frustrating, as a young doctor, to treat so many consequences of obesity— diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease—with no specific tools in her toolbox to actually treat the root cause. “I know from personal experiences that when a doctor quickly tells someone to lose weight, it can be very offensive and actually builds barriers. Out of that frustration, I decided to look for meaningful interventions for my patients.” Bailey reached out to the Benedum Foundation and WVU for funding to complete a specialty training through the Obesity Medicine Association.
She now has tools to help her patients and has become an advocate at the state level, working with the West Virginia Academy of Family Physicians to lobby for a soda tax to combat obesity on a larger scale. She says lasting change will only come by reducing the power of food companies. If she ever goes to jail, it’s because the Mountain Dew truck infuriates her, she says. Her arrest will mean she finally went after that truck.