Begins at Home!

C. Everett Koop, Former Surgeon General of the United States

said it best: 

"It stands to reason that any community should get the health care system it demands.  Like politics, existing health systems derive their life from local sources."

(exerpt from De-Spamming Health, Forward)

Our Published Opinions

We encourage lively discussion and debates- and we expect followers to be stirring the local community "pot" in order to engage leadership and make meaningful change.  The articles posted below are examples of what Dr. Felsen shares with West Virginia.   They have been categorized for easy identification:

  • Medical Science/Evidence (Cadeuses Icon)
  • Local Reform Efforts (Home Icon)
  • Financing/Costs (Dollar Sign Icon)
  • General Interest (Question Mark Icon) 


What really drives public health policy?

Charleston Gazette-Mail January 23, 2020

In the context of protecting and promoting the public’s health, have you ever scratched your head and asked, why are they (authoritarian government) messing with regulating that substance or why don’t they do something about that substance? Many folks do and are confused by the vast differences in opinions as to what they assumed was largely a scientific determination as how to best protect and promote a healthy public. It is not. MORE

Drug price control and investing in the future.

Charleston Gazette-Mail January 17, 2020  

Individuals appropriately diagnosed and prescribed treatment for a medical condition should not have to go without treatment, split their daily dose pill into halves or take a prescribe daily dose on alternate days because they cannot afford to adhere to the recommended treatment. Yet the price of certain drugs result in such scenarios increasing advocacy for drug price controls. MORE 

Looking for health solutions in all the wrong places.

Unpublished Ideas - December 2019

How are we doing improving our Nation’s health? Awful! Despite the application of amazing immunological, genetic and other advances, for the third year our life expectancy has declined while it continues to rise in other industrialized nations. MORE 

Reversing the paradigm on health care talks

Charleston Gazette-Mail  October 26, 2019

Endless debates directed at improving the US health care system have become specious and boring, centered upon changing the way patient care is financed. “Medicare for All”, “single payer” and traditional insurance consume the vast majority of the discussion, devoid of any serious framework that examines the delivery system and associated costs, effectiveness and efficiency. Financial analysis in a vacuum is largely useless and logically backwards.  MORE

Time to reassess WV’s medical pot commerce.

Charleston Gazette-Mail September 5, 2019

I am not a fan of cannabis (THC) but admit there is little evidence it creates anymore societal harm than alcohol, tobacco and other legal substances – all with their negative and costly health manifestations. If it is going to be used “medically” we must make sure patients know its potential positive and negative health effects. If you are an advocate of its legalization to spur economic growth and increased tax revenues, do it smartly. MORE

“Check Engine”, wILL medical computing and machine advancements improve patient care?

Charleston Gazette,  May 21, 2018 

Recently Eric Topol, Editor, Medscape, interviewed Vinod Khosla, founder of Sun Microsystems and a pioneer in system’s computer engineering. Lately, Khosla has turned his attention to medicine and opined on the “direction” the inevitable changes in medical information management will take, although the “form” remains hazy....MORE

Are students teaching the nation a lesson on health reform?

Charleston Gazette, April 15, 2018 

Dead is dead. It really makes little difference if a high school students dies of a drug overdose or is killed by a former or current student with a bullet or driving an automobile under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Why is there profuse praise for students protesting that they will not tolerate safety inaction regarding being shot dead, while they leave unaddressed their chance of dying from risks orders of magnitude higher?   READ MORE.

Educated, healthy and happy – how?

Gazette Mail, February 16, 2018 

As a “can do” country we have hit a rut. Survey after survey, study after study shows a decline in health status, educational achievement and happiness.  READ MORE...


Gazette Mail, February 11, 2018 

Perhaps it’s the strange vacillating winter, but the health policy arena has recently been flooded with articles that more doctors, more prevention and more money are not the solutions to better and more affordable health status and care in rural America. Some are authored by individuals who have been long time advocates of expanded federal health expenditures.  READ MORE....

Reappearance of health brigades

Gazette-Mail, December 15, 2017

In early November, Senior Life Services of Morgan County launched the “Bath Brigade”, a program to provide a bath at least once a week to primarily homebound elderly folks. In an informal survey, these individuals, largely women, indicated this was the service they most coveted.

Fear of falls, disabilities, embarrassment over a family member assisting them bathe, and failure to qualify for certain home health benefits contributed to the situation. The consequences were not only a loss of self-esteem but dermatological and other avoidable medical conditions. READ MORE.

Local communities have a dog in the health care fight!

Gazette-Mail, November 12, 2017

I was thrilled by the opening commentaries in the October 19, 2017 issue of JAMA. Nearly 10 years after publishing my book, “De-Spamming Health, Reforming the Health System from the Bottom-Up”, top researchers and policy wonks appear to realize that if we are to escape the deadlock, and truly reform health care, it must start at local communities. READ MORE.

Health status and care “under the bridge”

Charleston Gazette-Mail, November 5, 2017

Recently, 15 state governors declared they do not want the flexibility to manage the health care funds their taxpayers send to Washington to assure a large segment of their state’s populations receive the care needed to maintain their` health status. They trust the federal government – largely through government health insurance interventions – will assure such health status. That shocked me as callous and cruel - instantly reminding me of examples of how much more determines health status – including my experience “under the bridge”.  READ MORE

Reform equals “spending more” cacophony

Charleston-Gazette, July 27, 2017

My hopes for any meaningful health reform further dwindled recently when I heard Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuel, as part of a TV panel, revert to political talking points rather than health care analysis. An excellent writer, I always appreciated his health care policy analysis, even though I frequently disagreed with some of his conclusions.  READ MORE

Meaningful Health Reform - hijacted again!

Gazette-Mail, June 28, 2017 

If improved health status of all Americans and containing health care expenditures are the goals of health reform, enacting the AHCA, or retaining the ACA, will make little difference.

What matters is the capacity and capability of local health care delivery resources and systems, success in preventing risky health behavior and health threats, making insurance “true” insurance and elimination of duplication, waste and low productivity. In the current debate there is little substantive discussion of these factors. READ MORE

ACHA Versus ACA Debate – More Garbage And Aberrant Focus.

Charleston Gazette, May 13, 2017

The Maslow “hammers” are again out in force looking for health insurance “nails”.  Ostensibly, the nation’s health reform goals are to improve health status, access, quality, efficiency and cost-effectiveness for all Americans - but the hammers only see “health insurance” nails to pound. READ MORE

“Medical Cannabis”, Now what?

Gazette-Mail, April 12, 2017

The medical profession was strongly opposed to the legalization of “medical cannabis” based upon the complex and difficult situation implementation has created in many other states like New York and the move by California physicians to support full legalization in lieu of “medical cannabis”.  READ MORE.

ACA repeal is about one thing – money!

Charleston Gazette-Mail,  March 12, 2017

A friend - befuddled by multiple media articles and news segments about repealing and replacing the ACA - asked me what it was all about.  I answered, it is simple, money. The solution – how to save and redirect it – is very complex. Rather than balanced analyses, most media accounts have involved hyped distortions and exaggerations focusing on one of many interdependent issues at play.  READ MORE

Snake Oil Resurgence 

Gazette-Mail, February 25, 2017

Not since the 1930s, has the Nation witnessed such a repudiation of allopathic and osteopathic medicine and embraced snake oil salespersons of all sorts. The irony is that this occurs as there is tremendous support for accelerated investment in genetics, immunology and precision medicine - as witness by actions such as a passage of the 21st. Century’s Cures Act.  READ MORE

Myths about psychoactive substances and public policy

Charleston Gazette-Mail, February 10, 2017

Media reports regarding psychoactive substances - and public policy addressing their promotion, restriction and use – have flooded the public. Psychoactive substances are raw, refined, synthesized and/or adulterated physical and biologic matter with analgesic, hypnotic, sedative, euphoric and other nervous system effects when ingested, inhaled, and/or absorbed. Public policy is often forged from myths. READ MORE

Health reform – lessons from the election

Gazette-Mail, January 20, 2017

Social philosopher/author Norman O Brown and social biologist/author Edward O. Wilson eloquently describe the cornucopia and cyclic nature of human society. When my book,” De-spamming Health – Reforming Health Care from the Bottom Up” was published in 2008, a few close friends opined the “cycle” was not right to attempt to change the prevailing health system reform paradigm. Lessons from the recent political elections suggest the cycle and paradigm have shifted. READ MORE