21 locations to hear how to fix PEIA

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21 locations to hear how to fix PEIA
Brad McElhinny/MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Want to fix PEIA? There will be 21 opportunities around West Virginia to say how you think that should be done.

The PEIA Task Force’s public outreach committee mapped out — with an actual map of West Virginia — 21 locations for public hearings.

The places that were selected seemed to have consensus with the group, although there’s still a possibility that there could be slight alterations or, upon reflection, the Task Force could even decide to add to the destinations.

Here’s the result at the conclusion of the meeting Thursday:

Task Force members said they were aiming for locations within a half-hour or 45-minute drive for those who might want to attend.

There are not yet dates. Task Force members said the meetings should be weekday evenings or Saturdays. Members of the Task Force will work out the dates over the next week or so — also figuring out which of them can be at which locations.

Task Force members said the events are meant to be for them to listen. They won’t be providing expertise or proposing their own solutions, but instead will be hearing what West Virginians believe should be done to improve the Public Employees Insurance Agency.

Thursday afternoon’s public outreach meeting was led by Helen Matheny, director of collaborative relations and initiatives for the WVU Health Sciences Center.

“The idea is, we want to make it as easy as possible for as many state employees to provide their comments and suggestions about moving forward with and revamping PEIA,” Matheny said.

“We want to plan sessions in the evening where, ideally, folks don’t have to drive much more than an hour to get to the session to be able to share their thoughts with members of the PEIA Task Force.”

Matheny urged those who want to keep up with the Task Force to visit its website at or its social media accounts.

The Task Force plans to livestream the public hearings — or at least make full video available in potential instances of more than one public hearing running concurrently.

Mike Hall, chief of staff for the Justice administration and chairman of the full Task Force, said the public outreach group will produce a report of its findings after all the hearings.

“Over time we’ll gather information from people and pick up some trends of what the concerns are,” Hall said.

The PEIA’s public outreach subcommittee next plans one of its regular meetings at 10 a.m. May 11.