WVU Medicine partners with Virta Health to address the state’s growing type 2 diabetes epidemic

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University Health System (WVU Medicine) recently announced a strategic partnership with type 2 diabetes reversal leader Virta Health to offer its virtual diabetes reversal treatment to eligible employees in West Virginia and across the country. As the state’s largest private employer, WVU Medicine’s collaboration with Virta provides hope for significant improvement in metabolic health in the Mountain State.

More than 16 percent of West Virginia’s population has been diagnosed with diabetes, equating to more than 232,000 residents, according to the American Diabetes Association. West Virginia also leads the nation in deaths from diabetes and in adult obesity rates.

“Type 2 diabetes is one of the biggest health issues facing West Virginians — and our employees are no exception,” Michael Edmond, M.D., WVU Medicine chief medical officer, said. “Our partnership with Virta is a key stepping stone toward ending this epidemic and one that we hope creates a ripple effect to spread diabetes reversal across the state.”

In Virta’s peer-reviewed clinical outcomes, the majority of completing patients achieved blood sugar below the diabetes threshold, while removing or reducing the need for medications such as insulin. Patients also saw 12 percent weight loss and improved over 20 markers of cardiovascular health, including blood pressure.

Foundational to these results is a fully virtual, high-touch care model. Via the Virta app, patients interact — often multiple times per day — with clinicians and health coaches, who provide personalized dietary recommendations, monitor biomarkers, and de-prescribe medications as needed. This continuous remote care drives adherence and retention, even with rural and other hard-to-reach populations.

“Partnering with WVU Medicine provides an opportunity to reverse the unsustainable trajectory of diabetes in West Virginia,” Sami Inkinen, Virta Health co-founder and CEO, said. “We look forward to establishing our footprint here to help residents reverse their disease and take back control of their health.”

Today’s announcement demonstrates hope to reverse the economic burden of diabetes as well, which costs $2.3 billion each year in West Virginia alone. Virta practices a unique value-based care model and puts 100 percent of fees at risk. Under the arrangement, WVU Medicine only pays for successful health outcomes tied to diabetes reversal metrics.

Virta is available to eligible WVU Medicine employees at no additional cost, and enrollment begins today.

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