It is with great sadness we inform our faculty, students, and alumni of the passing of a great friend of VCOM for over 15 years, Dr. Hughes Melton M.D. In 2005, Dr. Melton served as clinical faculty and later as VCOM’s Director of Student Medical Education establishing some of VCOM’s first clinical rotations in Lebanon, Va. and in Johnson Memorial Hospital in Abingdon, Virginia. He was appointed as Vice President for Medical Education and DIO for Mountain States, and working with VCOM, established the first graduate medical education programs Abingdon, Virginia. The residencies in family medicine and internal medicine continue today at Johnson Memorial, now a part of the Ballad Health system.
Most recently, Dr. Melton was appointed by Gov. Ralph Northam, to serve as the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health & Development Services. Previously, Dr. Melton served as the Chief Deputy Commissioner of Public Health and Preparedness at the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).
Dr. Melton, a veteran of the United States Army, was nationally selected by the American Academy of Family Physicians as the 2011 Family Physician of the Year for his work against addiction and chronic pain. Board-certified in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine, he established High-Power, P.C. a patient-centered addiction treatment clinic in Russell County, Virginia. In 2000, Dr. Melton co-founded C-Health, which provides full-spectrum family medicine services to over 18,000 people in medically underserved communities in rural southwest Virginia.
To honor all that Dr. Melton has done for VCOM, our students, our alumni, and for Southwest Virginia; the College has made a substantial donation to create an endowed scholarship, the Hughes Melton Scholarship for Rural Health. Each year the scholarship will benefit a student who is from Southwest Virginia and who plans to return to Southwest Virginia to practice. Preference will be given to a student entering family medicine.
You may provide a personal note that will be shared with the family and friends of Dr. Melton. If you would like to honor Dr. Melton with a donation at this time, please contact our Vice President for Development, Thim Corvin at tcorvin [at] vcom.edu, or if you prefer to make a donation online, simply go to www.vcom.edu/give. Under “OTHER” on the drop down menu, indicate your gift is for the Hughes Melton Scholarship.