The mission of the museum is to preserve and communicate the history of health care in West Virginia and Appalachia, and to document the impact that WVU has had on the health professions in the region, across the U.S. and around the world.
The museum includes ample display space for health-related artifacts, rare manuscripts and other holdings from the West Virginia and Regional History Center at the WVU Libraries, and other items provided by faculty, alumni and friends of the University. The space also includes a multimedia theater.
The Museum of the Health Sciences has become a reality because of the vision and hard work of William A. Neal, M.D. Dr. Neal’s companion piece to this effort is his book titled, “Quiet Advocate: Edward J. Van Liere’s Influence on Medical Education in West Virginia.”
Neal grew up in Huntington, West Virginia, the oldest of seven children and the grandson of a physician. He attended Wheeling College and graduated from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1962.
While attending medical school at WVU, he was the first recipient of the Edward J. Van Liere Award for medical student research. Neal was commissioned in the U.S. Navy in 1967, graduating from the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute. He served as a flight surgeon aboard the aircraft carrier USS Constellation for two combat tours to Vietnam.
Neal was named Distinguished Alumnus of the WVU School of Medicine in 2007 and initiated into the WVU Academy of Distinguished Alumni in 2016. He was awarded emeritus status in 2014. At the time of his retirement, he was the James H. Walker Professor of Preventive Cardiology in the WVU Department of Pediatrics.