Volunteer Spotlight: Michelle Humphreys

It was the late ‘80s, and the height of the AIDS epidemic. Fresh out of college with a bachelor’s in nursing, Michelle Humphreys had just started her career at the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department. 

From the get-go, her desk was flooded with pleas for support. Patients were being diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses daily without the means to access or afford the necessary treatment. The atmosphere was desperate.  

Then, in the midst of the chaos, someone told Michelle about West Virginia Health Right. 

“WV Health Right was a godsend,” she remembers. “Finally, we were able to get our patients the help they needed. We worked hand-in-hand to provide uninsured and underinsured members of our community with lifesaving care, often in the eleventh hour.”

Equipped with a deeper understanding of the urgent healthcare needs in the area, Michelle went back to school to be certified as a women’s health nurse practitioner. There was no question that—as soon as she could—she’d bring her new skills home. 

And she did. Shortly after returning to Charleston and entering private practice (now over two decades ago), Michelle decided to also donate her time and talents as a volunteer provider at WV Health Right. 

Even though she was already familiar with WV Health Right’s work, she was surprised to learn how many of their patients were at risk of falling through the cracks: folks employed in low-wage jobs who didn’t quite qualify for Medicaid or Medicare, but couldn’t afford private health coverage either. 

“Often, just when a patient thinks there’s no hope of gaining care, WV Health Right is able to come to the rescue and provide those valuable resources,” Michelle said. “They provide the care and resources that no one else can. I am so blessed to be a small part of it.”

Recently, Michelle became one of the first providers to offer family planning services at the clinic, as WV Health Right continues to expand its scope of care to meet the most pressing health needs of our community.

“WV Health Right has been a game changer for Charleston. They always find a way to deliver the care that’s needed.”