Rohrbach selected for prescription drug panel

The National Conference of State Legislatures has selected Del. Matthew Rohrbach, R-Cabell, to serve on a 20-legislator national panel to explore evidence-informed state policy options regarding prescription drug costs.

“The cost of prescription drugs in the United States is a relevant and timely issue. I look forward to offering insights from both a legislative and health care provider point of view. I see the impact of the high costs of prescription drugs on my patients in my medical practice daily,” Rohrbach, a physician, said in a prepared statement.

The group will meet throughout 2019-20 to hear from experts, share information and develop bipartisan policy options to share with peers in a Prescription Drug Policy Recommendations Report to be released in 2020. The work group is made up of 20 legislators who are active and knowledgeable of prescription drug policies in their states.

Caudill joins Huntington office

of Steptoe & Johnson law firm

Kelsey B. Caudill has joined Steptoe & Johnson’s Huntington office.

Caudill is adept at handling multiple types of litigation and represents clients in a variety of industries throughout West Virginia and Kentucky, the company said in a news release.

“She is an experienced civil litigator handling matters involving nursing home defense, construction litigation, premises liability, professional and products liability and medical malpractice,” the release said.

Caudill earned her law degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law where she was a member of the moot court and trial advocacy boards. She also received her bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in journalism from the University of Kentucky. Caudill was recently named a Super Lawyers Rising Star in Kentucky.

She joins Steptoe & Johnson from Schiller Barnes Maloney PLLC.

Kirk selected as vice president

of National Fusion Center Association

One of West Virginia’s law enforcement and homeland security officials is now a leader for a national organization representing 80 state and urban area fusion centers.

Military Affairs and Public Safety Deputy Secretary Thom Kirk has been elected vice president of the National Fusion Center Association by its executive board. Developed in response to the Sept. 11 attacks, these agencies gather, analyze and share intelligence and information. The national association is holding its annual conference and training event this month in Alexandria, Virginia.

Kirk, who also remains NFCA treasurer, helped found the West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center in 2008 and was its leader until last year. He was named deputy Cabinet secretary and general counsel when Gov. Jim Justice took office in 2017.

Kirk began his law enforcement career as a trooper, serving for nearly a quarter-century and rising to the rank of colonel and State Police superintendent before retiring. While at the State Police, Kirk conducted undercover and anti-narcotics trafficking investigations, helped start its Intelligence Exchange, and helped create and lead its Bureau of Criminal Investigations. He also earned a law degree during that time, and has since been both an assistant county prosecutor and a special assistant U.S. attorney. He is an instructor, guest speaker and expert witness on such subjects as undercover operations, drug investigations, organized crime, police administration, behavioral sciences and case felonies.

More recently, Kirk has represented the NFCA at the request of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Command to advise and assist the Coral Triangle Initiative. This six-nation group encompasses nearly 2.5 million square miles between the Pacific and Indian oceans and includes Indonesia. A Navy veteran, Kirk’s mission has included demonstrating the benefits of the fusion center approach to thwart the drug trade, human trafficking and slavery, piracy, illegal fishing, and the transoceanic smuggling of stolen and counterfeit goods.

Fusion centers allow local, state, federal and tribal law enforcement and public safety agencies, as well as private sector partners, to share information, resources and expertise. The fusion center approach harnesses their respective strengths to prevent, detect, investigate and respond to all hazards, including terrorist and criminal activity.

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