CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The new PEIA Task Force is now a little bit smaller than the state Legislature and a little bit bigger than Charleston City Council.

The task force is up to 29 members after Gov. Jim Justice named six additional female members on Monday.

There are 34 members of the state Senate.

There are 27 members of Charleston City Council.

Mike Hall

Asked about the size of the task force on Saturday night, the final night of the regular legislative session, Justice administration chief of staff Mike Hall said the numbers were an effort to gain a variety of points of view.

“Part of the reason was to look at, also, the geography. We looked at the participation of the women but also where they’re from so that helps us also have an array around West Virginia,” Hall said on “The Legislature Today” on West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

“Quite frankly, as you go through this process throughout the year, there will be people who won’t be able to make every meeting. And so the task force has a lot of bright people with a lot of knowledge about insurance and benefits — and experience. I think it’s going to be a good outcome.”

Justice named the six additional members Monday after observations that his initial list included only two women.

House of Delegates Minority Leader Tim Miley, D-Harrison and Sen. Bob Beach, D-Monongalia, sent letters to Justice asking for additional female representation on the PEIA Task Force.

The newly-appointed members include:

  • Beth “Buffy” Hammers, chief executive officer, Marshall Health
  • Helen Matheny, director of collaborative relations and initiatives, WVU Health Sciences Center
  • Lisa M. Simon, certified public accountant, Wheeling
  • Sarita Beckett, public school teacher, Raleigh County
  • Dr. Sherri Young, Medicare medical director, Aetna Insurance
  • Amy Loring, human resources director and director of staffing and employee relations, Berkeley County Schools

Task force members who were named earlier include:

  • Marty Becker, chairman of the board of directors, QBE Insurance Group
  • Greg Burton, chief executive officer of Brickstreet Insurance
  • Andy Paterno, chief executive officer of Centurion Insurance Services
  • Joe Letnaunchyn, president and CEO, West Virginia Hospital Association
  • Rob Alsop, vice president for strategic initiatives, West Virginia University
  • Nelson Spencer, McDowell County Schools superintendent
  • Perry Bryant, founder, West Virginians for Affordable Healthcare
  • Senator Mitch Carmichael (R-Jackson)
  • Senator Robert Plymale (D-Wayne)
  • Senator Craig Blair (R-Berkeley)
  • Delegate Eric Nelson (R-Kanawha)
  • Delegate Roger Hanshaw (R-Clay)
  • Delegate Mick Bates (D-Raleigh)
  • Geoff Christian, current member of the PEIA Finance Board
  • Christine Campbell, president, American Federation of Teachers West Virginia
  • Dale Lee, president, West Virginia Education Association
  • James “Joe” White, Executive Director, West Virginia School Service Personnel Association
  • Dr. Rahul Gupta, commissioner of Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Public Health and State Health Officer
  • Douglas Kirk, Division of Highways
  • Lieutenant Michael LaFauci, West Virginia State Police
  • Jeffrey Reed, retired Wood Circuit Court judge
  • Judy Hale, retired public educator and former AFT president.

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