Joe Tuttle, West Virginia’s Father of Primary Care

The Clay-Battelle Health Services Association mourns the loss of its founding father, Joe Tuttle.

Beginning in 1972, he joined with a group of concerned citizens in the western end of Monongalia County to address the lack of health care services in the area. From their efforts, the Clay-Battelle Health Services Association was created: a private non-profit corporation which provides quality, comprehensive family medical and dental care without regard to an individual’s ability to pay. The Association’s newly created board of directors tapped him to be its first Executive Director, a position he held from the time the Clay-Battelle Community Health Center opened in 1973 in Blacksville to his retirement in 2012. He was also responsible for the creation of a second community health center site for the Clay-Battelle Health Services Association, the Community Health Center of NE Wetzel County in Burton, as well as the Clay-Battelle Pharmacy (Blacksville) in 2008.

His 40 year career was dedicated to ensuring that West Virginians have access to quality affordable health care, even in the most remote of communities. He helped found numerous community health care facilities around the state, and was sought after as a speaker and consultant.

Widely regarded as the “father of primary care” in West Virginia, he was awarded the Distinguished Mountaineer Award by Gov. Joe Manchin, the Distinguished Service Award by the WV Primary Care Association, and the Outstanding Rural Health Achievement – Governor’s Award.

He lived his entire life on the family farm, Fairview Fold, in western Monongalia County, and raised Scottish Highland cattle as a hobby. He took great pride in bringing visitors to the area to see his farm and the gentle long-haired cattle grazing in the fields surrounding his home.

Our thoughts and prayers are extended to his family in their time of loss.