Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority

The purpose of the VHWDA is to facilitate the development of a statewide health professions pipeline that identifies, educates, recruits and retains a diverse, geographically distributed and culturally competent quality workforce for all Virginians.

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Home > About Us > Staff & Board > Eleanor Sue Cantrell, M.D.

Eleanor Sue Cantrell, M.D.

Eleanor Sue

District Director of LENOWISCO and Acting Director of Cumberland Plateau Health District

Eleanor Sue Cantrell, M.D., is the District Director of the LENOWISCO (Lee, Norton, Wise and Scott County) and Acting Director of Cumberland Plateau Health District (Dickinson, Tazewell, Buchanan and Russell Counties) Health Districts in the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).  Dr. Cantrell received her bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University College of Pharmacy and her Medical Degree from VCU School of Medicine.  Dr. Cantrell completed an Internal Medicine residency at Creighton University, and practiced occupational and internal medicine in Nebraska and in Norton, Virginia for seven years prior to joining the Virginia Department of Health as District Director in 1991. She has served three tours as Acting Director of Cumberland Plateau Health District during her tenure with VDH as well.  From 2006-2008, Dr. Cantrell served as president and dean of the Appalachian College of Pharmacy, a new college of pharmacy located in Grundy, VA where she worked to define a model for educating future pharmacists’ role on patient healthcare teams to further community health improvement and to move the new college through initial accreditation steps; she returned to VDH in 2008.

Dr. Cantrell’s professional interests in addressing inequalities, disparities and access issues in Appalachian residents of Southwest Virginia have focused on chronic disease prevention and treatment, access to dental services and mental health/substance abuse issues. Her efforts resulted in several successful initiatives, including one to improve access to prescription medications by creating a database of pharmaceutical assistance programs to facilitate application for medication assistance; this latter program, presently named The Pharmacy Connect, is owned and maintained by the Virginia Health Care Foundation and continues to serve thousands of Virginians in annually obtaining millions of dollars of needed prescription medication across the Commonwealth. 

Dr. Cantrell currently serves as Medical Director of the Healthy Appalachia Institute of the University of Virginia’s College at Wise; serves on the Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS, i.e. Virginia Medicaid) Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, the Southwest Virginia Health Authority, and the Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority and several local boards and committees. Dr Cantrell’s holds active licenses to practice Medicine and Pharmacy in Virginia.

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