The Huntington Internal Medicine Group (HIMG) in Huntington, West Virginia began as a four-physician partnership in 1969. The following year, tragedy struck Huntington. The Marshall University plane crash took the lives of many, including prominent Huntington physicians. Because of the loss of their partners, four additional physicians joined the practice and HIMG became an eight-physician partnership.
Following the formation of the new group, the partnership's name was changed to Huntington Internal Medical Group to signify the group's concept of sub-specialization within an internal medicine group. This new concept meant that in addition to being specialists in internal medicine, each physician had additional sub-specialty training in the fields of cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, oncology or pulmonary disease. A new primary specialty and sub-specialty health care delivery system was born in West Virginia.
Recognizing the need to formalize the structure of HIMG, a professional corporation was formed in January 1978 and a business management approach to controlling practice resources was adopted. The practice continued to experience outstanding growth.
This exponential growth, combined with a strong vision for the delivery of health care in the future, led many within HIMG to look for additional ways to enhance the ability of the organization to deliver health care. Because of that vision, the HIMG Regional Medical Center, housed in a former Wal-Mart building, opened in January 2006.
The next phase of growth includes adding 15-20 more physicians over the next five years from a vast array of specialties within primary care, specialty care, and inpatient medicine.
The physicians of the Huntington Internal Medicine Group have spent a great deal of time over the last forty years promoting the 'group practice concept' within their multispecialty group. Growing a strong multispecialty group is a process full of challenges and new opportunities. But for HIMG, one of the most significant challenges related not to finances, governance or income but to 'act as a true medical group.' HIMG has worked diligently to create a 'horizontal group practice' and an environment of cooperation in which every member of the group holds the vision, mission, and values of the group above self-interest. HIMG has always placed the patient first, the group practice second, and the individual third.