Brian Skinner, JD
As a lawyer working in the state legislative branch for nearly 15 years, Brian understands the complicated intricacies of lobbying very well. He has made his living working alongside policy makers and elected officials, having a front row seat to the political maneuvering that takes place inside our nation’s state houses.
Before joining the team at H2C, Brian served as Counsel and Chief of Staff to the Minority Caucus of the West Virginia Senate, where he assisted the caucus in enacting legislation and advancing policies.
Prior to that, he was General Counsel to the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health where he acted as the strategic advisor and chief legal officer to then Commissioner and State Health Officer, Dr. Rahul Gupta. Brian worked with the Bureau’s leadership to implement key public health initiatives including:
- Combatting the Opioid Drug Crisis: Provided legal and strategic advice to the West Virginia Bureau of Public Health’s executive leadership team’s opioid crisis response efforts. West Virginia’s data-driven approach to identifying populations at high risk for overdose has served as a national model. He helped develop and implement policies for a number of pioneering public health initiatives such as the Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Birthscore program to identify high-risk infants, and expanded access to the opioid overdose antidote naloxone, syringe exchange and medication-assisted treatment. Brian also drafted and worked to enact legislation creating the West Virginia Office of Drug Control Policy.
- Launching WV’s Medical Cannabis Program: Led the Bureau’s efforts to establish the Office of Medical Cannabis, including developing regulations, writing policies and procedures, establishing contracts, and assisted in hiring staff, including the office director. Made presentations throughout the state on the requirements of the Medical Cannabis Act.
- Strengthening Compulsory Immunization Laws: Drafted and advocated for successful legislation reforming the process for evaluating medical exemptions. Worked closely with legislators, medical professionals and citizens to address concerns regarding the state’s compulsory immunization requirements and those interested in maintaining the state’s high immunization rates.
- Updating Emergency Medical Service Personnel Certifications: Provided legal counsel to the West Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services to update requirements for the certification of emergency service personnel and to develop and implement a community paramedicine program.
- Providing legal counsel and compliance advice to various offices within the Bureau including:
- Center for Local Health (the liaison between the Bureau for Public Health and the 49 autonomous local boards of health and health departments in West Virginia.)
- Center for Threat Preparedness
- Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
- Office of Drug Control Policy
- Office of Emergency Medical Services
- Office of Environmental Health Services
- Office of Epidemiology and Prevention Services
- Office of Laboratory Services
Brian also served as chief counsel for the West Virginia House of Delegates, Committee on the Judiciary, where he advised the committee chair on legal and political issues related to pending legislation. In this role, he provided research and legal analysis services to legislative interim committees, legislative standing committees, and individual legislators on actual or proposed legislation or subjects of general legislative concern.
Brian has also operated his own legal office, during which he also worked as a part-time Assistant Prosecuting Attorney. He started his legal career practicing law at public interest firms (Mountain State Justice, Inc. and Appalachian Research & Defense Fund, Inc.), but has also served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division and an adjunct professor with the West Virginia University College of Law’s Clinical Law Program.
Brian earned his law degree from West Virginia University College of Law and a Bachelor of Science in Business (Management Information System) from Alderson-Broadus College. He currently resides in Columbus, Ohio and is the father of three adult children — a sailor in the U.S. Navy, a Marine Second Lieutenant, and a student at West Virginia University. Brian is licensed to practice law in both West Virginia and Ohio.