Program Director



MS, Management (Healthcare emphasis), Marshall University
BS, Healthcare Administration, West Virginia Institute of Technology
AS, Business, West Virginia Institute of Technology 

Christena Ross has focused on grant development, management, and implementation over the last decade of her 30-year healthcare career. She has brought more than $35 million in grants to West Virginia to help improve the lives of its citizens. As a native West Virginian, Christena knows the state, its people, and its needs well.  

As a Program Director, Christena has focused on federal grants with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Behavioral Health (BBH) and the Bureau for Medical Services (BMS). She is the Principal Investigator for the State Opioid Response Medical Services (SORMS) grant focusing on expanding treatment and recovery services to individuals with substance use disorder.

Prior to the SORMS grant, Christena served as Program Director for the Substance Use Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities (SUPPORT). This work led to BMS being awarded a competitive SUPPORT planning grant. Christena has also been the Principal Investigator of the American Rescue Plan Home and Community Based-Services Workforce Training Curriculum and Learning Management System (LMS). This project helped connect state partners to utilize existing resources to avoid duplication of systems. 

Some populations these grants have covered that Christena has worked with include rural and Appalachian populations, pregnant and postpartum women, LGBTQ+, and those reentering the community that were recently incarcerated. Christena specializes in program development and implementation and project management.  

Before joining Health Affairs in 2020, Christena was with CAMC Research and Education Institute as the Director of Research and Grants Administration. Her responsibilities included pre-award, post-award, grants financial management, Office of Sponsored Projects, Institutional Research Board (IRB), and Research Integrity and Compliance. Under her leadership, the organization had tremendous grant development growth and received its first Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protections Program accreditation. Her other healthcare experience includes leadership and training development, fund development, six sigma and lean training, and she has been a National and State Baldrige Examiner.  

Christena is a WVU Blue IRB Member, Health Affairs Culture Ambassador, and serves on several Health Affairs Committees.