James “Tiger” Morton
Catastrophic Illness Commission

Welcome to the James “Tiger” Morton

Catastrophic Illness Commission

The James “Tiger” Morton Catastrophic Illness Commission was created during the 1999 regular session of the West Virginia Legislature to act as a last resort for those in dire need of medical assistance during a life-threatening illness once all other resources are exhausted.

"What is a Catastrophic Illness?" A catastrophic illness means there is an imminent risk of death if assistance does not occur.

"What is the commission?" The Commission is guided by a Governor-appointed board made up of six citizens from across the state. It is administered through the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources. The executive director carries out the efforts of the Commission through guidance from the Commission members during quarterly meetings, emails and phone communications.

Please refer to the various tabs at the top of this page for more information regarding eligibility, covered expenses or to make a donation.

We will be happy to assist you in answering your questions or when applying for assistance by phone by calling 304-558-6073


Who was James "Tiger" Morton?

James Herold Morton went to Webster High School and received both a BA and MA from West Virginia University. His illustrious career included being a teacher, coach and principal; special assistant for the Governor’s Office; and legislative liaison and ombudsman for WVDHHR. He created lasting relationships with governors and legislators, received many distinguished service awards, had a deep interest in children’s wellbeing, and created the Court of Last Resort in the Department of Health and Human Resources.

He provided assistance to needy West Virginia individuals and families arranging medical transplants to assisting individuals obtaining eligible benefits and everything in between. For his selfless devotion to his passion he was honored with the legislative creation and naming of the James “Tiger” Morton Catastrophic Illness Fund in 1999.