EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSOfficial Handover Of Putnam Health Department To Kanawha On Hold
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Kallie Cart
Web Producer: Heath Harrison
Reported: Jul. 10, 2013 4:38 PM EDT
Updated: Jul. 11, 2013 4:04 AM EDT
Winfield , Putnam County , West Virginia
The handover of the Putnam County Health Department to Kanawha County was held up Wednesday.
At a Putnam County Board of Health meeting, meant to finalize a contract between the two counties, board members announced they could not move forward with the contract. Just before the meeting, the state health department called saying they wanted to review the contract before it was approved.
Putnam County is attempting to contract out health department services to Kanawha County, because Putnam County no longer has a health department. The Putnam County Health Department is so far in debt, it had to lay off all of its workers.
Kanawha-Charleston Health Department workers have been trying to set up shop in Putnam County for a few weeks. A sanitarian is working out of the old courthouse and they're searching for space to conduct clinical operations out of. Putnam County Commissioner and Board of Health member Andy Skidmore said the new Department of Health and Human Resources building in Winfield is an option. But, without the contract, everything is at a standstill.
Lita Kirk, Kanawha County's administrator who is serving as the interim-administrator in Putnam county, said she cannot sign a lease with any location in Putnam County until the contract is finalized.
The health board, which will remain intact, is also undergoing some changes, with three new members, two of whom were sworn in Wednesday night. Skidmore is among the new members. He said, right now, they are focused on finding out what went wrong.
The state is also performing at least two audits of the Putnam County Health Department. They have requested extensive documents and computers from the office.
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