Members of the Kanawha-Charleston Board of Health continue their search for a new health officer. The position has been open for nearly a year.
During Thursday's board meeting members voted to slightly change the requirements for the position. Instead of requiring a master's degree in public health and five years of experience, those qualifications are now preferred. Board president Dr. Art Rubin said because of the strict requirements they have not had many applicants for the position.
"We did narrow it down to one really good candidate," Dr. Art Rubin said. "We are discussing the position with that candidate. We will see what other applications we get. If the candidate that we have wanted from the beginning is interested, we hope to move forward with that candidate."
Former health officer Dr. Michael Brumage resigned in March of 2018. Dr. Brumage is now the Medical Director of Cabin Creek Health Systems. Dr. Rubin said he will not be seeing any patients in the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, but he will be involved in administrative work with staff members.
A few months ago there was a discussion about possibly having a Suboxone clinic operate out of the health department. Dr. Rubin said there are no current plans for that to happen. At the January board meeting an expert was brought in to educate the board on medically assisted treatment, but a lengthy process is required for that to happen.
"Before anything would be done in this building it would have to be signed off by the city, the county commission and we would have to have meetings with the public," Dr. Rubin said.
The Kanawha-Charleston Board of Health hopes to move forward to fill the health officer position soon.