Kanawha-Charleston Health Dept. officially takes control of Putn - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Kanawha-Charleston Health Dept. officially takes control of Putnam County Health Dept.

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The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department officially took control of the Putnam County Health Department July 25.

Under the new agreement, KCHD will provide all services for Putnam County, ranging from vaccinations to clinical services. On July 17, Putnam board members voted to contract services with KCHD. Members finalized the contract July 25.

The decision came several weeks after Putnam officials reported the department was suffering from severe debt, forcing them to lay off 12 employees.

KCHD will contract employees who will work in Putnam County and abide by their laws.

Officials said from this point forward, the transition should be smooth.

"I'm confident that within a couple days, possibly within a couple weeks, we'll have everything pretty much solidified," said Nasandra Wright.

One sanitarian, who testified at Thursday's board meeting, still works from Putnam County. He told officials that he visits three or four homes per week, tending to complaints and problems.

KCHD began providing services for Putnam County on July 1, according to Dr. Rahul Gupta, Kanawha County Health Officer. Finalizing the contract Thursday allows officials to move forward in selecting new office space in Putnam County and hire new employees.

13 News spoke to one man who said he wished both boards more aggressively advertised the takeover.

When Hurricane resident Ed Bowling noticed critters in his yard, he tried calling several entities, including the Putnam County Health Department.  An error message greeted him on the other line.

"They just basically are out of business in Putnam County," Bowling said.

Bowling said he knew change had befallen the department, but he was unaware he needed to contact the KCHD. No signs of turmoil are visible on the website for the PCHD.

"Currently there is no indication the switch is being made, that work is still in progress," Wright said."

Upon calling the KCHD Thursday, Bowling spoke to Wright.  Bowling explained neighbors were dumping trash in an apartment complex that lacked a dumpster.

Wright arranged for a dumpster to be brought to the apartment complex within 48 hours - -a necessity for all apartments and businesses in the county. She said the board is considering hiring more sanitarians for Putnam County in the future.

The KCHD has handled several dozen complaints from Putnam County since July 1, according to Anita Ray, the environmental health director.

Officials hope to forward all calls made to the Putnam County Health Department to the Kanawha-Charleston Health Dept.