CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Clinical services are no long being offered through the Putnam County Health Department.
Lolita Kirk, who was appointed administrator to the Putnam County Health Department last month, said the most recent building was vacated about a month ago because of overwhelming costs. Kirk has been searching for a new, permanent location to provide clinical services.
"The patients have been coming to [Kanawha-Charleston Health Department]," Kirk said after the Kanawha-Charleston Board of Health meeting Thursday. "We've probably seen about three times the number of clinical patients from Putnam this month than we did, say in May, when they were still open."
"They are getting the services. I'd love for them to be able to get their services in their own community, but at least the services are available."
Kirk hopes to have a temporary location set up through the Putnam County Department of Health and Human Resources within the next week to provide immunizations and other services.
"We have a pause in clinical services until we get a facility to provide some services ... The DHHR has been kind enough to allot us a few cubicles and areas to see patients. Once they get their agreement down here to us, we'll sign it, and get down there working," Kirk said.
Kirk anticipates working out of the DHHR location no more than 30 days. By Sept. 1, she hopes to have a new location for the health department.
Environmental services have not been interrupted, and sanitarians have been in the field every day since July 1.
Kanawha-Charleston sanitarian Keith Lyons has been working out of the Putnam County courthouse to get caught up on restaurant inspections and pool water samples.
Another sanitarian is working weekends on a contract basis.
Kirk said that once a location is found, it would be advertised heavily. After the location, she wants to reestablish services and set up a full operation -- and increase services inside the community.
"What we want to do is be able to offer not just coming to the Health Department for services, but we pride ourselves on going out into the field -- sometimes to businesses or organizations or community centers. We want to provide those services on site," Kirk said.
Currently, Kirk said the transfer of telephone numbers hasn't been a seamless transition. She hopes to have the Putnam County Health Department number ring to the Kanwaha-Charleston Health Department until a location is found, but that transfer isn't working.
Kirk said it would be fixed within a day or two. Until then, Putnam County citizens can call the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department at 304-344-5243.