Lyons said the switch hasn't been difficult because of his prior experience, but he's just getting used to this way of operating. Lyons had previously been working out of the courthouse to work in Putnam before the space at the DHHR was found.
Gupta said the field of permanent locations for the health department is narrowed to a few places, but nothing has been finalized yet.
"So we're in the process of restoring all public health services back to its level and higher at this point," Gupta said. "And this is just one of those steps in the process today."
Lolita Kirk, the current administrator of the Putnam County Health Department, said the goal is to have the health department up and running once the finances are more stable.
Kirk was appointed to the administrator position in June to iron out the financial issues. Kirk also is the director of administration at the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, a position she has held for seven years.
In an emergency meeting, the Putnam County Board of Health laid off the department's entire staff of 12 employees and voted to provide services through Kanawha-Charleston.
Putnam's yearly $414,000 state allotment will fund the contract.
Health departments receive funding from four main sources: state aid, federal grants, local support and revenue generation. Through the contract, the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department will use money from state and federal grants to provide services to the public, a requirement for that type of aid.
The health department's yearly allotment from local support, including County Commission and cities, is about $150,000. The Putnam County Board of Health is tasked with handling the remaining debt.
With the state and federal aid, Kanawha-Charleston can fill five full-time positions, including two sanitarians, one nurse, one medical assistant and a clerical worker.
When the contract expires on Dec. 31, the board will re-evaluate the contract and determine whether to continue.
Kirk said the goal is for Putnam to reopen once its finances are stable.
The Putnam board's financial crisis stemmed in part from attorney fees it incurred as it fought a grievance from a former employee. An administrative law judge ordered the employee reinstated in 2011.
Officials also have said the rent at the health department's most recent facility was too high. The department moved into the larger facility in Teays Valley in 2010 in hopes of expanding services.
It now has almost $250,000 in overdue debts.
For more information on immunizations or to secure a registration form, visit www.kchdwv.org
To make an appointment for services in Putnam County, call 304-757-2541.To contact the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, call 304-434-5243.