CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The state Division of Personnel voted June 28 on a "full reduction in force" for the Putnam County Health Department, which laid off its 12 full-time employees just in time to avoid the next payroll period that began July 1.
The Putnam County Board of Health voted for the reduction in force during an emergency meeting held June 23. An administrator said the struggling agency couldn't take on further insolvency.
Lolita Kirk, senior interim administrator for the Putnam health department and an administrator at the Kanawha-Charleston's health department, was appointed interim administrator during an emergency meeting June 12 to help the department stabilize its finances.
Board members also voted to contract their services with the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department while they work through their financial problems.
Kirk said Putnam health department employees' last working day was June 28, and all calls made to the health department are being rerouted to Kanawha-Charleston. Kirk is still working to secure temporary space in Putnam County for clinical services and is hopeful that limited services can be provided by the middle of next week.
According to Kirk, two medical professional positions will be posted next week, and more positions will be created as acting administrators are given clearance by the Division of Personnel.
Kirk has projected an immediate need for five full-time employees for the Putnam health department. Currently, one Kanawha-Charleston sanitarian is working out of the county courthouse in Winfield as routine health inspections are performed around the county.
The health department's facility on Corporate Center Drive in Scott Depot is closed. Kirk said she and the board have evaluated more than one potential new location in the county and are hoping to have a new home as early as next week.