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Deal will provide preparedness grant for Putnam

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Kanawha County health officials will apply for a $100,000 threat preparedness grant on behalf of Putnam County.

Officials from the state Department of Health and Human Resources and the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department have agreed that Kanawha health officials will apply for the federal funding and oversee the grant for Putnam County, according to a statement from DHHR.

Dr. Rahul Gupta, health officer for the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, previously told The Charleston Gazette that his department, which has been contracted to provide services for the Putnam County Health Department, had not yet received the funding.

Gupta said Friday the new agreement came after a meeting between the two agencies.

"Right now what we're doing is, we had a high-level leadership meeting," Gupta said. "We agreed to start the process from scratch. We feel there's capacity issues and infrastructure issues that need to be built from the ground up."

Because of debt problems, the Putnam County Health Department laid off its entire staff earlier this year and contracted with the Kanawha-Charleston agency for services.

Joyce Spiroff, acting commissioner for the state's Public Health bureau, which administers the federal grant, had previously said more discussion was needed to determine if federal guidelines for the grant had been met.

Gupta said Friday that Kanawha health officials and the DHHR agreed to resubmit the federal grant application by next Friday.

"It will be entered for processing," Gupta said. "It takes a few weeks for processing, but I don't foresee any issue as this point. All sides have committed to a favorable outcome on this."

Reach Lori Kersey at lori.kersey@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.


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