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Commissioner: W.Va. needs to do more to fund local health departments

Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 5:38 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Wood County Commission President Blair Couch is calling upon the governor’s office to provide additional funding for staffing at the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department.

The health department is still affected by budget cuts from a few years ago, when West Virginia government was still dealing with revenue shortfalls.

And Couch, a member of the multi-county health department board, notes it continues to provide pre-pandemic services such as STD treatment and dental care for low-income residents.

”We’re the largest geographic health department-the Kanawha Charleston health department is probably the largest, we’re number 2-with 6 counties,” Couch said Thursday. “We have to go to little Calhoun and Roane county and provide services. It’s very difficult if we start tagging on all the COVID.”>

Three top administrators at the health department have announced plans to retire in the new year.

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