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The Boone County Health Department has had its clinical services suspended due to violations outlined by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

CHARLESTON — The Boone County Health Department has had its clinical services offerings suspended until it takes corrective action outlined by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

In a letter obtained by the Coal Valley News dated Feb. 17, 2021, State Health Officer and Commissioner Ayne Amjad, MD, MPH outlined the details of the suspension of clinical services.

The letter states, “The results of the quality assessment are attached and show several areas of violation of legislative rule 64 CSR 73. The results of this assessment indicate several areas of operational concern that require immediate attention in the interest of patient safety for the citizens of Boone County.”

The letter continues, “It has also come to our attention that the Boone County Board of Health has failed, among other things, to convene regular meetings of the Board as required by W.Va. Code S 16-2-10(a). Please provide for our review, the dates and minutes of all Board meetings held during the period of January 2019 through December 2020, as well as an explanation regarding the failure of the Board to meet as required by the statute.”

Additionally, the letter states, “Based on the above information, effective immediately, all clinical services provided by the Boone County Health Department are to be suspended.”

Dr. Philip Galapon, Boone County’s health officer, said he and the board are striving for a solution.

“As it stands currently, we are not providing clinical services until we can resolve some policy-related deficiencies,” Galapon said via email. “Both my board and staff are working diligently toward that end. Once this is complete, it is my hope that we can return to normal provision of clinical services and vaccination.”

According to county officials during the Boone County Commission’s regular session last Tuesday, all parties involved were to meet on Wednesday afternoon in a Zoom session to discuss the violations and what will be done to resolve the violations moving forward.

Violations were found and recommendations were provided in the following sections:

  • Infection Control Training and Competency
  • Hand Hygiene
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Injection Safety
  • Environmental Cleaning
  • Infection Control Program and Infrastructure

Boone County Commissioner Jacob Messer said he believes the situation will be resolved and that the meeting on Wednesday would bring clarity for all parties involved.

“I read the report and the results were disappointing,” Messer said. “Based on conversations I’ve had with the people involved, these should be issues that we can easily fix and we will start that process immediately.”

Messer added, “We have a meeting this evening regarding the situation and as a commissioner, I take the report seriously and we want to be in compliance regarding all of the county’s operations and we are in the process of rectifying these issues and improving our health department services.”

A comment from a Boone County Health Department representative could not immediately be obtained.

Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at pperry@hdmediallc.com or at 304-307-2401.

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