Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department officials don't expect to be back in this building until August, but they're serving patients at a temporary location on College Avenue. / My Buckhannon file photo

Health department to operate at College Avenue location for most of the summer while office undergoes renovations

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department will offer its full range of services at its temporary location at 64 College Avenue beginning Monday, June 13.

Sue McKisic, nurse director at the Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department, said their office moved to its temporary location May 27, while their permanent Locust Street location undergoes much-needed renovations. They opened Monday, June 6, but will not be fully operational until Monday, June 13.

“We are right beside the Parish House and Virginia Thomas Law Center for Performing Arts,” McKisic said. “We were closed until Monday, June 6, just to get things up and running and we still have no fax capabilities. We just have scanning capabilities and some of our computers don’t even have email capabilities on them yet.”

The staff will attend trainings this Thursday and Friday, so this temporary location will close those days and reopen June 13 to offer its full range of services, including immunizations, COVID vaccines and COVID boosters.

“We were told the work would be done approximately the last week in August or the first week in September,” McKisic said, “but the way that the renovation crew is coming along, we might be in sooner than the last week in August.”

She said the renovations will cost $307,000, split between the health department and the Upshur County Commission. 

“We are going to have two exam rooms for patients, versus the one exam room that we had previously,” McKisic said. “These exam rooms are going to be in two of the offices up front – not at the registration area, but just shortly down the hall – we will have a handicapped bathroom accessible to them right across the hall from those two rooms.”

The renovations will also create a separate laboratory room and a separate medication room, which brings them into compliance with state regulations.

“We can’t have a lab in a patient area, and we can’t have a medication room in a patient area,” McKisic explained. “The offices that were taken from upfront to make the exam rooms will be moved further back in the building, and then two new offices are being built back into what was previously our storage room. We’ll be able to serve twice as many people at one time because we have two nurses who are able to do duties, and since COVID has slowed down some, when flu season gets here, we’ll be able to put patients in both rooms and have them taken care of, and there won’t be near as much of a wait time out in the waiting room.”

Once the renovations are complete, the ducts will be cleaned, the building will be pressure-washed and a new sign has been ordered. 

“We really want to make it open and inviting to the general public, so we plan to have an open house or a walkthrough with cake or cupcakes,” McKisic said. “We want people in our county to see the funds are being used to better serve them.”

The department is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and can be reached by calling 304-472-2810.

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