Walla Walla's Health Department losing offices - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Walla Walla's Health Department losing offices

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WALLA WALLA, Wash.—It's nothing new, state funded programs have been seeing big cuts as legislators look for ways to reduce Washington's deficit.  Now, Walla Walla's Health Department is taking a hit and being forced to move.

About $.5million have been cut from their budget since 2001.  As a result, five positions were not filled after employees retired or resigned, two of which were nurses.

The newest changes is the department is consolidating and moving their employees from the Environmental Health office on Popular to the facility at 314 West Main starting January 16th.  That means all services will be in one area.  However, if state reductions continue convenience may not be the only change.

"Things will slow down and we won't be able to respond as quickly. My hope is that we won't see such levels of reductions that we have to stop providing services, whole classes of services," says Harvey R. Crowder, Public Health Administrator.

Crowder says it is possible they have will have more cuts and could shrink from a staff of 22 to 18.  However, for now, the community shouldn't be affected.