Teamwork helps Santa Rita Jail earn ACA accreditation

Teamwork helps Santa Rita Jail earn ACA accreditation

Santa Rita jail staff

Holvis Delgadillo Corizon: Teamwork helps Santa Rita Jail earn ACA accreditation

Written by Holvis Delgadillo, Discharge Planning Coordinator, Santa Rita Jail (CA)

In the end, it paid off. The effort put forth by each employee in the Santa Rita Jail (CA) was rewarded by the news that Corizon had achieved 100% during the recent ACA accreditation. Teamwork was the critical factor in every section of Corizon’s services. All work settings highlight the benefits of teamwork, even if employees work in separate departments, as is the case in Santa Rita. Although some employees might work independently or have flexible schedules, the ultimate goal for Santa Rita Jail staff is to be the best, as evidenced by scoring 100% with ACA.

Reflecting on my own experience, teamwork is an important factor for professional correctional health workers. Increasingly, health workers need to be able to work with others in teams. While people in every workplace talk about building teams and working as one, it is not always easy developing an effective team.

The effort to build a strong Corizon team began in January 2013. Andrea Williams, HSA for Alameda County (CA), prepared us for each of the upcoming visits, inspections and accreditations for the year. I noticed that in every staff meeting she always started by asking the staff about their successes, whether it was a personal or workplace success. Andrea rewarded every success achieved by each of us. The building of the Corizon team in Santa Rita Jail started with encouragement and self-motivation, as well as embracing our work ethic and setting a goal to provide the best to our clients. Andrea is a strong believer in teamwork.

Through reflection on the team build-up process, I have become aware of useful strategies to deal with issues and gain commitment to the goals of the team. The development of team building skills has been an important benefit for my learning and development as a professional correctional health worker. For me, however, the major benefit of working in a team is that it facilitated learning and enhanced my understanding of the process of getting ACA accreditation. I have definitely learned more about the topic from other health workers than I would have if I had completed my responsibilities on my own. We discussed each other’s responsibilities in depth, which helped me understand the complexity and value of getting accreditation by the ACA.

The management team had regular meetings and then passed information to the rest of us; communication was essential. In each meeting, we went through each of the staff’s responsibilities. Together, the managers made sure that the staff understood goals and expectations. Regular and detailed team meetings were an essential part of the team building process, as well as for building collaboration and improved outcomes. My responsibility was a drop of water in an ocean, but I felt free to share my ideas and knowledge with others, which definitely made my learning process more interactive, interesting and enjoyable. At the end, it paid off to be part of a team – the Corizon team at Santa Rita Jail.

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