Chief Clinical Officer offers perspective on quality of inmate healthcare

Chief Clinical Officer offers perspective on quality of inmate healthcareChief Clinical Officer for Corizon Health’s western region, Dr. Harold Orr, submitted an impassioned guest commentary this week to the Contra Costa Times in which he praises the work of our team members and seeks to set the record straight about the quality of care our inmate patients receive.

At Corizon Health, our sincere Vision is to provide “quality healthcare and reentry services,” and we know when we succeed, communities are safer. Our team members consistently go above and beyond in their mission to provide care for our patients, and “that makes it even more painful to see their passion and drive mischaracterized,” says Dr. Orr. Many Corizon Health team members have been working at our facilities for more than 20 years and choose to continue working in this challenging field, despite often dangerous and/or difficult circumstances.

“It’s important to understand that, even while the environment is uniquely challenging, the level of care is no different from outside the jail,” Dr. Orr explains. Our patients are sicker, with a higher percentage of mental illness and many others who suffer from addiction. This is what drives the hearts of our team members who “want to serve…individuals who in some cases have lived on the margins of society for years without medical care of any kind.” Furthermore, we work to ensure the care our patients receive does not end when they return to their communities.

Bad outcomes happen in any healthcare setting. While they are tragic, they are not limited to the corrections industry. This is why Corizon Health constantly reviews protocols and procedures to help guarantee we are providing the best level of evidence-based care possible for our patients. For example, when Dr. Orr saw a need for our patients to be provided with continuing integrated medical care and social services after their release, he made it happen by partnering with a variety of community-based organizations in the creation of “inside-out” programs. These programs are immensely helpful in ensuring a “smooth transition from jail” back to the community.

We invite you to read Dr. Orr’s entire commentary here.