Corizon Health CEO Steve Rector offered the following statement in response to Federal Judge Magistrate David K. Duncan’s court order issued earlier today:

“Today’s ruling by Federal Magistrate Duncan against the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) unfortunately fails to recognize the progress and improvement that is and has been the reality of inmate health care since the ADC engaged in a settlement with ACLU plaintiffs in 2014.

As the healthcare provider chosen after the plaintiff’s lawsuit was initiated, Corizon Health has worked diligently with the ADC to increase and meet compliance with the 849 measurements contained in the law suit settlement. That progress now reflects exceeding minimum compliance rates on 90 percent or more of the measures. With an average of more than 4,100 patient encounters a day, Corizon Health is successfully providing an exceptional level of health care to Arizona’s prison population.

This ruling, combined with the loss of millions in taxpayer dollars that will be paid to American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attorneys, negatively impacts critical funds needed to meet the requirements of the settlement and it also demonstrates ACLU’s higher regard for pursuing their stated public policy objective of reducing inmate populations. This legal battle unfortunately also underlines why incarceration policy is best made under the direction of Arizona’s elected policy leaders, the Governor and state legislature and not in courtrooms.

Make no mistake, be it Corizon or any other private healthcare provider, the ACLU will attack the mere existence of private healthcare providers in our prison system and its levels of incarceration, regardless of any accomplishments by a provider.

This charade by the ACLU is sad for the taxpayers of Arizona and for the inmate population we serve. Though Corizon Health was not a party to this suit, we will continue to work closely with ADC to provide Arizona’s inmate population with the best care in what is often difficult circumstances. We are hopeful the State of Arizona will choose to appeal the Court’s decision and we look forward to continuing to work constructively in supporting the ADC’s and Corizon Health’s steadfast improvement in the delivery of health care.”

category: Contract News, In the News, Thought Leadership

As sourced by the Arizona Department of Corrections

Corizon Health and our Arizona Department of Corrections partner have surpassed minimum compliance scores on more than 90 percent of the measures monitored under a court settlement agreement for at least the past six months. Motions have been pending for several months for the court to remove hundreds of the measures from monitoring due to 24 months of consistently exceeding required scores.

The settlement agreement was the result of a class action lawsuit filed by the ACLU and others against the Arizona Department of Corrections in 2012, three years before Corizon was asked to take over providing healthcare services in Arizona prisons. Corizon is not a defendant in the lawsuit and did not participate in the settlement agreement that was worked out between the ACLU and the state. It identified almost 900 clinical measures to be audited monthly by state compliance monitors. The goal of the settlement is to reach and maintain for 24 months an 85 percent compliance threshold for each measure to meet the terms of the settlement agreement. Less than 10 percent of the total measurements remain to be brought to a consistent 85 percent compliance level.

Our dedicated team of healthcare providers in Arizona is working tirelessly to resolve challenges that create barriers to care and deliver a constitutionally sound healthcare program, grounded in evidence-based medicine. These doctors and nurses, many of whom view their practice as their mission in life, work in one of the most challenging environments to deliver care to one of the sickest and most under-served populations in our society. Many of our patients enter incarceration with multiple chronic disease issues and having had little, if any, access to healthcare. We understand the importance of returning these patients to health so they may successfully reenter society. We’re proud of our team and the gains they have made to improve the quality of Arizona’s prison health program.

category: Contract News, In the News

The National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) recently re-accredited the Passaic County Jail in Paterson, New Jersey, after collaboration between jail administrators and Corizon Health staff ensured all standards were in compliance. The NCCHC is an independent organization established by the American Medical Association to set standards by which jails and prisons are measured. The initial accrediting and every three-year re-accreditation process is an exhaustive deep dive by NCCHC inspectors into all aspects of inmate welfare, reviewing hundreds of standards and lasting several days.

A key challenge to meeting all standards was ensuring individuals entering the facility received a health assessment within their first four hours at the jail – a goal made more difficult following New Jersey’s Bail Reform policies, which increased the length and complexity of the intake process by eliminating the ability to post bail before making a court appearance. Meeting this challenge required the jail to increase custody staff, and Corizon’s team established a triage process to assess all inmates
immediately after booking to identify those with the greatest medical needs. Next, a newly renovated intake area was built to provide nurses with a separate area to assess inmates confidentially and expedite their intakes as well as referrals to a practitioner when necessary. The result is that most inmates are seen in less than two hours.

Pictured are Corizon’s “Core 5” at the Passaic County Jail. From left to right Diane Lourido, RN, Compliance Coordinator; Dr. Joel Federbush, Director of Behavioral Health; Allison Genberg, LCSW, Health Services Administrator; Dr. Richard Berardi, Site Medical Director; and Sharon MacIntosh, RN, Director of Nursing.

 

category: Contract News, Employee Recognition

Idaho Maximum Security Institution nurse Chelsey Holcomb, RN, is pictured with her Silver Cross award for intervening in an emergency to save a patient’s life. To her left is Josh Tuckett, IMSI HSA; Jessica Guzetti-Johnson, DON at IMSI, and Tom Dolan, AVPO for Idaho.

Three Corizon Health nurses were honored last month with the Idaho Department of Correction’s Silver Cross for lifesaving interventions. Anthony Young, Allison Miguez and Chelsey Holcomb each received the award for intervening in emergency situations to save their patients’ lives.

Our team of committed healthcare professionals strives daily in jails and prisons throughout the nation to bring care and preventative medicine to those who are incarcerated. It is always a special day when some of these unsung heroes are recognized for their work.

category: Contract News, Corizon Culture, Employee Recognition

We’ve been remiss in introducing two new leaders who have joined Corizon Health’s executive team in recent weeks. In February, Shalin Shah came on board as Chief Financial Officer, and Carolyn Schneider joined as Chief Human Resources Officer.

Most recently the CFO of two prominent Nashville-based medical centers – St. Thomas Health Midtown and West – Shalin comes to Corizon with more than 25 years of hospital experience serving in both the chief financial and chief operating officer roles.

Likewise, Carolyn brings more than 25 years of experience in human resources for healthcare companies, including Capella Healthcare, and her talent management work has been featured in Computer World, PC Week, and Plants Parks and Sites magazines.

Both Shalin and Carolyn have hit the ground running at Corizon to provide the leadership needed to embark on a new chapter in Corizon’s history. Just last year, the company completed a recapitalization that eliminated a tremendous amount of corporate debt, infused capital into the company, and resulted in a new board of directors with three independent members who then selected hospital executive Steve Rector late last year as Corizon’s new CEO.

Under Steve’s leadership, Shalin is working to increase efficiencies in back office operations to ensure the public resources entrusted to us by our government partners are maximized for the care of our patients. Carolyn is working to implement best practices honed at some of the country’s leading healthcare company to implement the strongest clinical recruiting and retention program in the correctional healthcare industry.

category: Corizon Culture, Employee Recognition

Corizon Health has long recognized the unique needs of our patients who served in the military and the high-rate of PTSD among that population. Through our partnership with the Missouri Department of Corrections, A veterans dorm established at the Moberly Correctional Center has had such promising outcomes that such housing is being established at Potosi Correctional Center, Algoa Correctional Center and Boonville Correction Center. Thanks to Correctional News magazine, you can read more about Missouri’s Veteran Dorm Program here. Special recognition to MDOC’s Functional Unit Manager of the Moberly veterans dorm Amanda Lake, MDOC’s Deputy Director of the Division of Adult Institutions Alan Earls, and Corizon’s own Institutional Chief of Mental Health Services at Moberly Patricia Cahill. The commitment they have to helping these veterans successfully return to society shines through in their work.

category: Contract News, In the News

Dr. Pete Powell is Corizon Health’s new Chief Medical Officer. Corizon CEO Steve Rector said he brought Dr. Powell on board because of his experience leading complex, multi-state healthcare systems.

A primary focus of Dr. Powell is leading company-wide adoption of an integrated patient care model. Integrated care requires the coordination of physical health, mental health and substance abuse services. It’s perfect for the inmate population because there is such a high rate of co-morbid conditions. For example, a patient with a mental illness who has developed an addiction and suffers from diabetes and heart disease.

Dr. Powell comes to Corizon from Community Health Systems, a leading operator of general acute care hospitals and outpatient services. At CHS he oversaw 14,000 employees and 4,000 clinicians, spanning 1,100 sites in 21 states. Just the type of experience Corizon needs to provide medical leadership to our vast network of employees and facilities.

category: In the News

In November, St. Lucie County Jail, Florida Health Services Administrator Deborah Beltzer-Harper gave a Professional Day presentation to nursing students in the LPN program at the Indian River State College, inspiring one aspiring nurse to consider a career with Corizon Health. In an email thanking Debbie for her presentation, the student wrote: Continue reading

category: In the News

(L-R) Dental Hygienist Gail Russell, LPN Brandy Kalvig, Dental Assistant Emily Williams, LPN Crystalyn Selsor, LPN Kayce Jines, RN Kalley Campbell, Med Tech Abbie Lear-Boland, AA Catie Murry, RN Katie Starks, LPN Linda Wiley, LPN Suzanne Hunter, RN Jody James, RN/DON Dawn Neff, Site Medical Director Dr. Michael Whitlock, LPN Karma Niemeyer, Medical Records Clerk Sandra Sheppard, RN Pam Brundage, Medical Records Clerk Monica Hunter

Eighteen VPO coins were presented to staff members of the Northeast Correctional Center in Missouri for their professionalism in the face of a correctional officer stabbing and the chaos that ensued. NECC Administrators attended the ceremony where the Warden expressed gratitude and appreciation for our staff’s response, poise and expertise.

category: Employee Recognition, In the News

(L-R) DON Michelle Willis, Assistant Warden Ben Brooks, RN Shelley Dilley, LPN Jessica Johnson, LT Moore, Deputy Warden Courtney Schweder

The Missouri Department of Corrections presented two Corizon Health nurses with the Lifesaver Award after being nominated by custody staff for their quick response, fast action and calm demeanor in assisting a patient who was choking. On March 12, 2017, a patient in the Transitional Care Unit at the Crossroads Correctional Center in Cameron began choking on his morning meal. Upon entering the room, Corizon Health Nurse Shelly Dilley, RN, noted the patient’s lips were blue and he was unable to speak. She immediately began administering the Heimlich maneuver and asked an officer to call for Corizon Health Nurse Jessica Johnson, LPN. After multiple attempts to dislodge the blockage, the patient became unresponsive. Manual removal and suctioning was used to remove three pieces of pancake that were blocking the patient’s airway and he began to breathe and become alert. Continue reading

category: Employee Recognition, In the News

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