In the News

Becky Pinney, Corizon Health Senior Vice President of Nursing 

Corizon Health’s correctional healthcare expertise will be on full display at this year’s National Conference of the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC), as healthcare professionals from across the company offer a number of important educational sessions designed to help increase the nation’s overall quality and effectiveness of correctional healthcare.

Now in its 42nd year, the National Conference kicks off Saturday, October 20, in Las Vegas, with two days of preconference seminars, followed by three days of educational sessions. Thousands of correctional healthcare professionals will gather to enhance their knowledge of the unique considerations of delivering health services in correctional and juvenile detention environments.

Beginning with the preconference seminar “A Multidisciplinary Approach to Pain Management,” sessions taught by Corizon Health leaders will address a range of issues critical to a safe and effective correctional health program including team building, integrated care, chronic disease management, and promoting a healthy work environment to improve patient safety.

Corizon Health’s Senior Vice President of Nursing Becky Pinney, MSN, RN, CCHP-RN, said the company makes a significant investment in supporting its staff’s participation in the annual conference and other NCCHC educational events hosted throughout the year to raise the bar on the overall quality of correctional healthcare throughout the nation.

“Healthcare professionals who build their careers in the field of correctional healthcare, do so because of a personal mission to improve the lives of this population, and as a company, we share that mission,” Pinney said. “But there are challenges to overcome, like limited taxpayer resources, maintaining the security of the correctional environment, and understanding the medical complexities of these patients.

“As a leader in correctional healthcare, our commitment doesn’t stop at the gates of the correctional institutions we serve.”

Pinney, along with Corizon Health Senior Correctional Nurse Specialist Clayton Wheat, RN, will be presenting a session at the conference entitled “The Role of the Nurse in Chronic Disease Management,” which explores the importance of clearly defined processes for patients with chronical medical conditions and the essential elements of a successful chronic care program.

Other Corizon Health presenters include:

  • Corizon Health Director of Oncology Services Richard Kosierowski, MD, CCHP, and Director of Clinical Pharmacy Mark Moyers, RPh, CCHP, who are presenting the pain management preconference seminar;
  • Elmeada Frias, MAS, CCHP, and Latasha Deer, MSN, RN, CCHP, both of whom are Health Service Administrators (HSA) for Corizon Health within the City of Philadelphia prison system, will lead the educational session, “How to Build Effective Teams to Enhance Medical Operations;”
  • Corizon Health’s Michigan Medical Director Jeffrey Bomber, DO, CCHP, and Michigan Psychiatric Director Danielle Bradshaw, DO, will present a case study on the positive outcomes of the integrated care program in Michigan’s state prisons; and
  • Corizon Health’s Missouri Regional Director of Nursing Tara Taylor, BSN, RN, CCHP, and Missouri Regional Mental Health Director Elizabeth Atterberry, PsyD, CCHP,will lead a session on recognizing and preventing negative behavior among nursing teams.

Organized in 1976, by the American Medical Association, NCCHC sets the standards recognized by the medical profession and the courts as the benchmark for establishing and measuring a correctional health services system. NCCHC also administers the Correctional Health Professional certification program (CCHP). Correctional health programs are not required to be NCCHC accredited, nor is the CCHP required to work in correctional healthcare, but achieving these designations indicate that the program or the professional has undergone rigorous professional review that must be maintained to retain the designation.

Corizon Health, which has one of the highest percentages of CCHP-certified professionals among correctional healthcare providers, adheres to NCCHC standards in its delivery of care regardless of whether the individual correctional facility has undertaken the rigorous process of achieving NCCHC accreditation.

We are pleased to share this press release issued by the National Commission of Correctional Health Care regarding our colleague Dr. Leonora Muhammad, Corizon Health’s Senior Director of Quality Improvement and Patient Safety:

News Release

September 10, 2018

Contact: Barbara Granner

773-880-1460, ext. 284

barbaragranner@ncchc.org

 

 

Leonora Muhammed Is New CCHP Trustee

 

(Chicago) – Leonora Muhammad, DNP, APRN, CCHP, has been elected to the Certified Correctional Health Professionals (CCHP) Board of Trustees.

Dr. Muhammad is senior director of quality improvement and patient safety for Corizon Health, where she has served for the past 11 years. Her previous roles include staff nurse, director of nursing, regional director of nursing and senior clinical educator.

A program of the National Commission on Correctional Health Care, CCHP certification recognizes health care professionals from a variety of disciplines and settings who practice in the unique correctional environment. The credential has been awarded to thousands of individuals nationwide.

The breadth of Dr. Muhammad’s experience in the field of correctional health care has facilitated her understanding of the competence and skills needed for CCHPs to be successful in the specialty of corrections, she said. “Obtaining CCHP certification is a task that should be valued and respected. I will work to ensure the CCHP exam represents quality, advanced knowledge and skill, as well as professionalism.”

Dr. Muhammad’s three-year term will begin Oct.21, the day after the board of trustees meeting, which will take place at NCCHC’s National Conference on Correctional Health Care in Las Vegas.

The CCHP board of trustees is comprised of 10 correctional health experts from a variety of health professions. Three trustees are CCHPs who are elected by their peers; the others are appointed from the correctional health care field. Elections are held every year to fill a three-year term on the board. The board is responsible for all aspects of governing the CCHP program. Activities include examination content, scoring and evaluation, as well as awarding of CCHP and specialty certifications to successful candidates.

The CCHP exam is administered at NCCHC conferences and at computer-based testing facilities around the country. All correctional health professionals who meet the eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit www.ncchc.org/professional-certification.

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About the National Commission on Correctional Health Care

NCCHC is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization working to improve the quality of care in the nation’s jails, prisons, and juvenile detention and confinement facilities. NCCHC establishes standards for health services in correctional facilities, operates a voluntary accreditation program for institutions that meet these standards, produces and disseminates resource publications, conducts educational trainings and conferences, and offers a certification program for correctional health professionals. NCCHC is supported by the major national organizations representing the fields of health, mental health, law and corrections. Each of these organizations has named a liaison to the NCCHC board of directors.

 

 

 

NCCHC Supporting Organizations

Academy of Correctional Health Professionals, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of PAs, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, American Association of Nurse Practitioners, American Bar Association, American College of Correctional Physicians, American College of Emergency Physicians, American College of Healthcare Executives, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Physicians, American College of Preventive Medicine, American Correctional Health Services Association, American Counseling Association, American Dental Association, American Health Information Management Association, American Jail Association, American Medical Association, American Nurses Association, American Osteopathic Association, American Pharmacists Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American Public Health Association, American Society of Addiction Medicine, International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology, National Association of Counties, National Association of Social Workers, National Medical Association, National Partnership for Juvenile Services, National Sheriffs’ Association, Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine

A medication-assisted treatment program in the Philadelphia’s Riverside Correctional Facility, the city’s prison for women, is being recognized for helping to protect women from heroin overdoses when they are released.

On Monday, August 6, 2018, stories in The Inquirer and on WHYY, Philadelphia’s public broadcasting station, highlighted the jail’s MAT program, which provides patients with a low dose of an opioid-based medication to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms and maintain a minimum tolerance so they don’t overdose should they return to using heroin upon release.

Dr. Jon Lepley, Corizon Health’s Chief Medical Officer for the facility, pioneered the program in partnership with the City of Philadelphia’s Prison Department, after learning about patients who overdosed and died soon after leaving jail.

The program piggybacks on an effort to provide the overdose-reversing drug naloxone to inmates as they leave the facility.

You can read more about the program and Dr. Lepley at this link.

Much attention has been given an Arizona Magistrate Judge’s order finding the Arizona Department of Corrections in contempt over the quality of inmate healthcare in Arizona. As our CEO Steve Rector pointed out in a statement issued following the order, the ruling disregards the progress that has been made in meeting and exceeding the required 85 percent compliance minimum with 849 quality measurements contained in a legal settlement agreement between the ACLU and other and the State of Arizona. Corizon Health and the ADOC currently are exceeding minimum compliance on 90 percent or more of those 849 measures. To understand why then that the judge – on his last day on the bench – took this action, a motion filed by the state in February sheds light on the lack of impartiality that dominated this case. Hopefully, the state – and more importantly, the taxpayers – are spared the cost of the fines imposed and, moving forward, benefit from a fair and impartial judge. A link to the motion is embedded below.

2641 - DEFS MOT to Disqualify Magistrate Judge Duncan

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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

(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.