A unique program administered by UConn Health Center is the Correctional Managed Health Care Program (CMHC) through which Health Center clinical staff provide comprehensive medical, dental, mental health and specialty care to all inmates held in Department of Corrections (DOC) facilities throughout the state.
CMHC is a global, statewide HMO that includes many patients with high-risk chronic or communicable diseases (such as tuberculosis, HIV, addictions, diabetes, hypertension or complex psychosocial issues). Following is an excerpt from a UCHC website, Connecticut Health, describing other details of this program:
“ In order to improve prison health care in Connecticut, the University of Connecticut Health Center formed the Correctional Managed Health Care Program (CMHC) in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Corrections (DOC). Clinical staff from UCHC directs the provision of health care at all eighteen DOC institutions and halfway houses, and staffs six prison-based medical and mental health infirmaries. CMHC brings comprehensive health care to the entire population of 19,000 state inmates, providing services and case management for this previously under-served population. Acute inpatient care is provided at John Dempsey Hospital in a secured unit, and specialty care is available at Yale New Haven or Lawrence & Memorial hospitals. “
York Correctional Institution (YCI), a high-security facility located in Niantic, is the only prison for women in the state, housing 1,300 female inmates ranging from teenagers to senior citizens. The medical unit at York consists of 64 sub-acute beds, divided into 32 medical beds and 32 mental health beds, staffed by approximately 140 full and part-time employees. Health services are available to inmates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The York facility and staff were recently honored for their excellent patient care by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care, receiving the 2008 “Facility of the Year Award“, which is presented to only one facility in the country annually. York was chosen for this award out of nearly 500 American prisons, jails and juvenile facilities accredited by NCCHC. The award will be presented at the 2008 NCCHC Conference, scheduled for Oct 18-21, 2008 in Chicago. Congratulations to all York CMHC staff and administrators!
Accreditation by the NCCHC is a voluntary program for prisons that strive for national recognition by adhering to benchmark health care standards initially set by the American Medical Association.
Finally… several times per month, while driving to work on Route 9, I pass the prison bus which is transporting inmates to UCHC for care or treatment. It is a distinctive vehicle. While considering how to write this blogpost, I did a search on Google for images of a standard “prison bus”… and found this photo, which is of a brand new transporter (not the slightly battered one seen on local highways here in Connecticut):
Photo credit courtesy of: http://www.ptsmanufacturing.com/ – All rights reserved – Copyright 2008