PITTSBURGH – Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and the leadership of Allegheny Health Network (AHN) announced June 12 that an agreement has been reached between the county and AHN to collaborate on the management of medical services at the Allegheny County Jail.
“We are extremely fortunate in this region to have so many outstanding educational and medical institutions that were willing to lend their expertise and resources to the conversation about providing jail medical services,” said County Executive Fitzgerald. “By partnering with Allegheny Health Network and its team, we will be able to provide the high-quality medical and mental health services that the inmates need moving forward.”
As announced by the County Executive a few weeks ago, a decision has been made to bring jail medical services in-house and to provide specialized services through partnerships with educational and medical facilities in this region. Corizon, the current jail medical provider, and the county mutually agreed to part ways and the current contract with the company will not be renewed. Corizon has committed to working with the county and its partners to make the transition as seamless as possible through the expiration of the current contract on August 31, 2015.
The County and AHN are currently finalizing details of the collaboration agreement and working group has been formed to begin planning for the service transition on September 1.
“Our goal is to work closely with the county and others to ensure a smooth and effective transition of medical services at the jail in the fall and to establish the blueprint for a sustainable, high-quality program over the long-term,” said Tony Farah, MD, AHN’s Chief Medical Officer.
In addition, Allegheny County has engaged in preliminary conversations with the United Steelworkers, who represent 120 Corizon healthcare professionals at the jail, about this transition and how current employees will be utilized in the new structure.
USW International President Leo W. Gerard said of the change, “Allegheny County is to be commended for taking action to improve the safety of inmates at the jail and the working conditions of USW members there.”
USW International Vice President for Human Affairs Fred Redmond said, “The USW has worked productively with Allegheny County officials to resolve this situation in the best interests of medically vulnerable inmates and dedicated healthcare workers.”
As agreements and protocols are finalized, additional details on the new structure and organization of jail medical services will be made available.