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Michigan Department of Corrections partners with Wayne State University School of Medicine for oversight of prisoner health care

Wayne State University has partnered with the Michigan Department of Corrections to oversee the health care for inmates in the state’s prisons. The agreement gives the state access to WSU’s network of medical experts, and cutting-edge technology backed by leading academic health care experts. “The leadership of the Michigan Department of Corrections should be commended for reaching out and pursuing an academic medicine partner,” said Jack D. Sobel, M.D., dean of the Wayne State University School of Medicine. “They understand the value of academic medicine and what it can do for the prison population.” Under the contract, WSU will provide a chief medical officer, Carmen McIntyre, M.D.; chief psychiatrist, Shahid Hussein, M.D.; and an assistant chief medical officer, James Blessman, M.D. The three will provide clinical direction and oversight of the state’s prison healthcare system, including working with the medical staff contracted by Corizon that provide care in the prisons. “We are excited about this innovative partnership with Wayne State University that will allow us to continue providing quality health care to prisoners,” said Michigan Department of Corrections Director Heidi Washington. “Their team will be able to offer expert guidance and support to providers at our facilities to ensure the best-possible health outcomes for prisoners. We also hope this will serve as a gateway to WSU students considering a career in correctional healthcare.” Addressing health needs and providing expert care to those with complex and chronic illnesses are part of the WSU School of Medicine’s mission. Many who enter the state correctional system have complex mental health and physical health challenges. This partnership is an opportunity to integrate mental and physical health care for prisoners, with the goal to lead them to healthier lives. As leaders in health care reform and increasing access to quality health care at a sustainable cost, both WSU and the MDOC believe the partnership will help reduce health care costs among the state’s inmate population. The partnership will also provide the opportunity for clinical rotations at some state facilities for WSU medical students, providing experience for careers in corrections health care, just as the department has done with other universities and continues to do.