As reported in the June issue of New York Nurse, New York City opted not to renew agreements with private contractors Corizon, Inc. (formerly Prison Health Services) and Damian Family Care Centers for provision of health services to the 70,000 people who are held in the city’s correctional system and Rikers Island Jail each year. The Corizon contract, initiated by Mayor Giuliani 14 years ago, expired at year-end 2015; the Damian agreement expires this coming August. Management of correctional health services is returning to the city’s Health and Hospitals Corporation.
Giving NYCH+H oversight of prison health is part of the de Blasio administration’s commitment to reform the city’s correctional system and put an end to repeated incidences of maltreatment. “We have an essential responsibility to provide every individual in our City’s care with high-quality health services — and our inmates are no different,” said Mayor de Blasio. “This transfer to HHC will give our administration direct control and oversight of our inmates’ health services — furthering our goal of improving the quality and continuity of healthcare for every inmate in City custody.”
As part of the transition, NYCH+H announced in December that it would voluntarily recognize NYSNA as the bargaining unit for the approximately 150 nurses who work at correctional health facilities in the city. NYCH+H will provide clinicians through the Physician Affiliate Group of New York (PAGNY), an employment group that contracts with other NYCH+H hospitals and is led by former NYCH+H president Luis Marcos. The two-year, $192.8 million city contract took effect Jan. 1.