We are pleased to announce that our 2018, and first since its inception, Warren J. Ferguson scholarship recipient will be Precious Bedell.
UMass Medical School created the Warren J. Ferguson Scholarship to honor its namesake’s contributions to the field of criminal justice health. The scholarship was announced March 16, 2017 at the Academic & Health Policy Conference on Correctional Health, which Dr. Ferguson founded 11 years ago.
Over 100 million Americans have criminal records, and the U.S. incarcerates seven times more citizens than most developed countries. The burden of incarceration disproportionately affects people of color and ethnic minorities, and those living in poverty. While 95% of incarcerated people return to society, recidivism rates are high with nearly 75% arrested again within five years of release. Criminal records impede access to employment and other social services such as shelter and health care.
Academic health centers (AHCs), particularly those that are publicly funded institutions, have as their mission the treatment of disadvantaged populations, the training of the next generation of clinicians, and the development and dissemination of new knowledge to reduce the burden of disease and improve the health of individuals and populations. Incarcerated populations have the most prevalent and acute disease burden and health disparities in the United States, even in comparison with inner-city populations.
As pandemic influenza becomes an increasing threat, partnerships between public health and correctional facilities are necessary to prepare criminal justice systems adequately. In September 2007, the Planning for Pandemic Influenza in Prison Settings Conference took place in Georgia. This article describes the collaboration and ongoing goals established between administrative leaders and medical staff in Georgia prison facilities and public health officials. Sessions covered topics such as nonpharmaceutical interventions, health care surge capacity, and prison-community interfaces.
In a corner of Jymie Jimerson’s house in the town of Sparta, in southwestern Missouri, she has set up a kind of shrine. It has Native American art representing her Cherokee heritage alongside Willie Nelson albums, books and photos in remembrance of her late husband.
UMass Medical School’s Warren J.
AS A PHYSICIAN, who treats and supports individuals battling substance abuse, I try to be available when the call for help comes, especially from those involved with the criminal justice system.
The call for help from John, a former inmate who has struggled with addiction and cycled in and out of prison, arrived via text from an unrecognized number. He went MIA awhile back, after being a no-show for buprenorphine to treat his addiction to heroin.
“I need your help.”