This week we continued our monthly series with Medical Association of Georgia. I sat down with MAG CEO/Executive Director, Donald Palmisano, Jr., and Director of Correctional Medicine, Clyde Maxwell. We talked about how MAG became involved with accreditation of numerous correctional medicine facilities in the state of Georgia.
MAG created its Correctional Medicine Committee in 1975 – following the prison riots in Attica, New York, and just before Georgia State Prison was placed under the jurisdiction of the federal courts for maintaining health care facilities that violated a constitutional prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. The committee was charged with “studying and recommending ways to improve the delivery of health care in non-federal prisons in Georgia.”
MAG developed standards for evaluating health care in jails and prisons in the state as part of a national initiative; these evolved into the standards that are now used by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care.
In 1982, MAG developed legislation to establish an accreditation program for health care for correctional facilities in Georgia. The state began funding the program in 1983, and MAG subsequently started charging application fees for site accreditation visits.
The Medical College of Georgia assumed responsibility for the health services contract for state prisons in the 1990s.
MAG currently surveys eight county jails and 33 state prisons.
A number of major deficiencies have been corrected at jails and prisons in the state as a result of MAG’s site accreditation visits, including some that were related to…
- Physician and nurse licensure
- Physician and nurse CPR/ACLS certification
- Expired pharmaceuticals
- Needle and narcotics security
- Nurse call systems
- Inmate physicals
- Mandatory CQI and infection control meetings
Donald Palmisano, CEO, Executive Director of Medical Association of Georgia
- JD Law, Loyola School of Law
- Board of Directors, Physician Advocacy Institute
- Medical Payment Subcommitte Member, State Board of Workers’ Compensation
- Treasurer, Board of Directors, Physicians’ Institute for Excellence in Medicine
- Former Director, Government Relations/General Counsel/Director, GAMPAC
Clyde Maxwell, Director of Correctional Medicine of Medical Association of Georgia
- Masters, Hospital Administration, Baylor University
- Certified Correctional Health Professional
- Active duty in the Medical Service Corps for more than 20 years
- Designed the “Quick Reaction Hospital” that is used to respond to natural disasters through much of the world