Board Chair, Officers Assume Seats for 2016-2017

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Posted Oct 31, 2016
Eileen Couture

The NCCHC board of directors is pleased to announce its officers for 2016-2017. The changes took effect Oct. 23 during the annual board meeting.

Eileen Couture, DO, RN, CCHP-P, is now board chair after serving one year as chair-elect. She has been the liaison of the American College of Emergency Physicians since 2007 and serves on NCCHC’s executive, accreditation and policy and standards committees. She also serves on the CCHP–Physician subcommittee, is a physician surveyor and chaired the Academy board of directors.

Dr. Couture gained extensive correctional experience working at the Cook County (IL) Jail via Cermak Health Services from 2001 to 2009. Today she is medical director at the South Suburban Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse on the outskirts of Chicago. She also works in several hospital emergency departments in the Chicago area and is an adjunct professor in family medicine at Midwestern University, Downers Grove, IL, where she introduces students to the field of correctional health care.

As board chair, Dr. Couture will focus on promoting correctional health care to colleagues and students in the community who may be unfamiliar with the discipline. One way she will do this is through presentations and lectures at professional meetings and student forums. She also emphasizes the importance of becoming a Certified Correctional Health Professional and plans to visit accredited facilities to discuss the value of CCHP certification.

Other Board Officers
Barbara Wakeen, MA, RDN, CCHP, has been elected chair-elect. Ms. Wakeen has been the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ liaison to the board since 2001, serving on the executive, education and juvenile committees, among others. She is the principal of Correctional Nutrition Consultants, Ltd., North Canton, OH, which provides food service/nutrition consultation to correctional institutions and community-based clients.

Thomas Fagan, PhD, CCHP-MH, liaison of the American Psychological Association, has been reelected treasurer for 2016-2017. Dr. Fagan is associate dean of the College of Psychology at Nova Southeastern University, and previously had a long career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He has been on the NCCHC board since 1996 and currently serves on the exective, education and finance committees, as well as the CCHP–Mental Health subcommittee.

Oscar Aviles, CJM, CCE, CCHP, was elected secretary. He joined the board as liaison of the American Jail Association in April 2015. Aviles recently retired as director of the Hudson County (NJ) Department of Corrections. He serves on the executive and accreditation committees, as well as the jails and prisons subcommittee.

About the National Commission on Correctional Health Care

NCCHC is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization working to improve the quality of care in our nation’s jails, prisons, and juvenile detention and confinement facilities. NCCHC establishes standards for health services in correctional facilities; operates a voluntary accreditation program for institutions that meet these standards; produces and disseminates resource publications; conducts educational trainings and conferences; and offers a certification program for correctional health professionals. NCCHC is supported by the major national organizations representing the fields of health, law and corrections. Each of these organizations has named a liaison to the NCCHC board of directors.