R. Scott Chavez Facility of the Year Award


This prestigious award is presented to one facility selected from among the nearly 500 prisons, jails and juvenile facilities accredited by NCCHC. The award is named after NCCHC’s longtime vice president.

Pinellas County Jail, Clearwater, Florida

Broad-spectrum care and a strong emphasis on quality are the hallmarks of health services at the Pinellas County Jail, which houses some 3,000 inmates and has an average daily intake of 114. A Triple Crown facility, the jail has been accredited by NCCHC since 1987.

After bringing health services back in-house in June 2014, the jail hired a medical director, health services administrator and nursing director, and established a nurse educator position. The health services team reviewed operational procedures and made many changes to improve quality of care, efficiency and productivity, and to decrease costs. The result is a comprehensive and integrated medical, dental and mental health program that demonstrates outstanding compliance with the NCCHC standards.

The provision of medical and mental health care is directed by a board-certified primary care physician and a board-certified psychiatrist. An experienced and dedicated multidisciplinary staff arranges for all necessary care. Continuity and coordination of care is excellent, as is treatment planning for special needs and chronic care patients. Several midlevel practitioners, both medical and psychiatric, guide the daily sick-call process.

The continuous quality improvement process is led by the medical director, and includes medical, dental, mental health and detention staff. Strong support and mutual respect between health services and security are evident. One of the most recent initiatives was to establish mandatory medical training for detention staff as part of in-service training.

“PCSO Medical staff has worked extremely hard with unwavering focus toward quality of care during these last several years of organizational changes,” says HSA John Martinelli, MBA. “It is rewarding for these efforts to be recognized with such a prestigious award.”