Award Winners Honored at Virtual National Conference
NCCHC’s annual awards pay tribute to leaders and innovators who have enriched the correctional health care field. This year's awards were presented Nov. 2 during a virtual opening ceremony of the National Conference on Correctional Health Care.
Watch the virtual awards ceremony on YouTube >>
The Bernard P. Harrison Award of Merit, NCCHC’s highest honor, is given to an individual or group that has demonstrated excellence and service to advance the correctional health care field, either through an individual project or a history of service. This year the award was presented to Jim Voisard, CCHP-A. Since becoming an accreditation surveyor in 1986, Mr. Voisard has been an integral part of NCCHC and its consulting arm, NCCHC Resources, sharing his correctional health care expertise as a senior lead surveyor, trainer, and consultant. Before his retirement, Mr. Voisard was director of the Correctional Health Care division of TeamHealth/Premier Physician Services, overseeing health care management and staffing at 23 facilities. Prior to that, he was director of medical services at the Montgomery County Jail in Dayton, Ohio. Mr. Voisard was one of the first CCHPs and also one of the first to become a CCHP-Advanced. He is chair of the Surveyor Advisory Committee and the OTP standards revision task force, and a longstanding member of the accreditation and standards committee. He is known as a leader, teacher, colleague, friend, and someone who enjoys a good laugh.
The B. Jaye Anno Award of Excellence pays tribute to innovative, well-executed communications that have had a positive impact on the field of correctional health care, or to individuals for bodies of work. This year the award was given to Anne Spaulding, MD, MPH, for excellence in communications. As one of the nation’s foremost experts on infectious disease in corrections, Dr. Spaulding’s work is especially significant now, during the coronavirus pandemic. As COVID-19 gripped the country’s correctional system, she quickly emerged as an authority, generously sharing her unique expertise and knowledge through interviews, webinars, articles, and more. In nearly 25 years of focusing on correctional health, Dr. Spaulding has authored more than 100 publications and lectured widely. She is associate professor of epidemiology at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta. Previously, she served as medical director for the Rhode Island Department of Corrections and associate medical director for Georgia Correctional Healthcare.
The Young Professional Award recognizes new and upcoming leaders in the field of correctional health care. This year’s winner is Lalita Bhandari Gautam, MSN, RN, CCHP. Correctional nursing does not exist in Nepal, Ms. Gautam’s native country, and when she heard the term several years ago she became intrigued. She took her curiosity and her nursing experience to California Medical Facility, the California prisons system’s flagship health care facility, where she quickly rose from newcomer to emergency room supervising nurse. In the process she gained the respect and admiration of coworkers and supervisors alike. In the many nominations and glowing reviews she received, two words showed up repeatedly: passion and compassion. She is described as a strong, approachable leader who creates “a healthy and positive environment” and “goes above and beyond to support new staff.”
The Atlantic County Justice Facility has been named the R. Scott Chavez Facility of the Year. The award is presented to one facility selected from among all NCCHC-accredited facilities for outstanding quality, innovation and dedication. When health staff, custody staff, and leadership work together to provide their best, along with numerous community partners, the results go above and beyond the requirements of the NCCHC jail standards. That is what surveyors found at the Atlantic County Justice Facility in Mays Landing, NJ. Because health administrators make themselves available to listen to and address patient concerns, health-related grievances are minimal. Mental health coverage is comprehensive, and staff and volunteers lead a variety of groups. Suicide prevention training and drills occur monthly on each shift, and staff report feeling well-prepared for real-life situations. In addition to required rounds by medical and mental health staff, inmates in the segregation unit meet weekly with medical and mental health providers in a nearby exam room. Through community partnerships, the facility provides on-site medication-assisted treatment, along with counseling and linkage to continued treatment upon release, and a comprehensive reentry program provides assistance with housing, health insurance, and case management services.
The Program of the Year Award recognizes programs of excellence among the thousands provided by accredited jails, prisons and juvenile facilities. This year, the Complejo Correccional de Bayamón in San Juan, Puerto Rico, was chosen for its Transformative Education Institute. The Transformative Education Institute gives a select group of men the opportunity to learn and practice a variety of arts and crafts. The program is designed to promote rehabilitation by instilling positive values and ethics – not to mention hands-on, marketable skills. Creative activities such as woodworking, leather crafting, soap making, and theater arts are taught, along with plumbing and other trades. The program also operates a shop where the men sell their work and earn a portion of the proceeds, allowing them to support their families while strengthening bonds and further preparing them for reintegration. Upon release they receive assistance, connections with potential employers, and loans for small-business start-up.
Barbara Mariano, RN, CCHP, was named the NCCHC Surveyor of the Year. Ms. Mariano has been an NCCHC surveyor for close to 30 years and a lead surveyor for more than 20, with special expertise as a lead surveyor for Opioid Treatment Programs. While she describes herself “an invisible part of the system” and “a tiny cog in the wheel of change,” she has had a big impact on the hundreds of facilities she has surveyed and on her fellow surveyors. Ms. Mariano says she entered the field of correctional health care “by accident” when, as a visiting public health nurse, she was sent to the local jail to administer TB tests. A quarter of a century later, she retired from the Monmouth County Correctional Institution, an NCCHC-accredited facility in Freehold, New Jersey, to devote herself to consulting and surveying. One of her nominators said, “She educates with laughter and maintains leadership with a generosity of spirit” and “conveys to all members of a survey a pure joy in recognizing each site’s accomplishments.”