CCHP-A Was the Next Logical Step for CEO Jessica Young
Jessica Young says her grandparents encouraged her and her siblings to be the best in whatever they took on. So, once she became a leader in correctional health care, the CCHP-A was a natural next step in demonstrating her knowledge and commitment to the field. Now, the president and CEO of Advanced Correctional Healthcare has achieved her goal, receiving her CCHP-A as of January 1, 2022.
Young’s grandfather, Norman Johnson, MD, CCHP, was one of the first to focus on correctional medicine and founded Advanced Correctional Healthcare. She says that even though – or maybe because — she works for and with family, she feels pressure to prove herself every day.
She became interested in correctional health care when she interned at the company and saw law school as her best way to contribute to the company’s mission. “I’ve always been energized by the important work our company does and the ability to help people who have been underserved. It’s a career that helps you give back every day,” she says. She has worked for the company since graduating from Duquesne University Law School in 2011.
Young oversees attorneys in the 18 states where Advanced Correctional Health Care has contracts. Young says she first got her CCHP to make sure she had a thorough understanding of the standards. “Training and education are hard to find in the field except for NCCHC, she comments. “The CCHP program is invaluable for organizing and prioritizing the knowledge that people need to know. We all face the same challenges and it’s so important that we have a common understanding.”
Although she’s a self-described “bookworm,” she says the challenge of the CCHP-A exam is learning how to apply concepts and not just memorize. Young found the CCHP-A candidate handbook extremely helpful for organizing her studying over more than six months. For others seeking to achieve a CCHP-A, she said the handbook gives you the roadmap to exactly the right information.
One trend that Young has been following is the exploding need for mental health services throughout policing and corrections. Her husband, Josh Young, MS, LCPC, CCHP, is a behavioral health provider with the company who was extremely busy at all of the company’s facilities working on suicide prevention during the lockdowns. She also observes the growing need for mental health first responders in communities and an increased awareness of the mental health needs of law enforcement officers. “The focus on mental health is positive because it can be an important factor in keeping people productive and reducing recidivism,” she notes, “but the needs, especially within facilities, are enormous.”
Looking ahead, Young is inspired by the dedication she sees every day in the field. During the pandemic, she said that correctional health staff were the ones who kept it all going. She notes “We would work with hospitals who could not rely on their staff, but the people in corrections are amazingly hard working and knew they had people depending on them without other options. It reminds me of a quote, ‘We’ve done so much for so long with so little that we’re now qualified to do anything with nothing.’ With Young’s thorough knowledge of the field, she can support her team and their patients with way more than that.