R. Scott Chavez Facility of the Year Award

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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.

Central Arizona Florence Correctional ComplexCentral Arizona Florence Correctional Complex

Operating health services in a large jail is difficult enough when the client is the local community, but having to answer to four masters really creates challenges. Yet Central Arizona Florence Correctional Complex takes a proactive approach that meets the differing requirements of the community as well as its federal clients: Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Marshals Service.

The product of a 2017 merger between two adjacent facilities, the complex now houses some 5,000 individuals in a multilevelsecurity setting. Provision of quality health care is an important facet of the system, and this is evident in the extensive orientation and training requirements for health services staff. Beyond the initial, 56-hour off-site orientation, staff also receive 40 hours of on-site education, 40 days with a preceptor and orientation follow-up that extends for 90 days. Nurses also participate in an ongoing online training program that adds up to far more than the 12 hours required by the NCCHC standards.

Receiving screenings are reviewed daily to triage those who need follow-up for medical, dental or mental health care. Upon intake, inmates are given handbooks that not only explain how to access care, but also describe the health programs available and present education on common chronic diseases and wellness.

Communication is crucial in maintaining smooth operations, and to that end, the health services department produces a monthly staff newsletter that provides educational material and news about team members. Staff also participate in community enrichment activities, such as fundraising for at-risk women.

The NCCHC surveyor who nominated CAFCC says, “This facility and the employees truly believe that they can be change agents for the population they serve, and they demonstrate this belief through the positive attitude we observed.”