Hillsborough County Is First to Receive Pinnacle Recognition for Three NCCHC Accreditations

Share/Print
Posted May 18, 2021

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in Tampa, Fla., has become the first agency in the country to receive NCCHC’s prestigious Pinnacle recognition for having earned NCCHC accreditations in three separate service areas. To make it even more of an accomplishment, they are receiving the award after reaching this goal for two separate jails.

Both HCSO’s Falkenburg Road Jail and Orient Road Jail are now accredited for their health services, mental health services, and opioid treatment programs, the first facilities in the nation achieve this trifecta of accreditations by demonstrating compliance with NCCHC’s Standards for Health Services in Jails, Standards for Mental Health Services in Correctional Facilities, and Standards for Opioid Treatment Programs in in Correctional Facilities.

“This prestigious Pinnacle Award is the highest honor in correctional health care, signaling the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office’s commitment to excellence,” said Jim Martin, MPSA, CCHP, vice president, program development, at a presentation ceremony at the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday. “From now on and moving forward, you will be a model for other sheriffs to follow,” Martin said. “Let this be a challenge to our nation’s sheriffs to not only meet the basics of constitutional correctional health care, but to go well beyond the basics.”

Sheriff Chad Chronister provided background on the jails’ commitment to mental health and addiction treatment services during his comments.

"When I stepped into my role as Hillsborough County Sheriff, I knew that as a law enforcement agency, we could not arrest our way out of problems like drug addiction and mental health issues in our community," said Sheriff Chad Chronister. "We had to take a holistic approach in order to reduce recidivism.” That led to expanded options for substance use disorder treatment, mental health programming, vocational training, and connections with community resources upon reentry, and, earlier this year, to accreditations for mental health services and opioid treatment programs earlier this year.

Accreditation is granted after a rigorous survey by correctional health care experts who have been specially trained as NCCHC surveyors to assess compliance with the nationally recognized standards. The Falkenburg Road Jail received initial NCCHC accreditation for health services in 1983 and has been continuously accredited since then. Orient Road Jail was also accredited at that time as a satellite facility. Later, in 2018, Orient Road Jail was reclassified and accredited as a separate facility.

“Obtaining NCCHC accreditation is a rigorous process that takes time, commitment, and dedication from administration, the staff, and correctional health care professionals,” Martin said. “It is not a rubber stamp process. It can be grueling, but it is so well worth it when you see the fruit of your labors validated as an objectively effective, efficient health care services program.”

Joining him in congratulating Sheriff Chronister and his staff were NCCHC CEO Deborah Ross, CCHP, Vice President of Accreditation Amy Panagopoulos, MBA, BSN, and leadership from NaphCare, HCSO’s health services provider.

“We’re proud of our NaphCare team for working diligently with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office to achieve this unprecedented award in the midst of a global pandemic,” said Brad McLane, NaphCare CEO.

“When a correctional facility achieves NCCHC accreditation, the message is clear: Its leaders are committed to providing nationally accepted standards of care in health services delivery,” Martin told those gathered. “When a facility achieves three accreditations, that’s cause for a special celebration like this.”