New Board Chair Jayne Russell Promotes Continual Evolution in Our Field

Posted Feb 8, 2016


Jayne Russell, MEd, CCHP-A, at a Glance

Current Activities

Since 2010, Russell has consulted for national and private health care agencies, surveyed and
inspected facilities, developed policy and helped
to remedy deficiencies.

Previous Correctional Health Care Positions

•  Program manager, California Prison Health Care Services, Office of the Receiver, 2006–2009

• Health care manager/accreditation manager,
Arizona Department of Corrections, 1995–2006

• Health administrator, Maricopa County (AZ)
Sheriff’s Office, 1986–1994

• Correctional program specialist, National
Institute of Corrections, 1984–1986

• Inmate classification director, Maricopa County
Sheriff’s Office, 1980–1984


Master’s degree in education and counseling
from University of Massachusetts, Boston

NCCHC and Related Activities

• Joined the board of directors in 2006 as liaison
of the Academy of Correctional Health Professionals

• Current or past member of multiple committees: executive, education, accreditation, policy and standards, finance

• Surveyor since 1990

• Certified since 1993, CCHP-A since 1997

• Past chair, CCHP board of trustees and Academy board of directors

• Trainer and presenter for NCCHC and other
national organizations

Jayne Russell, MEd, CCHP-A, began her term as chair of NCCHC’s board of directors at its annual meeting in October. She has served on the board since 2006, when the Academy of Correctional Health Professionals became a supporting organization of NCCHC and she became the Academy’s liaison to the board.

But Russell’s involvement with NCCHC goes back much further. She became a surveyor in 1990 and a lead surveyor soon thereafter. She has been a Certified Correctional Health Professional since 1993, and earned the CCHP-Advanced credential as soon as she was eligible.

Finding Her Life’s Work
During her remarks at the opening ceremony of the 2015 National Conference, Russell asked the audience to reflect on their careers: “How did I get here? What was I thinking?”

For Russell, that path originated in her work as a clinical counselor. With a master’s degree in education and counseling, she worked as a counselor for the Medford, MA, school district and, when she moved to Arizona in 1974, she became a counselor at an Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections facility.

This experience made a profound impact on her: “I saw struggling youth offenders who needed direction. I knew then that effective interventions were critical to impact their life paths.” Several years later, when the Maricopa County (AZ) jail asked Russell to manage its deficient health services operation, she accepted, despite having little knowledge of health care administration. But she persevered, learned on the job, got involved with NCCHC and became an expert in her field.

Russell later spearheaded statewide accreditation for the Arizona prison system. “I was passionate about accreditation,” she says, “and I now felt better skilled and equipped due to the help and support of NCCHC over the years.” In 2006, she was hired by the California prison federal receiver to help rebuild health services at San Quentin, the pilot facility for the rest of the state.

Now, after a long career in health care administration in both jail and prison settings, Russell keeps busy as an independent consultant. She has worked on many special projects for NCCHC, including helping to develop a training curriculum on the Prison Rape Elimination Act.

Vision for Correctional Health Care
Russell sought the board chair position out of her desire to help advance the field. “Despite great progress in our field in the past four decades, there is still much work to do,” she says.

She espouses multifaceted goals for the year ahead, and for the long-term. First is to ensure that correctional health care practices continue to evolve.

“The board has an opportunity as well as an obligation to lend support and direction regarding evolving correctional practices,” she says. “One example is long-term isolation and its mental health impact. We need to promote effective and humane practices that work in partnership with custody operations.”

A second goal is to expand the Commission’s reach and influence: “NCCHC will continue to build and strengthen its relationships with national, state and local agencies through broad-based education, national policy direction and unrivaled jail and prison standards. We are conveners and a catalyst for change.”

Given Russell’s track record of achievement, there can be no doubt that under her well-experienced stewardship, NCCHC will make great strides toward fulfilling these goals. And that couldn’t please her more: “I am excited when I see productive ideas become reality.”