A new healthcare plan for the Cuyahoga County Jail

MetroHealth (WTAM)

(Cleveland) - As part of an effort to improve conditions among Cuyahoga County inmates, a deal has been reached to expand healthcare at all three correctional facilities. 

Since June, 8 county inmates have died, and there have been dozens of suicide attempts. 

Now MetroHealth administrators say they are taking over healthcare at all three Cuyahoga County jails, with fully staffed medical, dental, addiction, and behavior health services. 

Thirty-two extra staffers will be added, with an annual extra cost of $5-million. 

Operational enhancements under the agreement include: 

• Providing services that meet the accreditation standards of the National Commission on Correctional Health Care 

• Additional staffing levels in the areas of medical, behavioral and addiction services and pharmacy 

• High quality medical staff recruitment and training 

• Adherence to suicide triage and expanded mental health services 

• Expanded Medically Assisted Treatment programming 

• Development of a continuous quality improvement program 

• Unified medical operations at the Euclid and Bedford jails 

• Correctional Officers specifically assigned to the medical unit 

• Development of performance-based metrics to track program outcomes

“I am very pleased to be able to announce this new agreement between the County and MetroHealth,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. “MetroHealth has long been an invaluable partner in our work throughout the County and in the jails. These inmates are in our care and deserve to be kept safe and healthy. This new, comprehensive program will be a model for the country.”


Akron Boutros

“Our commitment to all Cuyahoga County citizens, including inmates compels us to address health care needs quickly and effectively,” said MetroHealth President and CEO, Akram Boutros, MD. “Our new shared accountability, enhanced services, and enhanced staffing means we can improve and, in some cases, save lives. That’s what we’re committed to doing.” 

Responsibility for healthcare had been divided between MetroHealth, and the Cuyahoga County Safety Department.

(Photos by Ken Robinson/WTAM)

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