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IDCR Spotlight: Highlights of the 2005 Annual NCCHC Meeting

November/December 2005

The 2005 annual Conference of the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) took place on October 8-12, 2005 in Denver, Colorado. This annual meeting is one of the most important gatherings of correctional health care providers. Prior to the conference, IDCR hosted its' 9th annual pre-conference symposium. Despite competition from four other pre-conference symposiums, there was standing room only throughout IDCR's sessions.

A short review of the IDCR symposium is presented here, for those who were unable to attend.

David Thomas, MD, JD (Professor and Chairman, Department of Surgery, Division of Correctional Medicine, NovaSoutheastern University) provided an overview on legal and ethical dilemmas many correctional health care providers face when treating hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected inmates. Joseph Bick, MD (Director, HIV Treatment Services, California Medical Facility, California Department of Corrections) spoke on infection control within the correctional setting, illuminating a number of barriers to cleanliness that impact on the transmission of infections in prisons and jail. Anne DeGroot, MD (Co-Chief Editor IDCR, Brown University) provided an update on HIV treatment recommendations for incarcerated women and presented on HCV for Bill Cassidy, MD (Associate Professor of Medicine, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center), who was unable to attend the conference. David Paar, MD (Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of HIV Care for the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston) concluded the IDCR pre-conference seminar with a discussion on 2005 changes to the HIV treatment guidelines.

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These issues are important to address because high-risk behaviors prevalent among the incarcerated population combined with the limited access to health care prior to incarceration and poor health care education, conspire to pose a formidable challenge to public health. The correctional setting offers an unparalleled opportunity to test, diagnose, educate and treat these patients. The IDCR experts focused on programs successfully integrated into the correctional setting. An enthusiastic audience peppered the experts with pertinent questions, and by the end, many stated that they wished there had been even more time for questions. After the seminar, everyone had a chance to visit the new IDCR booth which drew a stream of visitors throughout the NCCHC conference breaks.

The conference continued with a well-attended Society of Correctional Physicians (SCP) conference on Sunday, October 9th. Death in restraints, mortality reviews, primary ENT and eye care were topics presented by qualified speakers. The SCP is a sister organization of the IDCR and bundles IDCR publications into its quarterly newsletter, CorrDocs.

The NCCHC opening ceremony on Monday, October 10th featured a Keynote Address by IDCR board member, Louis Tripoli, MD, (Vice President of Medical Affairs, CMS) who regaled the audience with his touching adventures as a correctional physician in exotic locations including Fallujah, Abu Ghraib and other, equally dangerous Iraqi locales. The following three days were a whirlwind of concurrent breakout sessions in multiple tracks, including administration, infectious disease, juvenile, legal, medical, mental health, nursing, dental and professional development.

IDCR board members also presented seminars during the conference proper. David Paar, MD discussed methadone maintenance and harm reduction in state and federal prisons. Joseph Paris, MD, PhD spoke on using ALT levels to determine HCV treatment eligibility and Neil Fisher, MD (Medical Director, Chief Health Officer, Martin Correctional Institute) gave a presentation on the rapidly changing field of HIV medicine during one of the educational breakfasts. Of note, Eric Avery, MD delivered a seminar regarding overcoming mental health barriers in the treatment of HIV-infected incarcerated persons and John Maye, MD discussed prison health in developing countries. Drs. David Paar and David Thomas also delivered lectures during the conference proper similar to those which they presented during the IDCR pre-conference symposium.

Joseph Paris, M.D., Ph.D., is Medical Director, Georgia Department of Corrections. Courtney Colton is Managing Editor IDCR. They have nothing to disclose.




  
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This article was provided by Brown Medical School. It is a part of the publication Infectious Diseases in Corrections Report.
 

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