CHR AWARDED NATIONAL ACCREDITATION
FOR ITS OPIOID TREATMENT PROGRAM IN SIX CT PRISONS
Community Health Resources (CHR), the most comprehensive nonprofit behavioral healthcare provider in Connecticut, recently earned accreditation from the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) for its opioid treatment programs in six CT jails and prisons. Accreditation recognizes CHR’s commitment to providing opioid treatment – often called Medications for Opioid Use Disorder or MOUD – for incarcerated men and women.
“Along with providing MOUD in CHR’s outpatient locations, we’ve been working closely with the state Department of Correction (DOC) to bring these life-saving services into correctional facilities,” explained Heather Gates, CHR’s President and CEO. “We were compelled to begin this work to help reduce the staggering number of overdose deaths among men and women who are recently released from prison,” she added, noting that this was CHR’s first NCCHC accreditation process.
To achieve accreditation, CHR underwent a rigorous professional assessment led by professionals with experience in corrections-based opioid treatment programs. CHR achieved compliance with standards in areas such as governance and administration, safety, personnel and training, health care services and support, patient care and treatment, health promotion, special needs and services, health records, and medical-legal issues.
“Providing comprehensive MOUD helps individuals with opioid use disorder live productive, healthy lives,” Gates added. “We are deeply appreciative of our partners in the DOC for working with us and supporting this life-saving service, and to the NCCHC for their thorough and helpful accrediting visit.”
Accreditation enables opioid treatment programs to obtain legally required certification from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NCCHC is the only SAMHSA-authorized accrediting body that focuses on corrections. NCCHC’s opioid treatment standards are based on federal regulations and community standards that are modified for the unique correctional environment.
For 45 years, NCCHC’s highly respected standards have provided guidance to help correctional health professionals and administrators improve the health of their incarcerated populations and the communities to which they return, increase the efficiency of health services delivery, strengthen organizational effectiveness, and reduce the risk of adverse legal judgments. The consensus-based standards are developed in consultation with national experts in correctional health care, mental health, substance abuse, law, and corrections.
“In achieving NCCHC accreditation, CHR has demonstrated its commitment to meeting federal requirements for corrections-based opioid treatment,” said Deborah Ross, CCHP, NCCHC’s chief executive officer. “We commend CHR for successfully undertaking this challenge to provide quality opioid treatment and help break the bonds of addiction.”
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About CHR: With a broad range of services for children, families, and adults whose lives have been touched by mental illness, addiction, trauma, and homelessness, CHR is the state’s most comprehensive nonprofit behavioral healthcare provider. In addition, CHR was the first nonprofit in CT to meet all the rigorous federal criteria as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic and has repeatedly been named among the Top Workplaces in the state. Learn more at www.chrhealth.org.
About the National Commission on Correctional Health Care: The mission of the National Commission on Correctional Health Care, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, is to improve the quality of health care in jails, prisons, and juvenile confinement facilities. NCCHC establishes standards for health services in correctional facilities, operates a voluntary accreditation program for institutions that meet those standards, produces, and disseminates resource publications, conducts educational conferences, and offers a certification program for correctional health professionals. NCCHC is supported by the major national organizations representing the fields of health, mental health, law, and corrections. Each of those organizations has named a liaison to the NCCHC board of representatives to create a robust, multidisciplinary governing structure that reflects the complexities of correctional health care.