In February, 2018 TOVA launches a pilot program to offer Sickle Cell         consultations and trait screenings for inmates serving time in the Delaware    Department of Corrections  (DOC) in partnership with Connections, CSP and DOC.   This new pilot program aims to extend access to primary specialty care services for inmates with Sickle Cell and offer sickle trait screenings and                      

counseling.   There has been a call to action to improve access to medical care for inmates  from the inmates, the community and families who have loved ones serving time.  U.S. has the largest prison population in the world and about 70%released are re-arrest within   3-years.  Having a family member who is  incarcerated with multiple chronic conditions and suffers from polysubstance abuse disorders moved me to want to extend services to improve access to      specialty care.  On early morning security rounds, my uncle was found lifeless in his cell unable to get a sick call for chest pain.  CPR was started immediately and he was rushed to a local hospital which was able to bring him back to life from a massive Heart Attack!  Though his rap sheet of charges is too long to report, my uncle served in the U.S. Military (Veteran) and is a college graduate who once had a successful construction business.  There are so many opportunities for the community to get involved and advocate for programs as an inmate does their time behind bars.  Program initiatives below have been successful in lowering recidivism rates (inmates returning back to prison) such as: 
· Offering GED and College Education Degree programs to inmates
· Allowing birthing mothers to care for their babies in prison
· Conjugal visits for inmates on good behavior to spend time with spouse
· Family involvement programs
· Dog training programs for the disabled
· Multidisciplinary Drug Treatment programs

       Famous Russian novelist, Fyodor Dostoyevsky states “The degree of  civilization in society can be judged by entering its prisons.”   Lets Go Forth!  

TOVA Community Health
For more information visit, www.tovacommunityhealth.org                          

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