Georgia Regents University’s Division of Georgia Correctional Health Care received the Medical Association of Georgia’s (MAG) Bliven Award for Excellence for the medical care it provides at the Jack T. Rutledge State Prison in Columbus.
The award ceremony took place April 16.
Rutledge is just the seventh prison to receive the honor in the award’s 12-year history.
“It’s only given to a facility that meets all of the essential and important criteria as set forth in the standards,” said Clyde Maxwell, MAG Director of Correctional Medicine. “They’ve got to be squeaky clean, with no findings at all.”
Maxwell was accompanied to the ceremony by Dr. Patton Smith, Chair of the Correctional Medicine Committee, who presented the award.
“MAG surveys every prison in the state that houses prisoners who have been sentenced, and GRU/Jack T. Rutledge State Prison met 100 percent on all essential and applicable standards,” Smith said. “That’s a great accomplishment, and the administrators and health care providers at this facility should be applauded.”
MAG created its Correctional Medicine Committee in the mid-1970s, and the Medical College of Georgia assumed responsibility for the health services contract for state prisons in the 1990s. GRU’s Division of Georgia Correctional Health Care provides health care at more than 60 correctional facilities throughout the state.
“They had no findings whatsoever,” Maxwell said of Rutledge, a medium and minimum security prison where three quarters of the population receives mental health services. “They did everything they should do just the way they should do it.”