DOC contractor’s chief medical officer to resign

WILMINGTON — Christopher Moen — the chief medical officer for Connections Community Support Programs Inc. — will resign from his position as of June, said Department of Correction spokeswoman Jayme Gravell. Connections CSP is the primary medical contractor for Delaware’s prison system.

Ms. Gravell noted that Dr. Moen was leaving to pursue a “new opportunity.”

According to his LinkedIn profile, Dr. Moen held the position for about three years.

This news comes a few months after the announcement of the contractor’s Chief Operating Officer Chris Devaney also stepping down to “pursue other opportunities.”

Connections CSP confirmed that Mr. Devaney, who’d been with the company for more than 20 years, resigned in early February.

Chris Moen

According to his LinkenIn profile, Mr. Devaney, the son of Connections CSP CEO Catherine DeVaney McKay, began his career as director of the Community Continuum of Care Program before moving up to vice president of operation, a position he served in for 14 years. He then moved on to become chief operating officer, a position he maintained for about 10 years before departing.

Founded in 1985, Connections CSP operates in more than 100 separate locations in Delaware, including all facilities in the state’s unified correctional system.

The company has more than 1,700 full-time employees who serve more than 42,000 people each year, according to their website.

Medical services scrutinized

The medical services provided by the DOC have come under fire frequently in the past few years from advocates and stakeholders.

Results from a DOC-commissioned independent study, released in May of last year, suggested the agency needed to improve its patient management, among other priorities.

The study — performed by National Conference on Correctional Health Care, Resources Inc. — evaluated the prisons’ “sick call” systems and came to the following conclusions:

•The grievance process is not clearly defined for health care matters.

•A correctional officer security staff shortage is causing mandatory overtime weekly, and that overtime contributes to fatigue and decreased morale.

•Medical escorts by correctional officer security staff within the facility and off the compound contribute to the need for overtime, and this creates tension between health staff and custody staff. That tension is realized within the inmate population.

•Non-emergent patients with medical needs may not be seen in a timely manner because independent policies have resulted in a system that allocates services disproportionately to patients who file frequent complaints.

•Nursing staff is tasked with addressing complaints that are not related to health care.

•Long patient waiting room times sometimes result in multiple trips before an inmate can be seen.

•Seeing pretrial detainees is a challenge due to court schedules.

A Pew Charitable Trusts report from late 2017 concluded that Delaware may lack cost and quality information required to build a “high-performing” prison health care system.

That report said Delaware spends the eight-highest amount of money per inmate — $8,408 as of FY 2015 — for medical services in the country.

According to the report, Delaware is one of 12 states lacking a prison health care quality monitoring system. The DOC refuted the report at the time, claiming they had adequate quality control measures in place to ensure inmates’ needs were being met.

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