Prison Health Care

CIW earns accreditation from the Joint Commission

Seven people stand beside a poster recognizing the prison's health care achievement.
CIW's accreditation drew representatives from CDCR, CCHCS and The Receiver.

More than two years of hard work and training have paid off at the California Institution For Women (CIW), which was recognized for its pioneering efforts earning accreditation from The Joint Commission in all three health care program categories.

Since early 2017, CIW, regional and headquarters staff, coordinated across programs, divisions and disciplines to meet upwards of 3,000 Joint Commission standards. All of this hard work and multi-discipline collaboration resulted in accrediting all of the health care programs and services: Ambulatory Care, Behavioral Health and the Nursing Care Center.

California Correctional Health Care Services Receiver J. Clark Kelso and former CDCR Secretary Scott Kernan, selected CIW and sister institution, Folsom State Prison, to work towards achieving the accreditation. That work would help uncover what it would take to implement those standards at all adult institutions statewide.

Working with the Joint Commission Surveyors, the CIW team learned the Why and Process of what they were doing in order to meet standards to reduce harm and provide superior outcomes in patient care.

The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies more than 22,000 health care organizations in the United States. Its work focuses on ensuring patients get the safest, highest quality, best-value health care.

CIW Chief Executive Officer James Elliot says of the achievement, “Earning accreditation means that learning, achievement and accountability have real world value, and ongoing responsibility.”

At a Sept. 25 event, leadership and staff from CCHCS and CDCR headquarters, the Joint Commission and community partners, all gathered together to celebrate the historic accomplishment.

Undersecretary, Health Care Services, Dr. Diana Toche praised the effort to earn the distinction, from custody to health care.

“We’re not going to get it alone just as health care, we need to have our custody partners working with us as well,” she said.

Seven people stand together.
CDCR and CCHS staff celebrated the accreditation for California Institution for Women.