Prison Health Care Receiver Opens New San Quentin ED
California's prison medical receiver, Robert Sillen, on Thursday opened a $1.6 million emergency department at San Quentin State Prison, the AP/Ventura County Star reports.
Sillen plans to use $175 million in construction funds at San Quentin as a model for similar renovations aimed at improving health care services for inmates at California's 32 other adult prisons.
Sillen last year was appointed by a federal judge to oversee health care reforms to state prisons, where one inmate was dying almost weekly because of medical negligence or malpractice.
The ED was completed in eight months and replaces a facility that Sillen said was unacceptable, according to the AP/Star.
Mani Subramanian, executive vice president of Vanir Construction Management, said the project might have taken five years if it had to go through normal state budget and planning processes.
Sillen said, "We can do construction and contracting in a way that the state can't do it and never could."
The ED will be used for three years before it is replaced with a $146 million Central Health Service Center. The 50-bed health center will replace the prison's original hospital, which was built in 1885.
Sillen is pushing for the facility to be completed by 2010 (Thompson, AP/Ventura County Star, 6/15).