Sillen Named Receiver of Prison Health System
As expected, senior U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson on Tuesday named Robert Sillen, Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System director, as the federal receiver in charge of reforming the state's prison health system, the Sacramento Bee reports. Henderson placed the state prison health care system in federal receivership in July 2005 (Cooper, Sacramento Bee, 2/15).
Henderson's order gives Sillen authority to:
- Determine budgets;
- Hire, fire and discipline employees;
- Enter into and break contracts;
- Establish and terminate policies; and
- Determine how to spend funds for prison health care.
The order requires Sillen to report to Henderson bimonthly, including reports detailing expenditures and progress or problems.
Under the order, Sillen will not have control over dental care, mental health services and substance abuse programs.
Henderson's order also suspends Department of Corrections Secretary Roderick Hickman's authority over the prison health care system (Los Angeles Times, 2/15).
Under the order, Sillen will have six months to establish a plan for "the restructuring and development of a constitutionally adequate medical health care delivery system" (Sacramento Bee, 2/15). Sillen will serve at the pleasure of Henderson (Chorneau, AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/15).
Sillen said his annual compensation and benefits package would be about $650,000.
Sillen said he plans to recruit a staff of about 25 (Sacramento Bee, 2/15).
Henderson's order directs the state within 30 days to deposit $750,000 into an operating fund as an opening deposit. Sillen will request withdrawals on a monthly basis (Los Angeles Times, 2/15).
Sillen will assume the position April 17. Santa Clara County Executive Pete Kutras is expected to name a new head of SCVHHS next week (Feder Ostrov/Bailey, San Jose Mercury News, 2/15).
KQED's "California Report" on Tuesday reported on the prison health care system. The segment includes comments from Santa Clara County Supervisor Liz Kniss and Prison Law Office attorney Don Specter (Campbell, "California Report," KQED, 2/14). The complete program is available online in RealPlayer.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.