Home » There’s a New Team Setting a New Standard in Correctional Healthcare

There’s a New Team Setting a New Standard in Correctional Healthcare

How one healthcare provider is changing the standard of correctional healthcare

by Staff

According to the Prison Policy Initiative, mass incarceration has shortened life expectancy by five years. A large part of this  is the issue of healthcare in the correctional space. Incarcerated individuals cope with the same healthcare needs everyone else has, such as diabetes, hypertension, and even the common cold. Prisons and jails are constitutionally mandated to provide healthcare, but healthcare in correctional facilities has historically, and presently, lacked care and concern.

Something special is happening in the correctional facilities of the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office led by Sheriff Keybo Taylor, a well-respected law enforcement executive. A group of emergency room physicians and physician assistants have come together to offer healthcare services to incarcerated men and women that are not typical in jails. The group includes Ron Sanders, President; Benjamin Lefkove, CEO; Michelle Wan, Chief Medical Officer; Bernard Coxton, Chief Clinical Operations Officer; Natalie Schmitz, VP of Strategy/Implementation; LaMar Cochran, VP Training/Clinical; and Yair Strano, Chief Information Officer. Provided an opportunity by the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office, these leaders are redefining the model of quality healthcare inside correctional buildings.

“The Hippocratic Oath says ‘first, do no harm’ so my team and I extend the same care to inmates as we do with someone coming into the ER. The patient comes first,” says Ron Sanders.

Ron Sanders

Before founding FirstClass Healthcare, Mr. Sanders and his team founded Viral Solutions, a company that helped resolve the COVID-19 testing crisis in Georgia by giving out no-cost covid tests to the insured and uninsured at Brookhaven MARTA. It was the team’s precise execution of the COVID-19 project that landed them an opportunity with the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office.

Directly following their work at Viral Solutions, FirstClass Healthcare was born. “We found out that medications [in many Georgia facilities] were not being given to the [incarcerated] patients in a timely manner. With our help, patients in the Gwinnett County jail are being seen every 3 days.”

Another major concern inside of all jails has been ensuring vaccinations are effectively administered against the ongoing Covid Virus. “Since our contract began last year, we have successfully administered some 60,000 vaccines to inmates across several facilities,” Sanders said. “This is our first contract and we are pleased with the current conditions in the Gwinnett County jail. We pride ourselves in getting patients with HIV their proper medications and patients who struggle with mental health their medications and resources in a timely manner.”

FirstClass Healthcare is also a majority-minority company, which makes the work even more essential. “This helps with trust because many times we are serving a population who look like us,” Sanders said.

“In any given year, 35,000 to 37,000 individuals are incarcerated at the Gwinnett County Jail, which makes this contract a large resource in prioritizing healthcare for incarcerated people.

When asked if they are open to more contracts “We prioritize patients over profit, so if it’s a good fit, we will consider it.” Dr. Acire, a noted radio personality, influencer, and advocate says “The innovative and life-changing work being done at the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office is simply amazing. The citizens of Gwinnett are blessed to have FirstClass Healthcare, Sheriff Taylor and his team… they care deeply about everyone being safe.”

You can find more information about FirstClass Healthcare on their website at
By Zainab Khadijah Karim

Have information to send to Urban New Now? Contact our reporters. Advertising inquiries? Contact us. Opinions? Email us.

You may also like

About Us

Urban News Now is your number one website for the latest news affecting the Black community. Follow us now to get the news and updates that matters to you.

Feature Articles

Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest news and updates. Let's stay updated!

Copyright © 2023 Urban News Now – All Right Reserved

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More