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The Department of Corrections and Michigan State University Announce Unique Partnership

CONTACT:                                                                                   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Russ Marlan                                                                                                  

Michigan Department of Corrections



Geri A. Kelley

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

517-432-7427 or 616-350-7976 (cell)


Michigan Department of Corrections and Michigan State University Announce Unique Partnership


LANSING – The Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) Bureau of Health Care Services and the Michigan State University (MSU) College of Human Medicine today announced an exceptional collaboration that will enhance the efficiency of Michigan’s correctional health care system.

With approximately 43,500 prisoners, Michigan has the ninth largest prison population in the country.  Managing the health care needs of a prisoner population this size can be extremely challenging.  In addition, national correctional health care costs have continued to rise, putting significant pressure on state general fund budgets.  The escalating health care costs in this area have been fueled in part by an aging prisoner population and a lack of health, mental health and dental care prior to incarceration by a majority of prisoners.

Recognizing that approximately 90% of offenders will be released from prison and return to society, both the MDOC and MSU understand that a sound correctional health care system is important to the health of our state.  This partnership will draw on the tremendous knowledge, experience and research proficiency of MSU’s College of Human Medicine and strengthen the MDOC’s ability to meet the unique challenges presented by this population.

“This very special government/university partnership will help both our agencies enrich services and improve operations thereby better serving the citizens of Michigan,” said Daniel H. Heyns, Director of the Michigan Department of Corrections. “We are very excited about collaborating with MSU and their world-class medical college on a variety of health care management, research and development areas." 

“We are also looking forward to this collaboration with MDOC as it supports the mission of our college,” added Marsha D. Rappley, M.D., dean, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. “As a community-focused medical school from a land grant institution, we reach out to the medically underserved in Michigan through our public health programs and research. Finding ways to address the health challenges of those in prison will help us to understand the complexity of health issues that face all of our communities throughout Michigan.”

One of the first areas of collaboration will be the joint recruitment of a Medical Executive Leadership position. This individual will serve as the MDOC Chief Medical Officer and will also spend a portion of their time in a teaching/research role at MSU.  Other areas of collaboration will include:

  • Creation of a corrections/community public health care model
  • Development of a population health and disease management approach to correctional health care
  • Creation of a prisoner health education and prevention model
  • MDOC professional staff development
  • Research
  • Medical student rotations
  • Specialized physician consultation for special population/projects