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HCV Prison-Provider Telemedicine: Ironwood Calif Prison hosts Hepatitis C conference
BLYTHE - In conjunction with the University of California at San Francisco, Ironwood State Prison welcomed Joanne Imperial, MD, Director, Hepatitis C Program at UCSF, Patricia Nachin, Registered Nurse, Hepatitis Specialty Nurse and Tonia Woodson, Clinical Services Filed Manager on March 18.
The purpose of the visit was to give continuing education and consultations regarding Hepatitis C, a disease that harms the liver and is more prevalent in the prison system than in the general population.
The audience was made up of the staff from ISP and other California state prisons, which included doctors, nurses, educators, custody, and administrators.
Dr. Imperial is the Director of the Hepatitis C Program at UCSF, and is responsible for guidelines throughout the entire state, especially in regard to the prison population.
Hepatitis C is a chronic disease that could eventually lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer, and possibly death.
Dr. Imperial is also available to ISP and other prisons, via Telemedicine and Warm-Line Consultations.
Telemedicine involves an interactive, real-time consultation whereby the doctor and patient are televised to teach other.
The Warm Line is a system that allows the doctors to call in information regarding difficult decisions, with consultation advice being provided within 24 hours.
"This was an extraordinary moment for us at ISP, as we are not near any medical school or university," said Ron Lewis, MD, the Clinical Coordinator who had worked months to set up the visit. "Being in a remote locale, this was a tremendous boost for us to have people of this quality visit us, provide us the most current education, and assist us in patient management."
James Harris, Associate Warden of Health Services stated, "It is also important because the prison security is maintained, in that the prisoner does not have to leave the prison to see the specialist."
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