STFM to honor Warren Ferguson for championing correctional healthcare

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The Society of Teachers of Family Medicine will this month honor Commonwealth Medicine, UMass Medical School correctional health leader Warren J. Ferguson, MD, for championing the role of academic medicine in correctional healthcare.

Dr. Ferguson, who also is director of academic programs for the Commonwealth Medicine Health and Criminal Justice Program, will be presented with the 2019 STFM Innovative Program Award on April 29 during the STFM annual spring conference at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel in Toronto.

The STFM Innovative Program Award honors excellence in the development of an original educational program or activity for family medicine residents, students, or faculty that have had a significant, positive impact on family medicine education.

Ferguson’s numerous accomplishments include helping to create the Health and Criminal Justice Program in 2003 and co-founding in 2012 the Academic Consortium on Criminal Justice Health (ACCJH), a national membership organization that advances health research, training and care for justice-involved populations. ACCJH hosts the annual Academic and Health Policy Conference on Correctional Health, which brings together experts from more than 100 academic institutions and correctional facilities around the world.

A career devoted to serving vulnerable populations led Ferguson to realize that clinical training alone could not prepare physicians for treating justice-involved populations. With Ferguson’s help, UMass Medical School became the first in the country to require students to take a mandatory correctional health course, a day-long session for third-year students.

UMass Medical School now offers several courses in correctional health, with both medical school students and students in the Graduate School of Nursing taking part in hands-on medical training in the correctional system as part of their longitudinal preceptorship.

STFM is a national community of academic leaders committed to developing an accomplished family medicine workforce, prepared to serve as the foundation of America’s healthcare system.