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Palm Coast Tuesday, May 14, 2019 2 months ago

Months after inmate's death, Sheriff's Office selects new medical provider for jail

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The Sheriff had announced after the death of inmate Anthony Fennick that the agency would replace the medical provider that was in place at the time.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

Several months after a 23-year-old inmate died following a seizure at the Flagler County jail, the Flagler County Sheriff's Office has chosen a new medical contractor for the inmate facility.

The FCSO will now use Southern Correctional Medicine, a faith-based provider founded by a family physician in 2009 and headquartered in Waycross, Georgia, according to an FCSO news release.

Southern Correctional Medicine is replacing Armor Correctional Health, the provider that was in place when inmate Anthony Fennick died on Feb. 9. Southern Correctional Medicine will take over on May 31.

Fennick's family had said Fennick, in the days before his death, had told Armor Correctional Health staff that he was sick. But staff had treated his complaints dismissively, according to his family. The FCSO launched investigations, still pending, into the circumstances and quickly asked Armor to replace the two nurses who'd worked there during Fennick's deterioration. Sheriff Rick Staly was not happy with the company's response.

"They sent us a bill, and they denied any responsibility," he said in a news conference at the time. 

The FCSO announced later that month that it would be replacing Armor.

The agency received bids from five contractors, and chose Southern Correctional Medicine after interviewing that company's current clients, which "all gave the company outstanding reviews," according to the FCSO news release.

“We researched each of them and Southern Correctional Medicine rose to the top and was the best choice for our inmates and staff,” Sheriff Rick Staly said, according to the news release. “SCM is a smaller company and was very responsive to our inquiries and understood my expectations that inmate quality care and the best value for taxpayers is a top priority. SCM checked all of the boxes for us and I am confident that they will do well in a very difficult field of medicine. I believe SCM will be a responsive partner for our agency and our inmates.”

Southern Correctional Medicine offered more hours off care, and a higher level of care, than Armor did, according to the news release. The county jail, with Southern Correctional Medicine, will have two on-duty nurses Monday through Friday, and one at night and on the weekends, plus a mid-level care provider and a doctor available for more on-site hours weekly.

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