BUT WILL WE RECEIVE AN ANSWER?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Mar. 16, 2017) — On Thursday, The Post & Email received a copy of a letter from TTCC inmate Grenda Harmer written to nurse Sue Smith of Correct Care Solutions, the provider contracted by TTCC owner/operator CoreCivic to supply in-house medical care.
TTCC has been reported by many inmates to be deficient in its administration, through its private contractor, of physician-prescribed medications, many of which are conceivably life-saving.
Mr. Harmer reported previously that he has severe acid reflux disease and was prescribed Prilosec and Tums to control it. As The Post & Email has detailed in a previous article, untreated acid reflux disease not only causes heartburn, but can also damage the esophagus and lead to esophageal cancer.
In a prior letter, he informed us that after the medications were mysteriously discontinued, he began eating only breakfast each day so as to reduce the effects of the disease. Prilosec is similar to Nexium and other acid-inhibitors which can be purchased without a prescription in the 20-milligram strength, but this writer’s observation through familial experience is that anything stronger must be prescribed by a doctor.
Approximately five weeks ago, Mr. Harmer reported that medical staff ceased to dispense the medications and told him that he could “buy it from the commissary.” Harmer claimed in his letter that Correct Care Solutions “has deprived me of medication for my acid reflux and is putting me through a lot of needless suffering in order to increase profits.”
At the end of February, he filed an emergency grievance in an attempt to have the medications reinstated which has evidently not been addressed.
Prior to the publication of this article, this writer sent Harmer’s letter to Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) Communications Director Neysa Taylor with a one-question message:
Why can’t this inmate receive the medication which was prescribed for him by a physician?
We will report if and when we receive a response from Taylor.
CoreCivic has been unresponsive to our requests for comment regarding allegations of substandard medical care at the Trousdale facility.
Both inmates and their relatives have told this publication that the medical care at Tennessee’s CoreCivic-run prisons is far inferior to that which is provided in government-operated facilities.