The American College of Correctional Physicians (ACCP) will present UMass Medical School’s Warren J. Ferguson with the 2017 Armond Start Award for Excellence in Correctional Medicine at its annual meeting in Chicago Nov. 5.
The annual award was created in 1997 to honor of one of its founding members, Armond H. Start, MD. It is given to an individual who like Dr. Start represents the highest of ideals in correctional medicine. These ideals include consistently advocating for standards even when unpopular and unceasing advocacy for better patient care and professional correctional medical environments.
Dr. Ferguson’s research, speaking and writing has made him a national leader on health care behind bars. He has spent much of his career advocating for improved health care for inmates, increasing access to innovative treatments and strengthening the role of academic medicine in correctional health care.
Ferguson’s latest efforts have focused on understanding barriers to successfully screening and treating inmates for substance use disorder and Hepatitis C. This research is funded by grants from the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality and the National Institute of Drug Abuse.
Director of academic programs for UMass Medical School’s Health and Criminal Justice Program, Ferguson is also chair and co-founder of the Academic Consortium on Criminal Justice Health. The consortium hosts an annual conference, the Academic and Health Policy Conference on Correctional Health, which brings together experts in prison health from more than 100 academic institutions and correctional facilities across the world.
Ferguson is also professor and vice chair of UMass Medical School’s Department of Family Medicine & Community Health.
In honor of his efforts to train professionals dedicated to improving healthcare outcomes for the incarcerated, UMass Medical School in 2017 created the Warren J. Ferguson Scholarship to help students and junior investigators pursue careers in the field.
This most recent honor is one of many Ferguson has received. He was named the 2016 Community Clinician of the Year by the Worcester District Medical Society and was honored as the Massachusetts Family Physician of the Year, in 1998. In 2014, the National AHEC Organization presented Ferguson with the Andy Nichols Award for Social Justice. He received the inaugural Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence in Diversity from UMass Medical School in 2010.