Watchdog

Acting medical director for Kentucky prisons resigns

Four weeks ago, the state appointed an acting medical director for Kentucky prisons who continued to work for and be paid by the private company that provides the state prison system's health care.

On Monday, Dr. Ron Everson resigned from the state position in which he coordinated and oversaw the work of his employer, CorrectCare Integrated Health, said Lisa Lamb, a spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections.

Everson is CorrectCare's regional medical director for four Eastern Kentucky prison facilities.

In his state role, Everson checked credentials and supervised medical providers and nurse administrators for the corrections department.

It was unclear why Everson resigned.

State corrections officials did not ask Everson to resign, Lamb said. Everson "did not give a reason" for his resignation, she said.

Linda Goins, president of CorrectCare, which is based in Lexington, said company officials did not ask him to resign the state position.

In January, Lamb said there was no conflict in Everson's having both roles, though the head of a watchdog group said the arrangement was not good government.

CorrectCare was paying Everson's salary, and the state was not providing additional compensation, Lamb said at the time.

The company works for the University of Kentucky in a public-private partnership that provides prisoners with an HMO for medical care. The university has a two-year, $104 million contract with the corrections department.

CorrectCare has helped UK create the Kentucky Corrections Health Services Network to deliver specialty care to the Department of Corrections. UK spokesman Jay Blanton declined to comment Tuesday.

Goins said Everson is keeping his position at CorrectCare.

Through Goins, Everson declined to comment Tuesday.

"He's been an excellent employee and I look for him to continue to be that," Goins said.

From 2000 to 2006, Everson worked for the state corrections department at the Kentucky State Reformatory, Roederer Correctional Complex and Northpoint Training Center.

Everson was appointed Jan. 13 as acting medical director for the state corrections department, following the resignation of Dr. Scott Haas.

"We have not filled the medical director's position, and there has not been another individual assigned to the position on an interim basis," Lamb said Tuesday.

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