FONDA - An Amsterdam-based company may soon provide complete medical services to the Montgomery County Jail.
The Finance Committee of the county Board of Supervisors approved a one-year, $62,000 contract with Eastern Medical Support. The full board will vote on the contract at its next meeting March 22.
The contract includes the services of a staff doctor, who would serve as the jail's medical director, and a physician assistant/nurse practitioner who would provide day-to-day medical services.
The company also intends to hold monthly meetings with "high-risk" inmates, according to president and co-owner Sean Piasecki. "We'll take steps to minimize the county's risk of lawsuits," he said.
The families of two inmates who died while in county custody have filed claims against the Sheriff's Department, which administers the jail.
Luis Torres Jr., 30, died Oct. 13, 2010, from head injuries suffered when he fell out of a Sheriff's Department van as he and other inmates were being transported back to the jail from Amsterdam City Court.
James Vandermark died Oct. 27, 2009, of a sinus condition that jail employees ignored, according to the claim.
Eastern Medical Support maintains defibrillators at the jail and other county facilities and trains employees in CPR and the use of defibrillators.
The company also provides physical examinations and drug testing for all newly hired county employees.
"We have a really good working relationship with the sheriff and the jail staff," Piasecki said after the meeting. "We're excited to assist the sheriff and to assist the residents of the county."
Montgomery County Sheriff Michael J. Amato said the contract with Eastern Medical Support would save the county money, but he didn't say how much.
"We've been dealing with Sean's agency already," he said. "This arrangement will be more cost-effective for the county."
Amato said the jail's current nurse-practitioner will leave the position April 15.
John R. Becker covers Montgomery County news. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.