Medical AlumniNews

Dr. Mack ’67 recognized by NCCHC for work in correctional health care

(Chicago) In recognition of his distinguished service toDouglas A. Mack, MPH, ’67

the field of correctional health care, the National Commission on Correctional Health Care has named Douglas A. Mack, MPH, ’67, one of two recipients of the 2017 Bernard P. Harrison Award of Merit.

NCCHC’s annual awards pay tribute to outstanding individuals, facilities, programs and communications in correctional health care. The highest honor, the Award of Merit, is presented to an individual or group that has demonstrated excellence and service that has advanced the correctional health care field, either through an individual project or a history of service.

The awards committee commended Dr. Mack for many years of extensive support and advocacy for improving health care services in correctional facilities. He spent more than 30 years as a county director of public health, most of those with the Kent County Health Department in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was also chief medical examiner. Throughout his public health career, Dr. Mack has worked to make the community a better, safer and healthier place for all citizens, including the most disenfranchised. That included advocating for incarcerated individuals during and after their time behind bars.

He also has been extraordinarily committed to NCCHC. He joined the board of directors in 1987 and was a member for almost 30 years. He is the only person to have represented, in sequence, three different national organizations on the board of directors: the National Association of Counties, the National Association of County and City Health Officials and the American Association of Public Health Physicians. He also is the only person to have been selected by his peers to serve as NCCHC board chair twice. He has served on many NCCHC committees, including years of service on the accreditation, education and finance committees.

In 1994, Dr. Mack was one of three NCCHC board members to meet with David Satcher, who was then director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to explain why the CDC should be actively interested in correctional health care. By the end of the meeting, Dr. Satcher had committed to assigning a specialist to help coordinate the CDC’s involvement with corrections-related issues.

Dr. Mack standing on the stage during the award presentation program.

Dr. Mack served on several HIV/AIDS advisory groups and too many committees, task forces and associations to count. He also was a clinical professor at Michigan State University.

“Dr. Mack has been a mentor, friend and inspiration to many,” said James Pavletich, MHA, CAE, chief executive officer of the National Commission. “The National Commission and its Board of Directors are extremely pleased to present this award to Dr. Mack.”

The Bernard P. Harrison Award of Merit is named after NCCHC’s cofounder and first president. The award will be given during the opening ceremony of the National Conference on Correctional Health Care, being held Nov. 4-8 in Chicago. The ceremony will take place the morning of Monday, Nov. 6. A profile of Dr. Mack is posted on the NCCHC website, along with information about the other 2017 award recipients, including Margaret Collatt, BSN, RN, CCHP-RN, CCHP-A, this year’s other Award of Merit recipient:

(Source: Katie Przychodzen, National Commission on Correctional Health Care.)

About the National Commission
NCCHC is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization working to improve the quality of care in our nation’s jails, prisons, and juvenile detention and confinement facilities. NCCHC establishes standards for health services in correctional facilities, operates a voluntary accreditation program for institutions that meet these standards, produces and disseminates resource publications, conducts educational trainings and conferences, and offers a certification program for correctional health professionals. NCCHC is supported by the major national organizations representing the fields of health, law and corrections. Each of these organizations has named a liaison to the NCCHC board of directors.