Texas Gov. Greg Abbott this spring appointed Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso’s Brian Edwards, M.D., FACP, to the state’s Correctional Managed Health Care Committee.
His term on the state committee will expire on Feb. 1, 2025. The committee coordinates the development of statewide policies for the delivery of health care within the criminal justice system.
Dr. Edwards is an assistant professor at TTUHSC El Paso’s Foster School of Medicine, where he serves as program director of the Internal Medicine/Psychiatry Residency Program and associate program director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program.
In addition to his role at TTUHSC El Paso, Dr. Edwards is a practicing internist at Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso where he delivers world-class patient care at its Alberta location. He specializes in diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, joint pain, lower back pain, chronic heart disease, seasonal allergies, upper respiratory infections, hypothyroidism, preventative health care, urinary tract infections, depression, heartburn (GERD), asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The CMHCC was established by state legislature in 1993 to address the rising costs and operational challenges involved in providing health care to prisoners in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
“As someone from El Paso, I’d like to use my presence on the committee to learn more about the issues surrounding health care that are particular to those in correctional facilities throughout the region, and be a local voice to address those issues,” Dr. Edwards said. “I’d like to pass this knowledge on to our medical residents. With more familiarization of the correctional system and correctional health care, I’ll make positive contributions with my experiences and insight as a hospitalist and academic physician.”
Dr. Edwards said some challenges appear to be the management of chronic conditions, management of mental health/substance abuse issues, and the size of the prison population relative to that of the nursing staff. Other challenges include the management of geriatric conditions given that the inmate population tends to face conditions seen in geriatric patients at a younger age.
The TDCJ’s Correctional Managed Health Care program is a partnership between the TDCJ, TTUHSC in Lubbock, and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. UTMB is the health care provider for TDCJ facilities in Eastern and Southern Texas, and TTUHSC is the health care provider for facilities in West Texas.