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    Dr. Michelle Staples-Horne Receives 2013 Armond Start Award for Professional Excellence

    DJJ Medical Director Receives National Honors 
    Georgia Recognized for Excellence in Juvenile Offender Health Care

    (ATLANTA - GA)  Commissioner Avery D. Niles of the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice is pleased to announce DJJ Medical Director, Dr. Michelle Staples-Horne, is the recipient of the 2013 Armond Start Award for Professional Excellence from the Society of Correctional Physicians (SCP). Dr. Staples-Horne received this high honor at the SCP’s October 27th meeting in Nashville, TN. 

    The Society of Correctional Physicians represents health care specialists from throughout the United States who provide clinical care for jail, prison and juvenile offender populations at the local, state and federal level. The prestigious award presented to DJJ’s Medical Director was named for SCP founder Armond Start and specifically created to address the unique challenges of physicians practicing in correctional settings.

    For more than two decades, Dr. Michelle Staples-Horne MS, MPH, CCHP, has maintained professional standing as a national leader in public health and clinical care for vulnerable youth involved in the legal system.  She has provided training presentations for the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    Her work has been the focus of a CNN article published on correctional physicians.

    In 1993, Dr. Staples-Horne was hired by the State of Georgia to develop a health care system for the Department of Juvenile Justice.  At that time, DJJ’s 20 Regional Youth Detention Centers did not have on-site medical staff and only limited nursing staff was available at DJJ’s 4 Youth Development Campuses.  Dental and behavioral health services were also unavailable on-site at DJJ secure facilities in 1993.  But as a result of her efforts, by 2008 the Federal Department of Justice identified Georgia as the leader in health care among juvenile corrections agencies in the United States.

    To help preserve Georgia’s national standing, Dr. Staples-Horne has maintained long standing partnerships with Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and the Morehouse School of Medicine to successfully obtain grant awards to support additional services for DJJ youth.  

    Dr. Staples-Horne has served as President of the Society of Correctional Physicians, as a member of the American Correctional Association (ACA) Health Care Committee, and as a member of the Juvenile Health Committee for the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC). 

    She has authored chapters in 3 books and has been published in medical journals and periodicals including articles on juvenile justice health care issues in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the Journal of Adolescent Health, Public Health Reports, Juvenile Justice, Corrections Today, CorrDocs, and the SCP Newsletter.
    “The department is very proud of this national recognition Dr. Michelle Staples-Horne has received for her career work at DJJ,” said Commissioner Avery D. Niles.

    “The Armond Start Award for Professional Excellence is presented to recognize dedicated specialists like her who have made significant contributions to corrections health care through their work and achievements.  Dr. Staples-Horne has helped develop a unified voice in the field of clinical care for juvenile offender patient populations,” the Commissioner said.

    Jim Shuler, Director