Health Care Within the Prison Walls – and Without

Thursday, October 19, 2017

John Morgan Reunion Auditorium (directions)

12:00-1:30 PM

Lunch Provided



Each year 30,000 citizens receive state of the art health care while they are incarcerated in the Philadelphia Department of Prisons [“PDP”]. The illness burden that these citizens suffer is described as three times that of the general population, including exceptionally high rates of HIV, STDs, seizure disorders, chronic physical illnesses and drug addiction, most of which are largely untreated prior to arrest. In addition, PDP is in effect the largest psychiatric care provider in the region. 350 full-time health care staff make medical services available to inmates all day, every day. In a year, PDP delivers 300,000 visits of medical care, and a full range of specialty services.

Aspects of PDP’s healthcare program have received national recognition as best practices.

What happens when inmates leave prison – or even return – is a different story. Join Dr. Herdman in an eye-opening talk exploring the medical needs, challenges and opportunities for this extremely vulnerable population. In his talk, he will describe the Philadelphia Department of Prisons while outlining the burden of illness of the inmate population. Dr. Herdman will discuss what services are, or aren’t, provided, related ethical issues, why jails are an opportunity to radically improve public health, and will explain current efforts to improve the health of inmates both within and beyond the prison system.    


Speaker Bio: 

Bruce Herdman is the Chief of Medical Operations at Philadelphia Prison System. Dr. Herdman's career in health care administration in Philadelphia includes service as Executive Director of the Mayor's Commission on Health, Senior Vice President for Psychiatric Services at Pennsylvania Hospital, Vice President for Risk Arrangements and Ancillary Services at Independence Blue Cross and Senior Vice President of Provider Network Management at Keystone Mercy Health Plan. Dr. Herdman served on the boards of two hospital foundations and on the board of the Carrier Clinic.

In 2006 Dr. Herdman joined the Philadelphia Department of Prisons in the newly created position of Chief of Medical Operations. He is responsible for the delivery and quality of the medical, behavioral health and dental services provided to over 7,000 inmates at the Prison and in the community.





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