New Inmate Health Care Provider; Inmate Death Probed | WAMC

New Inmate Health Care Provider; Inmate Death Probed

Jul 13, 2020

Vermont Interim Corrections Commissioner James Baker says investigations are underway into the death of an African American inmate in December who died as a result of an undiagnosed tumor in his airway.

Commissioner Baker says 60-year-old Kenneth Johnson repeatedly told staff that he could not breathe and added that “no one should die in our custody the way that Mr. Johnson passed away.” He said Johnson's death was a big push to announce Monday that a Kansas company has won a three-year contract to provide health care services to inmates.

VitalCore Health Strategies started July 1 and replaces Centurian, whose contract expired.

Officials say VitalCore's nearly $20 million bid was the cheapest of the three bidders.

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