On-site clinic helps incarcerated mothers be more involved in care

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Indiana Government Center South
302 W. Washington Street, Room E334
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204

FOR RELEASE: Upon Receipt

Annie Goeller
Chief Communication Officer

Date: December 13, 2021

Indiana Women's Prison mother-baby unit clinic partners with Eskenazi Health 


Indianapolis, Ind. - Incarcerated mothers can have an active role in their babies' wellness visits and now their vaccination appointments with the opening of the on-site Officer Breann Leath Wellness Clinic.

The Officer Breann Leath Maternal Child Health Unit partnered with Eskenazi Health and the Marion County Public Health Department to provide on-site well child checkups and vaccination appointments within the walls of the Indiana Women’s Prison. The clinic serves infants and children up to age 2-and-a-half who reside in the state prison with their mothers.

Twice a month, Eskenazi Health pediatrician Dr. Maria Herrera comes to the Leath unit to see infants for wellness visits, urgent care needs, and newborn care, providing educational classes to the mothers between visits. So far, about 20 babies have been seen.

Recently, the Leath clinic added on-site vaccine appointments, with the mothers able to be a part of their infants’ vaccinations in addition to their regular wellness checkups. Once a month, two public health nurses from ACTION Health Center, a clinic of the Marion County Public Health Department to provide health care services to youth, come out to the facility to administer vaccines.

“It’s been so amazing to have the doctor and nurses come out to us like this,” said Krista Bryant, a mother in the unit. “It’s so important for us as mothers to be involved in our children’s healthcare and be able to ask questions—just be there for our kids during these appointments. I’m so grateful for the opportunity and think it’s a great thing for the program.”

“The Leath Unit Clinic has provided a safe place for mothers to participate and collaborate in the medical care of their children,” said Dr. Herrera, who is also an assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine. “Each mother that I have encountered is involved in all aspects of their child’s care, eager to learn and open to having conversations that promote the health and well-being of their child.  It is a great privilege and honor to work with Leath mothers and staff as we continually learn from each other. As we move forward, we hope that this program inspires positive change in the lives of mothers and babies.”

"The partnership with Eskenazi Health allows for true connection between mom and baby during a critical period of bonding and attachment. Incarcerated mothers are truly engaging in the care of their children, which better prepares them for lifelong connections after leaving the Leath Unit," Indiana Department of Correction Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kristen Dauss said.

"Our goal is to help equip the moms in the Leath Unit with the information and skills that will allow them to be successful as mothers and members of their communities. These wellness visits, vaccine appointments and education provided through this partnership are so important for our mothers and babies,” Indiana Department of Correction Executive Director of Transitional Health Christine Daniel said.

If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Herrera about Eskenazi Health's role in the partnership, please contact Todd Harper, Eskenazi Health Director of Public Affairs & Communications, at todd.harper@eskenazihealth.edu.

If you are interested in speaking with someone from the Leath Unit, please contact Annie Goeller, Indiana Department of Correction Chief Communications Officer, at agoeller@idoc.in.gov.

For additional images and video from inside the Leath Unit, visit https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cwydDkYaLsg7H9IPkX7egM1wNRqexVLM/view?usp=sharing.


Dr. Maria Herrera works alongside a Leath mother during a pediatric wellness visit.


Dr. Herrera plays with one of her patients after a wellness visit at the Leath Wellness Clinic.


About Indiana Department of Correction

The Indiana Department of Correction is the largest state agency in Indiana, operating 21 correctional facilities throughout the state. The department employs about 6,000 people, and serves more than 24,000 incarcerated individuals and thousands more through parole and post-release services. IDOC's mission is to promote public safety by providing meaningful, effective opportunities for successful re-entry, including programming and services inside facilities, by serving as the model of best correctional practices.

About Eskenazi Health

For more than 160 years, Eskenazi Health has provided high-quality, cost-effective, patient-centered health care to Central Indiana. Nationally recognized programs include a Level I trauma center, regional burn center, comprehensive senior care program, women’s and children’s services, teen and adolescent care programs, lifestyle health and wellness programs, Sandra Eskenazi Mental Health Center, and a network of primary care sites located throughout the neighborhoods of Indianapolis known as Eskenazi Health Center. Eskenazi Health also serves as the sponsoring hospital for Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services. As the public hospital division of the Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County (HHC), Eskenazi Health partners with the Indiana University School of Medicine whose physicians provide a comprehensive range of primary and specialty care services.


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