Whatcom County operates two jail facilities and one juvenile detention facility. The average daily population of the juvenile detention facility varies.

NWRC provides nursing and other jail health program administrative services in both facilities under contract with Whatcom County Jail and the Work Center. NWRC jail health staff coordinate closely with other medical providers and behavioral health staff to provide quality healthcare.

Whatcom County Jail

NWRC provides health services in the Whatcom County jail following the requirements set out by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care Standards. The most frequent health conditions affecting residents in the jail are addiction, mental illness, systemic infections, diabetes, hypertension, cardiac and gastrointestinal disorders, and traumatic injury.

Jail health services

NWRC's Jail Health staff provide services in the Whatcom County Jail 14 hours per day, 365 days per year, including: 

  • Triaging patients at booking and when requested by Corrections
  • Reviewing receiving screens developed at booking
  • Gathering of information from each patient’s outside providers 
  • Treating urgent needs
  • Assessing and treating chronic and acute conditions
  • Assessing patients with Opioid Use Disorder
  • Assessing and treating patients for drug and alcohol withdrawal
  • Procuring and delivering prescribed medications 
  • Referring for specialized treatment
  • Responding to patient request for treatment or care
  • Providing health education
  • Supporting and referring to allied professional staff for psychosocial interventions and services

Jail health accomplishments

Some of the more significant recent accomplishments include: 

  • 2018 - Implemented a Medication for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) program with three options; withdrawal, treatment, and induction. 
  • 2021 - Becoming a vaccine provider, expanding the availability of immunizations/vaccines.
  • 2021 - Implemented an Electronic Medical Records system. 
  • 2021 - Renewed the National Commission on Correctional Health Care accreditation.