UConn Health announces probe into York cell birth

UConn Health on Tuesday announced it has launched its own probe into a Feb. 13 incident in which a female inmate gave birth inside a York Correctional Institution prison cell in Niantic.

The agency additionally named the two employees it placed on leave after the birth at York, the state’s sole prison and jail complex for women.

According to documents UConn Health provided to The Day on Tuesday, the employees in question are Michelle Fiala and Brianna Simmons. Both are nurses who work for Correctional Managed Health Care, a UConn Health agency that provides medical services for the DOC.

According to the DOC, the birth took place early in the morning Feb. 13. Officials said both nurses were aware the woman was pregnant.

Citing federal health laws, the DOC declined to name the affected inmate, but said she and her baby were in good health.

Separate letters addressed to each employee show they were placed on paid administrative leave on the day of the incident. The letters warn each employee not to be on the grounds of UConn Health or any DOC facility and not to impede the investigation process.

“We support the inquiry into understanding the birth at the York Correctional Facility and have begun conducting our own review,” UConn Health said in a prepared statement. “UConn Health shares the position of the Department of Correction: Patient safety in all settings is our top priority.”

“We are proud of our people across the state delivering in-facility care, often under challenging circumstances, through our Correctional Managed Health Care organization,” the statement concludes.

l.boyle@theday.com

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