Off-campus Pacific University users: To download campus access theses and dissertations, please log into our proxy server with your PUNet ID and password.

Non-Pacific University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis or dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Theses or dissertations that have a specific embargo period indicated below will not be available to anyone until the date indicated.

Date of Graduation


Degree Type

Capstone Project (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Clara LaBoy, PA-C

Second Advisor

Jonathon W. Gietzen MS PA-C


Approximately 87% of the inmate population in the United States is male and with thousands of them being released every year the state of their health is something that must be looked into in order to not overwhelm an already taxed public health system. The low socioeconomic status of most inmates prior to incarceration lend to a greater likelihood that will enter the system with a pre-existing medical condition and with lack of medical services in the prison system itself it is very plausible that he will not care while in the system for the same condition. It has been reported that over 40% of state and federal inmates over the age of 45 have developed a medical condition while incarcerated. These conditions range from chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease and communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, hepatitis, and HIV/AIDS. It is also important to note that an individual in the prison system is several more times likely to contract syphilis while incarcerated and greater than 20% of gonorrhea and 60% of Chlamydia cases went undetected. We decided to look at the current health of male inmates in the Washington County Community Correctional Center located in Hillsboro, Oregon and evaluate their current state of health. This was accomplished using volunteer inmates and physician assistant student from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. We predicted that there would be shortfalls in the health care and status of this population. We found that the majority of our subjects had gone greater than 5 years without receiving a complete medical examination, vision screening, or dental cleaning. Most were considered overweight or obese according to curent BMI standards and none were screened for STD's when entering the system. While we found lacks in health care there is great opportunity to collaborate with local health centers and Pacific University's College of Health Sciences to dramatically improve health care access to this underserved population.


The digital version of this project is currently unavailable to off-campus users; however, it may be requested via interlibrary loan by eligible borrowers from Pacific University Library. Pacific University Library is a free lender. (Library Use: NL)