Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Paradise Center MHMR-Gate Scandal Comments

Below are blog comments about the MHMR-Gate Paradise Center Scandal, received on Tuesday, March 15. One of the commenters asked if it were possible to combine all the related postings and comments in one location.

Well, that would be a bit of a daunting task. I don't like daunting tasks. But, this particular posting you are looking at right now can serve as the start of a location for centralized MHMR-Gate Scandal Comments.

New comments will appear below. This blog is only about the Paradise Center MHMR-Gate Scandal, so the scandal info, bloggings and comments will not get lost among a lot of unrelated material.

Let the commenting begin.........

Hummer said...
You would not succeed as an employee of Tarrant County MHMR under the current regime then, Durango. Especially if you have a working moral compass and stand for principles rather than principal$.

Friends working for MHMR say that the case workers are under pressure to help put down the Paradise Center resistance leaders, like calling them at home and telling them they could get taken to jail if they keep protesting...so they best return and work under the new people who took over the community center to make sure this and other bad things don't happen to them.

The caseworkers and other staff are also to "help" the clients change their Medicaid HMO provider from Amerigroup to guess who. BRAVO. Guess when? Starting March 17.

Then when all these information finally had sunk in, guess what we said? Hmmm, this smells like rat, looks like a rat, and sure scurries like a rat.

March 15, 2011 9:40 PM

Peer leaders of Paradise Center, Inc. said...
Four peer leaders and Teresa Davis are sittng at a restaurant, reading your blog for the first time. We have many thoughts. From Miss Serena: I do not appreciate the opinion of the person that wrote about me. My name is Serena, not Sebrina. And I am not 'back' at that Center. I have been there, but to wait for a doctor appointment only. I am hurt by the way MHMR has treated the peer leaders and Teresa. In the future, if Anonymous or anyone else wants to blog about me, they should talk to me first. Don't assume. Also, it infuriates me that some of the workers that are down there now are talking bad about Teresa and saying she got fired and they don't know the facts. Teresaa wasn't just terminated. Paradise Center was kicked out. Apparently MHMR thinks the paid professional staff can run a better Consumer Run Organization than we can. And its SERENA, not Sebrina. From Dale:. I've been twice, to see my caseworker and to do my laundry. I am not 'back' with that group. MHMR has gone insane!
March 15, 2011 1:18 PM

Sick-N-Tired employee said...
Mr. Durango,

Could we suggest that you, if feasible, combine all the various postings and comments about this foul smelling scandal in one section or something like that so that we and the public could examine more closely this major scandal?

I'm a very troubled--by what I've seen and heard-- employee of MHMR on my day off and using my own computer and internet connection. My colleagues cannot get past all the secrecy and the new "controls" being imposed on us free Americans regarding this rotten mess created by some arrogant people who think they're our King and rulers.

Most MHMR employees are good decent human beings and Americans, so please keep in mind that this scandal involves mainly the big shots who get the big compensation packages and perks, including their fancy titles and cushy offices fit for executives at some major corporation.

Most of us office out of tiny cubicles (and even our cars)and we work IN the community, from the clinics in old buildings to street outreach on the E. Lancaster Homeless District.

We see our work as a service or a mission and more than just a paycheck source, just like Ms. Davis, who we had voted as one of the earliest recipients of the presigious Stetson Award, one given by the many regular employees who work WITH the people with special needs and not those inside comfortable offices inside that high priced Hulen Tower-- we still can't figure how they pay for that AND how they can put the clients in beat up old facilities.

Most of us are hard working and honest people, something we see lacking often in our executives and leadership, especially during this whole shameful scheme with Bravo Health Medicaid HMO for elderly and disabled people (STAR+PLUS).


Thank you.
March 15, 2011 1:29 PM

peer leaders of Paradise Center, Inc. continued said...
DALE CONTINUED:. They only care about financial gain! From N.: to whom it may concern: I have dedicated over 10 years volunteering at first Opportunity House then Paradise Center. When we moved from Oppotunity house, we were supposed to have the big clinic building that mhmr is in at 300 Pennsylvania. We were given the much smaller building, though, and it was made a separate non-profit and called Paradise Center. First I was a member then I became a peer leader on the board. We were the one who dedicated ourselves by running the center and helping the members function where they can be people who live in the community. On the day Teresa Davis got a note saying she was terminated, I was there washing my clothes we had to get out. I had to finish my laundry at a friends house. After we left, they changed the locks on all the doors and took away the keys we had, with all of paradise center's possessions locked up. When we went back the next day, MHMR executives would not let us in.
March 15, 2011 1:31 PM

Paradise Center Peer Leader said...
To finish my comment, I want to say that we were treated like common criminals. They had Teresa Davis on her knees on the concrete writing a list of our possessions that we wanted. If only the head man, Dr. MCdermott, would have had the decency to come talk to us consumers, maybe things would have worked out differently. We want to know why they kicked Paradise Center out of our home and why they fired Teresa Davis. She did not get the recognition and the respect that she deserves. You will never find another person like Teresa Davis. She gave up her family time to help us. That's how she dedicated herself to Paradise Center. Some of the members that she helped are still going to the building and do not appreciate what she did for them. We hope MHMR's satisfied and their conscience is clear on the decision that they made. Good luck. From peer leader, N.
March 15, 2011 3:35 PM

Teresa Davis said...
I have been mostly silent in the past month. I am not yet ready to have all the details of the six months leading up to my termination publicized. But I do want to make one fact very clear. I wasn't just terminated. The entire non-profit organization, its volunteers, programs, and possessions were kicked out. MHMR thinks they can trick the mental health consumers. 'Its the same building. Look, we use the same activity calendar! There is even the same former part time Paradise Center staff still here.'. But mental illness doesn't make a person ignorant. They know there is a difference. Time will show that MH professionals in that building, who I have known and respected for years, cannot recreate a consumer-run organization. They are not consumers. The peer support that Paradise Center provided is not the same as an when an MH professional gives advice. This is a huge step backwards for the consumer movement in Texas. So, the peer leaders who are loyal to the mission of Paradise Center, the Board...
March 15, 2011 3:56 PM

Teresa Davis said...
To continue, So, the peer leaders who are loyal to the mission of Paradise Center, the Board of Directors, and I are looking forward to the future. We hope the members can continue to find support until we are able to open our doors once again. N. has asked me to write one more sentence: It isn't over until the fat lady sings...and she's warming up now! We're all laughing at that comment. Thanks for providing an outlet.
March 15, 2011 6:41 PM

Anonymous said...
A fool and her band of nut cases. Who are you going to believe, this lowly reject or the CEO with a PhD running MHMR for over 22 years?

Who can you trust, this group of losers or the winners in complete control now? A.K.A. Lynn'$ BRAVO Company. Hu-ahh.
March 15, 2011 9:58 PM


Scandal Watcher said...

Very impressive. And very much appreciated, Mr. Durangotexas.

MHMR and their government sponsor the County Commissioners Court cannot avoid the truth much longer.

Free speech is alive and well. We are living in America after all.

Yeah, Durangotexas.

NAMI Mommy said...

I just can't hold it on any longer. As a long time advocate and member of the mental health advocacy organization NAMI of Tarrant county, I am just sick and ashamed that the Board of this respected organization had chosen to betray its core mission and values just to please that man Jim McDermott so that he'll keep throwing several thousand dollars their way. And because they're afraid he won't let them use MHMR copiers to make their monthly newsletter.

A bunch of modern day Judases bowing down to ceasar McDermott.

One woman on the Board acts like she works for this czar and doing his bidding, including trumping up Bravo Health over the other HMO Amerigroup. She had poisoned this healthy organization with her worship of Lord McDermott.

Past NAMI member said...

Ahh. We feel ya NAMI Mommy. We chose not to renew our membership not too long ago just for pretty much the reasons (attitude and values) you just expressed. This is a local affiliate of a nationally respected advocacy organization called the National Alliance FOR the Mentally Ill...not FOR "lord McDermott" which is equal to being AGAINST Paradise Center Inc. a consumer-driven organization that is the largest and most effective in the whole state.

The local NAMI organization (not some individual members like NAMI Mommy)has shown its true color. And it's dark and shameful.

Turning your back on your own people and even family members in their time of distress. In exchange for money and out of fear of one man.


Skeptic said...

HEY Past naming member,

WHAT FACT DO YOU HAVE TO SUPPORT YOUR CLAIM THAT Paradise Center is such an effective organization?

Is this so called consumer run organization that nobody's ever heard of even a real non-profit organization? Because

It seems mighty unbelievable that a handful of mentally ill people, who usually can't even take care him or herself, could have produced the results you've just claimed.

Better have some hard proof or you'really no different from some the nasty Cons who just pulled info out of their you know whats.

Fair is fair, right?

Anonymous said...

paradise center is consumer run and it is run very well these people have given up their own free time to help those who attend the paradise center program we have had two other cities model their program after ours and they have had great success. so all of you people who continue to post these very personal attacks on our program our peer leaders and Teresa Davis it sounds to me like you all need God in your lives these remarks have been vicious and cruel and could not have come from someone with God in their life. well thats it for now you will be hearing more from me as this thing goes on each day.

Anonymous said...

The other side mentioned that clients were having to sit in the sun to smoke cigarettes. I thought this conceren was valuable so I took it to the new staff at The Drop In Center and told them your concerns.
The remedy is already taken care of. The staff has ordered addition benches for the shaded area where the ceiling fans are. They also ordered additional tables and with umbrellas for those wanting to sit elsewhere.
Also, they are making a new area with tables and umbrellas which is a non smoking section.
Maybe, someday you can be open minded like us and have a willing to make changes best for the clients.
Also, another thing the New staff has done at the Drop In Center is food and supplies for the snack bar is being delivered. Which saves time for staff to do other things.
Have a blessed day in Jesus. We will do the same.

Anonymous said...

Teresa Davis, Dale, and Serena
Just wanted you to know about other people discussing you without your consent. Pictures have been taken without permission from the people they have been taking of at Paradise Center functions. Which to me has been an invasion of privacy. I imagine if this had been reported to a Patient Rights Advocacy Worker this would had to be stopped.
Considering Serena that you allowed yourself to be photographed and comments made then I feel it kind of has made you a open target to the public.
Regarding Dale and Serena's visits to The Drop In Center upon entering you are immediately registered in. Serena if you don't want to be considered part of our organization their is a sitting room for those waiting on MHMR appointments in the main building.
Dale, if you were at The Drop In Center for your laundry then you are a part of the new group. We have washers and dryers available for our members.
You both are listed on the members sign in sheets
so until you are no longer showing up you will be considered a active member of the Drop In Center.

Anonymous said...

It's smile time! New furniture has been brought in and set up at the new Drop In Center. It's looking real professional in here ! It has a real calming effect for the clients. No more "junk" around and broken chairs with tape trying to hold arms on with, etc. You get the drift ..........dumpster quality stuff! They are investing in "our future"!

Anonymous said...

Well, farewell folks. Alot of us have decided to no longer do blogging. Wishing you well, and hope your problems get worked out soon.

JOE said...

So much to respond to -- split among so many anonymous jabs. Before the jabs may be addressed (because they are just shadow boxing) there is some REAL maneuvering here.
The Dog and Pony show has been imported to flim flam the almost interested -- which actually indicates someone MIGHT be interested -- to do the twist and spin and toss out the issues regarding MHMRTC's hostile appropriation of the non-profit, Paradise Center, to something else entirely: a quality of life concern. Didn't I, (orders from menu) Sonja Brains seek to supervise this program to upgrade expectations? And look -- by the side of the building -- more smoking umbrellas have been installed and this new furniture is bright and shiny. Obviously those bad-mouthing malcontents are of the disgruntled type but, you know, Gentleman Jim and Sonja Brains must sometimes take a stand at what is right (top-dollar laugh). In this field, you know, sometimes you have deal with some occasional derangements among the help -- but it is all part of the job. Which is an in important job. A new day is dawning and it is a better day, filled with hope and dignity. Besides, "Paradise Center"? Who do you think has been footing the bill for all these years? Non-Profit, my ass! (More laughter).

JOE said...

The actual issue is that Paradise Center (formerly Opportunity House) was spun off and detached from MHMRTC more than a decade ago. And -- Paradise Center is an example of a concept called the "Clubhouse Model", where peers assist peers with minimal professional involvement. This idea has been reviewed for (again) more than a decade and as Gentleman Jim noted in his email (somewhere in this blog), it a Jim Dandy of an idea. Sorry we must say goodbye or is it just au reviour?

But MHMRTC was not the only community MH heath service to drop their clubhouse. Every Community MH service dropped the clubhouse! What happened?

Fed bucks. Medicare bucks became tied to certain actvities conducted by the provider. And Community MH centers were all looking for a piece of the pie. Phone calls. Face to face. Referrals. Teaching and training.

None of which was captured in the "magic" of peer to peer support.

I wasn't following MHMR news closely when PC opened. I supposed some guile may have accompanied it but I am going to give benefit of the doubt here. MHMHTC financed a clubhouse and granted they would be a horse while PC would function as saddle. That is a very close relationship to be sure. Close -- but distinct.

As the horse, MHMR provided the "in-kind" donations of vehicles, grounds-keeping, furniture, etc. As the saddle, PC was accountable for a small petty case (it seems) and administration by the non-profit charter.

Leaving aside the horse and saddle illustration -- the legal entity of an program is in it's tax forms. It doesn't matter if a non-profit receives large donations from a single doner. And -- if is is an autonoumous program is does not funtion under the same by-laws of another organization.

So why does want MHMRTC PC back? Despite funding around $150,000 over the last 10 plus years, where have they been? Nowhere different -- but now there is a new wrinkle. If we can pull those PC "consumers" into a few classes, have them sign a roster and maybe show them a film we can bring in some big bucks! $600,000. The gold in them clubhouses! And the bonus is the program is "consumer-driven" with team leaders among the peers. Everyone knows the biggest cost is running a joint is the salaries. And this thing has virtually NO overhead!

JOE said...

That's "petty cash"! Not "case"!

Troubled Tarrant taxpayer said...

The stress, pressure, and all the reading and THINKING these past few weeks are apparently taking a major toll on the incompetent MHMR Cons. See the deranged rambling on 3/24 at 12:59 pm for proof.

THESE cons are the who the bullycrats have put in place to help "the least among you"? We citizens and taxpayers better monitor this McDermott-quality employees (apparently McDonald took all the good ones). It's troubling the see that it was the comments on this blog that forced them to even get benches and shading for the PEOPLE. Besides spending most of their time trolling this blog site (and laboriously rereading and flipping through dictionaries), and levelingmean spirited and
slanderous personal attacks on the Paradise Pros, what the hell are we getting in return for our tax dollars? Besides keeping cons away from working at nursing homes and ddaycares. SHUDDERS from the thought.

Keep reading McDermott's cons because it is apparently helping you not only with needed remedial education, it helps learn how to be pro-fessionals, too.

Until the house cleaning that's about to come.

Jo Friends said...

Hey "Joe", it sounds like you're a reasonably intelligent person and who has done some researching and even evaluating this whole matter.

What's rather striking is that your early level headed thinkin was somehow knocked off balance by the McDermott-NAMI deceptive play on the truth and reality.

He and his gang must have concluded you were a sucker for their deceitful words and would serve their purpose
well by presenting their new "line"(or lies, some might conclude) in a much more coherent and intelligent way than they or their puppets could...the evidence

You appear too intellectually honest to have allowed yourself to become victim to this sociopathic spin on the facts and circumstance.

Sociopaths,especially"successful " ones like Bundy and Maddoff, are very beguiling. And choose their preys carefully. So just a word to the wise, "Joe", ru---don't walk--from these lying sociopaths who are about to be "cut out" like an infected wound on an otherwise healthy body.

Or you can just become part of this local Axis of Exploitation.

You meant well with your comment, but the infected odor of these desperate bullycrats was stinking up your effort.

Stay smart and resist being used by these contemptible individuals that you know deep down you wouldn't leave your kids alone with for even ten minutes.

Anonymous said...

Hey commenter Jo Friends, I think that "Joe" is a smart person. Maybe too smart, at least in phrasing "his" points. I believe that "Joe" was trying to use irony and was being sarcastic in pretty much summarizing the who, what, and why of this whole scandal.

It was deep irony and sarcasm, so it was easy to miss the intended message and purpose. I know I did on the first two readings of it. But, yeah "Joe" is really a PRO whose sarcastic phrases blasted the Crooked Executive Office, his "gals", and their improper/illegal conducts in invading the independent nonprofit org. Paradise Center. You go, "Joe". Keep blasting these #$%^@ bullycrats and call them out...by name even.

How about the so called Trustees and the County Judge and Commissioners overseeing these crooks. Get em Joe.

Your REAL bosses said...

hey snotty backstabbing con head with the weight and food issues obcessions, you sure didn't have such a snobby air when you limped back and begged for a part time job, did you? if not for Teresa's sympathy for you the MAB would not have ever allowed you stuck up a*** back and would have fired your lazy incompetent a*** several times over, especially after we caught you talking ugly to Members and even guests.

Lucky for you, we practiced our motto of friends helping friends in mental health recovery. That included your two-faced self.

You oughta get back on your meds and start exercising again becose you seem stressed out and acting very nasty again, and it's not even football season yet.

Dale, Serena, and other PEOPLE are adults who aren't ashamed of our illness and so don't need any of your stupid comments trying to dictate how we live our lives. You just make sure and get to work on time so your MHMR masters won't fire your sorry pretentious a****

Melissa said...

Hey MHMR bravo con, your dumb a***comments are humorous and make little sense. What "organization "? ? Do you even know what the word means or the concept behind the word?

Anonymous said...

Good point Anonymous Pro re commenter "JOE"'s message. I reread his comment and now agree with you. Sorry "JOE", that's some deeply imbedded sarcasm and irony you've employed. Must have really confused the hell out of the semi-literate mhmr-bravo cons.

Good point as well, Melissa. These pathetic mhmr-braco cons lie and twist facts so much, they get confused by their own lies. S-A-D.

That's the best mhmr can muster? No wonder the little group of paradise leaders are kicking their tails at almost every turn. I feel embarassed for them..and I contract WITH mhmr!! Cannot wait until the current goon and his clowns get kicked out so me and other contractors can work with educated and ethical professionals for a change.

Jon Olson said...

Hey commenter Jo Friends, I think that "Joe" is a smart person. Maybe too smart, at least in phrasing "his" points. I believe that "Joe" was trying to use irony and was being sarcastic in pretty much summarizing the who, what, and why of this whole scandal. It was deep irony and sarcasm, so it was easy to miss the intended message and purpose. I know I did on the first two readings of it. But, yeah "Joe" is really a PRO whose sarcastic phrases blasted the Crooked Executive Office, his "gals", and their improper/illegal conducts in invading the independent nonprofit org. Paradise Center. You go, "Joe". Keep blasting these #$%^@ bullycrats and call them out...by name even. How about the so called Trustees and the County Judge and Commissioners overseeing these crooks. Get em Joe.