Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Message from Melissa Gibbons of NAMI-Tarrant County About MHMR-TC & Bravo Health

If you read through this blog and the comments made by a lot of people, there is a lot of questioning as to why it is that NAMI-TC has not rallied behind the Paradise Center.

There has been speculation that due to the large amount of money donated to the Tarrant County Chapter of NAMI by MHMR-TC and Bravo Health that the local chapter has been effectively bought off. This is just one more aspect of the Paradise Center Scandal.

Below is a typical comment of the sort I am referencing....

It looks like the tarrant county NAMI is joining mhmr and its ceo in pleading the 5th because their statements could incriminate them.

Only wrongdoers would choose to do this.

I didn't realize that when NAMI lost their VOICE of advocacy, they really lost ALL of their voice.

Unless they choose to speak up, let's examine who the other conspirators or enablers are. Like the county judge, county executive, and commissioners who we heard are the bosses of MHMR-TC but had been very chummy with McDermott's 501/c/3 MHMR Visions--financially, socially, and politically.

So, we asked Melissa Gibbons of NAMI-TC the following...

Dear Ms. Gibbons,

A group of my acquaintances have created a blog called The Paradise Center Scandal  in an attempt to shine a light on what we feel has been some shady operating by MHMR-TC, due to its too cozy relationship with BRAVO Health.

We have been told the reason the local chapter of NAMI has been silent regarding the Paradise Center issue, is due to the fact that the local chapter of NAMI's biggest money donors are MHMR and BRAVO, which is why NAMI had been so strongly pushing BRAVO as the preferred HMO.

So, could you tell me how much money MHMR and BRAVO donated to the local chapter of NAMI in the past couple years?

We have been told the figure last year was $30,000.

We have also been told that in your latest monthly NAMI-TC newsletter you have scheduled reps from both BRAVO and AMERIGROUP to give presentations, in a big contrast from previous months where BRAVO Health has been pushed hard as the service provider. What's changed that is causing other options to be presented?

Thank you in advance for your clarifications.

Durango Jones

To which Melissa Gibbons had two replies...

We accept donations from all entities that offer to sponsor us.  We are not swayed by the donations.  The reason we have scheduled both groups in April is because folks will have to chose in May. We want them to have the information to make a sound choice.
Melissa Gibbons

There was never a bias for any company.  We have scheduled both groups because they are the service representatives for folks who will need to make a decision regarding there service provider.  I do not know who you are.  I am Melissa Gibbons a NAMI tarrant county member.  Last year Bravo did make a donation.  We did not do anything for them.  We now are asking both groups to come and represent themselves before our membership.
Melissa Gibbons

Make note that Ms. Gibbons did not reveal how much money MHMR and Bravo Health donated to the local NAMI chapter.


MHMRTC's not-so-deep throat said...

Touche, Mr. Durango "Perry Mason" Texas.

Is NAMI of Tarrant County willing to accept donations from the KKK or Al-Queda since "We accept donations from all entities that offer to sponsor us"?

Let them know, Ms. Gibbons, because these two entities want to improvwe their public image. Really badly..more than MHMR of Tarrant County.

And what are her position and status in NAMI-TC besides just being "a NAMI tarrant county member"?

NAMI daddy said...

Don't be a McDermott, Melissa. Just tell the truth and the whole truth.

Don't be an MHMR-TC, nami-tc. Just be open and transparent. People can understand poor judgment or forgive honest mistake, but NOT obfuscation or shady behavior.

Many people are closely watching how you guys react to this part of the scandal. What had been produced is nowhere close to being acceptable. You can and SHOULD DO BETTER THAN THOSE.

Medicaid Maid said...

Let's give Ms. Gibbons some slack here...just a little, though b/c she at least has the guts to try and address the real and very serious issues being addressed on this citizen-journalist's fine blog site.

UNLIKE little jimmy mcdermott, his so called gals and other minions, his so called bosses the Trustees and ultimately the County Commissioners Court and Executive. The way these folks been acting reminds me of some old Kenney Rogers song (just can't recall the name or words at the moment).

Poor old Melissa must be frazzled or still under the corrupting influence called McDermottitis because those affected know that the program for elderly, blind, and disabled people living on SSI called Medicaid STAR+Plus WAS SCHEDULED TO BEGIN ON 02/01/2011 (looking at the docs. right here in front of me).

But maybe Mrs. Gibbons or other mental health advocates or professionals could enlighten us little commoners here (little cloth-less emperor jimmy mcD sure as h$$$ ain't gonna): exactly what caused the Texas Department of Health Human Services to "suspend" BRAVO Health in late December 2010 AFTER many qualified people had already enrolled with BRAVO or Amerigroup?

Fact: contrary to what Mrs. Gibbons represented in her response every qualified person who chooses to enroll in the state's managed care program called Medicaid Star+Plus IS AND HAS BEEN ENROLLED AND SERVICED BY AMERIGROUP SINCE 02/01/11.

The only change is that since the mysterious --there's that WORD again!!--suspension of BRAVO had been lifted, people are allowed to SWITCH to BRAVO if they so choose.

Interesting coincidence(??): Theresa Davis and Paradise Center Inc.'s contract with MHMR-TC were suddenly terminated on 02/17/11 and people were then sent letters right after that saying they could begin to exercise their CHOICE to switch over to BRAVO Health from their current provider Amerigroup STARTING 03/17/11.

Fact: May 01, 2011 is the date when BRAVO Health is officially allowed to begin their service and generate a return on their million$ in investment. So, no Mrs. Gibbons no one enrolled in Medicaid STAR+Plus has to do anything at all if they don't care to because they have been and are at this very moment covered and serviced by Amerigroup.

My guess is that the smart folks at American were onto the MHMR-BRAVO-NAMI team effort to pick off their current clients and insisted on being present whenever BRAVO health is giving their pitch.

Correct me if I'm wrong in any way, by all means. But I've been following this scandal blog closely and have done some fact checking to arrive at my confident conclusions, including changing my mind about the claim by a few different commenters that big money and legal consequences are on the line for MHMR-TC and the jimmy mcD regime IF BRAVO Health bleeds even more million$ in lost revenue and expected profit.

Now most things make sense to me. Thanks to Durangotexas.

Mary M. said...

My dear Mrs. Gibbons, no person who is qualified for the new managed care program called Medicaid StarPlus is required to make any choices between the two approved HMOs (after an RFP and vetting by the state's Dept.of Health Services). That's because every qualified person who chooses to participate are currently serviced by Amerigroup, specifically because your sponsor and MHMR-TC's business partner BRAVO Health has been placed on suspension UNTIL May first. Wonder what the circumstances were that led to such a severe and costly delay.

Can you help us with this so called mystery?

Anonymous said...

I recalled that ceo McDuhh and his gals Sonja Gaines in particular were actively pushing agency departments and employees to help raise money for nami walk. It was unusual because no one recalled any such agency wide effort for a similar organization before, certainly not for the needy and deserveing paradise center whose fundraisers hardly resulted in much support by the agency executives.

I wanna say MHMR-TC gave $10k as a sponsor and raised another $30k from donations and agency wide prisoner bailout
kind of event one work day when program managers were "jailed" inside hulen tower until the employees in that program raised
enough money to set them free.

It was fun sounding but sure took up a lot of efforts via agency global emails and many
paid hours. I did wonder what was all the new interest in nami walk was all about at the time. So this is why. Thanks.

nami-tc listener said...

Hey NAMI-TC, what did MHMR-TC leadership say about their bloody coup of Paradise unique nonprofit organization and/or their long time leader to get your board of directors to take that nuetered position and silently watched the abuses and exploitation of many, many vulnerable consumers over these seven plus painful weeks??

Or just disclose the dollar amounts that Mr. Durangotexas had requested. They should say plenty by themselves alone.

Did "money talk(ed)" loudly enough to make nami-tc walk??...away from its principles and its very own people??

Even the kkk and al Queda (good retort, deep throat) organizations are not ever known for doing such shameful things. And these scumbags are very shameful and evil incarnate.

Pac-10 NAMI family said...

Jim McDermott claimed in the NAMI-TC newsletter that he had sent a letter to the consumers the day following the coup to explain what was happening. The little once again is caught using a tiny truth to support a big lie. Our nami friends all over should remember that this man had manipulated the nami-tc board to get them to do his bidding.

Maybe nami-tc should issue a position statement that reflects the view of the whole organization instead of a few people beholden to MHMR and the politicians in CEO clothing.

suspicious case managers said...

I and my case manager friends have asked several consumers who visited the drop-in center the day after the coup and the weeks following it. Not a one recalls getting any letter or seen a letter from Dr. McD. posted anywhere until some days later when green copies of the same letter that is in the NAMI-TC newsletter were placed on the front desk phone area.

One sharp consumer said she remembers because it had the MHMR-TC logo of the "green tree with birds flying off" in the right hand corner and as from Jim McDermott, PhD. and CEO , but was not given a copy to read the message.

No wonder many clients still wonder about what had happened and have stayed away since they don't know all the new people running the place.
But for us case managers following this intriguing unraveling of secrets and schemes, the most intriguing thing is WHEN did the CEO actually wrote that letter and sent to the drop-in place and NAMI-TC.

The consumers say it was several days later at least, but NAMI-TC and the CEO say it was "the day after". After all this, we tend to believe our simple consumer-clients because they're usually reliable and have no agenda, hidden or otherwise.

P.S. That thing about J.R. of the Rainbow Lounge and Anthony Parente are also very intriguing because we've heard some troubling things from friends inside Hulen Tower and those familiar with the MHMR-TC community advisory board.

nearby nami said...

Well, is Melissa Gibbons still the president of the board of NAMI-TC? Can anyone confirm or disconfirm this alleged change in leadership that Pac-10 NAMI commenter reported?? I know there has communication from other NAMI groups with the Tarrant chapter as the result of this scandal revelations.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if she's the president or not, but she is the person listed on their webpage, by name and email address, as the contact for the organization. Seems like maybe the "presidential changes" were in name only. Maybe Melissa really just felt like she wanted to be reimbursed for all her hard work. That's fine, but be up front about it. It is unseemly to do it the way it's being done.

As a former Board member of TC NAMI, it makes me sad to see the way this Board has forgotten about consumers. My family quit attending the monthly meetings when it stopped being welcoming for my brother to come with us. He is very isolated, with schizophrenia and ocd, and that meeting was the one place he would go. He would like to go to Paradise Center,. He really likes Teresa Davis; he;s known her for years through JPS and NAMI. He's just too paranoid to leave the house. I found this blog through a friend who forwarded it. Very fun to read. But some of the people who say they work with MHMR should be fired. The way they talk about the clients makes me sick.