Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Anonymous Explanation of the Paradise Center Scandal

I have been asked many times to explain the Paradise Center Scandal.

This is not easy to do.

Not easy, because the Paradise Center Scandal has many facets. It took me awhile to understand how bad this scandal is, and how despicable the behavior was of those who perpetrated the scandal.

That despicable behavior has been scandalously on display, on this blog, in the form of comments coming from MHMR proponents.

Yesterday a very good blog comment came in that does a good job of explaining many aspects of the Paradise Center Scandal.

I thought this particular blog comment warranted being turned into a Paradise Center Scandal blog post........

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Most Recent 25 Paradise Center Scandal Comments...":

These could simply be coincidences, but MHMRTC signed the formal business contract with Bravo Health around September 2010--when MHMRTC execs started to intrude into the internal operations of the consumer operated nonprofit organization (Paradise Center) that MHMRTC had an ongoing contractual relationship with for several straight years.

In October, Bravo started buying ads around town, giving large donations to advocacy groups, like NAMI, and began hyping their company as the better choice for Medicaid Star+.

Jim McDermott was pressured into writing the letter to the Paradise Center Board leader using the pretext of Paradise being "over budget the last fiscal year" (by $20K+) to begin supervising their employee, Ms. Davis, who had intellectually knocked out several MHMRTC executives in several meetings intended to force her to join the scheme.

With many MHMRTC clients and NAMI family members already enrolled with Bravo at enrollment parties, but still unable to get Ms. Davis to cave in to the obvious wrongdoing, the Deputy CEO tried to force Ms. Davis into another meeting with this Deputy CEO and other execs on December 27, less than two days after Christmas. Apparently, the Paradise Center Board had outsmarted the MHMRTC team and the meeting was delayed until after the new year.

The very next day, December 28, the State Department of Health & Human Services issued the very surprising public statement that Bravo Health had been placed on a five month suspension.

February 1, 2011, Amerigroup hit the jackpot by landing all the Medicaid STAR+ people by being the default HMO provider. On February 4, 2011, McDermott, attorney, and execs met with Trustees in special "executive session to discuss Paradise Center".

Three days later McDermott sent his invitation to the Paradise Board president Linda Groom to meet on February 17 to "discuss Paradise Center" and to "bring Teresa Davis along". Apparently smelling a trap, the Paradise Board sent a strongly worded letter on February 17 defending its sovereignty, so to speak.

In an act of desperation, McDermott, the MHMRTC attorney, and his executive team decided to take the risk of terminating Ms. Davis that afternoon.

A few days later the State Department of Health & Human Services sent out letters notifying people that Bravo could start enrollment on March 17 -- exactly one month after the termination and coup.

The public protests by the Paradise group, and the start of this blog, caused MHMRTC to bleed public money -- in trying to replicate the work of Ms. Davis and Paradise Center AND to decimate their existence -- and to lose public trust, both of which are well chronicled on this blog and elsewhere.

The robbery of the disabled group's properties was spotlighted by the POD's presence for several weeks, right next to the group's former home, essentially destroying the grand scheme that MHMRTC had planned for and with Bravo.

Many questions have now come to the front regarding the conduct of the McDermott regime over the years.

As the Paradise Center Scandal moves into the justice system method of righting wrongs and punishing wrongdoers. I don't think I'd be sleeping all that well, if I were Jim McDermott.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Memorial Day Message & Invitation From Teresa Davis and Paradise Center

Each day I get a couple emails asking if I've gotten any news about Paradise Center. Most wonder if I know anything about the current legal/court status of the scandal.

For those of us who are fans of Frank Capraesque All-American happy endings, I believe that is the direction we are heading with the Paradise Center Scandal.

Today I got a message from Teresa Davis to share with you....

In our case, the saying "no news is good news" definitely applies.

Thanks to our many supporters, our organization has set up shop, and we are slowly rebuilding our program.

We invite you to check us out on facebook where our friends are posting their stories and messages. 

Also, don't forget to check out our website for the latest news (check out our many generous donors!) and volunteer opportunities.

If you want to come see our new place, then Memorial Day would be a great time.  We don't have a "Grand Opening" party planned yet, but we'll be here Monday playing water games and cooking food on the grill. 

Stop by and have a burger with us...we love seeing friends, old and new!

Teresa Davis
Paradise Center, Inc.
friends helping friends in mental health recovery

525 S. Henderson Street
Fort Worth, TX 76104

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Friend Of MHMRTC Pros Comments About This Whole Painful Saga

Today the Paradise Center Scandal blog got a comment to a May 12 blogging titled "A Message from Paradise Center's Teresa Davis" from a commenter calling him or herself "Friend of MHMRTC Pros," which seemed as if the comment was worthy of turning into its own blog post.

Below is that comment........

Friend of MHMRTC pros has left a new comment on your post "A Message from Paradise Center's Teresa Davis":

Just got confirmation from an mhmrtc source that (1) the anonymous commenter is in fact "an operator for Jim McDermott" during this whole painful saga; (2) this person has served McDermott by continuing to communicate with the Paradise group as a supporter of the group but without disclosing that their true loyalty is to McDermott; (3) that this anonymous post addressing Teresa directly was spurred by two major developments: a major setback for mhmrtc in an official proceeding, which could get many more people into real hot water for carrying out different parts of the CEO's scheme; AND that the expected official appearance of legal counsel finally materialized--this way McDermott's and/or mhmrtc's lawyer could communicated lawyer-to-lawyer regarding how best to repair the damages done to Teresa and the Paradise group---and ASAP, before more disclosures and questions about things like what was going on with BRAVO and NAMI-TC, the appropriation of the bond-funded community center facility at 300 Pennsylvania Ave from the mental health consumer group, the funding source and method used to acquire the extravagant Hulen Tower, etc.

The CEO wants to ride off into the sunset without everyone thinking that this scandal and blog site--and that spunky woman and a group of severely ill people--working in synergy WAS THE reason for his untimely and disgraceful departure.

So for him and those who backed him and his decisions, paying lawyers and whatever sum of settlement/s money to "end" this ongoing scrutiny is well worth the face-saving result that they expect from going through the legal process (i.e. lawyers from both camps). This way the CEO can continue to avoid dealing directly with the disturbing facts and questions because "the attorney/s are handling this, so I can't discuss it".

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Paradise Center Message From Norma On Facebook

I don't quite know why or how a message showed up on my Facebook Wall from Paradise Center from the Paradise Center's Facebook page.

But it did. Some sort of divine intervention, I suspect.

With the message from Norma, was a picture of Norma wearing a shirt which says, "THE CLIENT IS ALWAYS RIGHT."

After the Paradise Center saw that Norma had written on my Facebook Wall they sent me a couple more pictures of Norma, in addition to the one in her "THE CLIENT IS ALWAYS RIGHT" t-shirt.

Norma's Facebook message said...

"My name is Norma and I love Paradise Center. I have been a part of this organization for almost 6 years. We are moving up in the world. We got a whole new place, and we're hoping to be able to continue to help people and have a fun, joyful place for all of us. We're hoping to do more community outings and even go on a trip in the near future."
Norma there are a lot of people being very happy that Paradise Center has risen from the ashes of the dirty deeds done to it. Methinks good times are ahead for Paradise Center, with bad times for those who did Paradise Center wrong.

Anonymous left an interesting comment to a blogging today on the Durango Texas blog, regarding the wrongdoing perpetrated against the place Norma loves so much.

Anonymous said...

"The big political news in Fort Worth is that the embattled, and highly compensated, superintendent of the school district finally resigned this morning. Wonder if the same will happen at the local MHMR? There are so many similarities and parallels between the two public institutions, except all the MHMR Trustees and advocates are in Jim McDermott's pocket. And the mental health agency's wrongdoings are not given much attention by the fourth estate. The scandal blog however has done a pretty darn good job in place of all those parties that helped expose FWISD (Fort Worth Independent School District) and brought about this house cleaning and public accountability."

I suspect Jim McDermott's future will be very similar to Melody Johnson's. Although not likely to end in a soft landing in California.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Most Recent 25 Paradise Center Scandal Comments as of May 18

It is time again to post the most recent 25 blog comments. A really ugly comment or two, that seemed to come from the MHMR side of the Paradise Center Scandal, sparked a lot of comments from scandal followers who were shocked and disgusted at the repugnant nature of the comment.

You will have to read through the 25 most recent Paradise Center Scandal comments to find the comment that has been so scandalous.

Comments start with most recent and then go back in time...

Teresa, I'm glad you finally got this matter put with Lawyers. I know Jim McDermott, has lawyers, too. I still feel it's best to let the Courts deal with the issues. Blogging certainly has not accomplished anything except a place to let off steam ! LOL Well, hopefully, in the near future this can be settled and both centers can go on helping the clients of MHMR and others who choose also to attend. Wishing you the best.
By Anonymous on A Message from Paradise Center's Teresa Davis on 5/17/11
It makes me sick to read that comment. Physically ill.
By Lee on A Message from Paradise Center's Teresa Davis on 5/16/11
Besides showing many specific likeness to other mhmrtc inhumane and immoral comments, this particular commenter also is showing symptoms of what's sometimes referred to as "an episode", mostly with a manic episode where they have googles of energy, creativity (used to good OR evil), activities ("get back to bidding"), and irresponsibility due to impairment from the manic episode, which could be caused by medication issues, stressors, illicit drug use, or sometimes just part of a recurring cycle....which makes recovery and regaining their full place in the community so daunting --e.g. doing well for months and serving on boards,volunteering, and even getting paid jobs, etc. BUT then the monster returns and everything comes crashing down. That why bipolar disorder/manic-depression, schizophrenia ...NOT pop culture's definition as split personalities BUT literally= broken or split mind/psyche, where the wiring in the mind or brain is so messed up that they "lose their minds" from the from the uncontrolled hallucinations, delusions, and disconnection in even simple thought processes. If you could only see how little sweet church women, strait-laced professional men, and even-keeled people behave when they're in one of these "decompensation episodes" which can include one or more of some of the following shocking behaviors: wickedly mean and profane, grandiose thinking and sometimes overly kind and gives away everything, hypersexual--overt, menacing and combative/violent, overwhelming energy, catatonic, spending (even crime) sprees, etc. Point being that the stressors and changes (even positive ones) over the past three months could very likely pushed one of the "peer leaders" that mhmrtc leadership has pushed into the midst of a bitter controversy and as their PR shield MAY HAVE CRACKED in their own mental health and stability. The negative attitude and meanspirited words and deeds that mhmrtc leaders approved of certainly was like tossing in an extra gallon of gasoline into a flickering fire. Abuse and exploitation of disabled people keep coming into my mind and my colleages' minds as we've discussed this scandal.
By mental health pros on A Message from Paradise Center's Teresa Davis on 5/15/11
It's repugnant, so I would concur with CatsPaw and Durango. If Larry or any one else wonders about how this gutter level attitude and commenting are consistent with other mhmr cons nastiness, just go to the first few comments on Durango's first blogging in his main blogsite. From then on these creatures have consistently spewed the same poison---not even sparing a sweet innocent little child and her parents and their very private business of living their lives and rearing their child and even practically invading the sanctity of their home by blatantly claiming/thinking "out loud" about "how cluttered and nasty" their home is...that's crossing way over the line. But they didn't stop there. They had to mock the little girl's father repeatedly for his expression of deep (and actually very manly)fatherly emotions in reaction to seeing his little baby show/write deep compassion, good intelligence, maturity beyond her age, and her spirit--in stepping forward and speaking up for herself, her parents, and her "second family". As a gruff man, I choked up whenever I read that precious child's beautiful defense of the people she loves...literally all her life it sounds like. I can't even get into their trying a few times to DIRECTLY address and manipulate the little girl (doubt these parents allow her to read things that's not appropriate or healthy for her at this age) and shamelessly abusing her brief reference to her confidential health information in order to assault her parents, esp. her courageous mom. With mostly lies, it seems. These thugs went even lower when they callously used confidential medical info about a deathly ill woman in hospital to deride her weight and THEN laugh gleefully about her precarious life condition. THERE ARE SO MANY MORE EXAMPLES ... THE CLEAR THING is that these hateful comments were made by those on the Dark side BECAUSE THEY USED SPECIFIC details (EVEN NAMES) THAT only they AND the Paradise group would know PRIVATELY. Bottom line,I believe that the more the Paradise group chose not to stoop to their level and focused instead on building up their operations again that the mhmr cons showed even less restraint (forget "class")in their vulgar expressions and just plain anger-hate-fear-desperation as they realize that the paradise folks are gaining strength and working steadily to pursue justice. I'm especially troubled by undercurrents of bigotry (re NOT just race) and moral bankruptcy. At least no one has been hurt physically...that we know off, and pray to be the case. But then again, the reports about this poor man from Mother's Day weekend sounds like one many others that we don't hear or know about? Just curious, what is his racial background? VERY DISTURBING that mhmr leadership has endorsed/tolerated these acts of, well, depravity and that they seem to not care how they hurt people's lives, and in turn hurts the whole community.
By Michael--former program manager forced out in 90's on A Message from Paradise Center's Teresa Davis on 5/15/11
No, I'd leave 'em right where they are. Shine the light on what appears to be a real sickness within an agency that is supposed to serve and protect vulnerable people in the community. The author of these posts thinks they're exposing deficiencies in Teresa Davis and her people. This person would be wrong. Cockroaches don't like the light. I hope that the Paradise lawyers are taking a good look.
By CatsPaw on A Message from Paradise Center's Teresa Davis on 5/14/11
CatsPaw, that latest bad one was so bad I also wondered if we were being punked. But it so similar to so many earlier comments and thought, why would someone go to the bother of being so vicious just to play some demented trick on people? Is it someone trying to make the MHMR people look even worse than they already do? Do you think I should delete these type anonymous comments?
By Durango on A Message from Paradise Center's Teresa Davis on 5/14/11

I couldn't believe what I read at first either. I'd love to think we'd been punked ... but regardless, the person who left these remarks (and yes, Durango, they have all the earmarks of many earlier comments) appears to be more mentally ill than any of the consumers he/she denigrates. Or just morally bankrupt.
By CatsPaw on A Message from Paradise Center's Teresa Davis on 5/14/11
I had the same reaction Not Afraid to be Anonymous LARRY. But this was not the first time a comment of this sort has been made. There have been a lot of them. Google provides no way to track IP Addresses.
By Durango on A Message from Paradise Center's Teresa Davis on 5/14/11
That post by anonymous cannot be real. It is so silly. It negates any legitimacy that MHMR has regarding its claim that they were justified in firing their employee. Come on, Durango. How about you take a little peek at their IP address and find out who this person is? Just verify if it is a legitimate address of someone who could possibly work at MHMR. Because I for one do not believe that "anonymous" comment is legit. It's just too over the top! There is no good logical reason why they would write that. NONE.
By Not Afraid to be Anyonymous: LARRY on A Message from Paradise Center's Teresa Davis on 5/14/11
And, by the way, "Anonymous" ... where do you think MHMR-TC gets its "donations" of toilet paper? That's right, from taxpayers like me.
By CatsPaw on A Message from Paradise Center's Teresa Davis on 5/14/11
Jeeeezus, "Anonymous" ... you are a nasty, soulless troll. Why only fix one typo? I hope that someone where you works that actually has a intact conscience calls you out and that you end up out on the street on your "wicked" large booty ... because you really are showing your ass here. If you love McDermott so much, are you really so stupid as to think putting something like this mess out into the ether makes your side look good? I do feel sorry for the mental health professionals, some of whom we've heard from, who are trying to do a good and competent job in our community. As I said in my previous comment before Blogger choked, I am glad to read that Teresa and the Paradise people have legal representation and hope that they will eventually prevail. There is a cancer inside MHMR-TC and the previous posts are shining a big freakin' spotlight on it. We need MORE "Mother" Teresas, not more like you. I'll take her brand of "not smart" any day of the week.
By CatsPaw on A Message from Paradise Center's Teresa Davis on 5/14/11
By Anonymous on A Message from Paradise Center's Teresa Davis on 5/14/11

For someone with two masters degrees, Teresa Davis isn't real smart. Like doing thongs for free, putting up with filthy people, and getting used by smart people like the financially well off family of that disgusting excuse for a human being. His family have the resources to do more to help him or to pay someone to help him with his many needs, but as long as a dumb bleeding heart like Mother Teresa does things with getting some kind of compensation or government reimbursement, these families and group home operators will use the hell put of her and her group and use the money they saved to get themselves something nice or just put the money they saved from not doing the hard dirty work into making more money. Because we have a super wicked smart CEO, the MHMR "Community Center" now keeps the place pristine and brings in revenue by making sure we have only the right kind of people come here who make money for MHMRTC while the filthy riffraffs and loud ghetto gangstas are passed off to kind but very dumb Mother Teresa ...LOL!!! That Dr. McDermott is a genius. Keep on feeding the homeless like that disgusting alley rat you rescued and you and your group will take his place roaming the streets scrounging for food. LOL!!"! Meanwhile we're living on easy street--seen our shiny new cars?--here at the NEW "Community Center" under Dr. McDermott's protection from any dirty work like you (LOL!) ...and provision of the finest things. Even funnier is that families like your loco hobo's will be enjoying their extra long, and extra luxurious vacation. The group home owners will be trading in for a new ride, going to Vegas...or even take in more of your "rescues" off the street since you end up doing most of the work for them, especially having a cool and safe place during the day when they're not allowed to stay in the home. And you, hahahaha, get to pay the utilities to keep the place cool and (L.O.L....can't help it), beg for money to pay rent, and even asking for dnations of toilet paper!!!"
By Anonymous on A Message from Paradise Center's Teresa Davis on 5/14/11

It's more than obvious that this government agency has many issues that need addressing. Stat. And most of the time the source of systemic problems is found in issues with leadership, which filters down to the lowest level. In this case it's the ceo and his executive team who see people with mental illness as means to ends of their preference instead of being THE END of all they decide and act. In doing this, these high priced bureaucrats are making ENDS of themselves, if you catch my drift.
By Pac10 NAMI on The Most Recent 25 Paradise Center Scandal Comment... on 5/13/11
Yeah, check out last Saturday's society section of the FW Star Telegram where the Tarrant county political boss McDermott was shown gladhanding with one of the probate judges. McDermott's 501(c)3 called MHMR Visions Board is loaded with people from or are associated with Guardianship Services. Not that there's anything wrong with all these things except that the FW Weekly had done a couple of cover stories about the issue of legal guardianship and those probate courts and judges as well as the nonprofit were major actors in the reports. How come Boss McDermott didn't use any of the hundreds of thousands of dollars raised by Visions to help the MHMR program called Paradise Center? Because those disabled people worked to raise needed funds year round, sometimes in freezing weather and often in the scorching Texas heat.
By nami mommy on The Most Recent 25 Paradise Center Scandal Comment... on 5/13/11
We heard the MHMR second in command and other execs were trying like crazy to lure Teresa Davis to attend another gangbanging meeting to break her will and force her to give in and go along with their secret scheme to exploit the popular and highly regarded Paradise community center. First BRAVO and MHMR would save a lot of time and costs by having Teresa and Paradise use their considerable influence to endorse and even sign up their hundreds of members with BRAVO HMO. Secondly, the free volunteer hours to operate the popular community center were worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. But MHMR and McDermott did not want Paradise the nonprofit to know how much money would be made off of their reputation and hard work. That's just how mcdermott had always exploited Paradise and their dedicated leader Teresa...not lifting a finger when he knows about their needs, not even ever supported any of the group's fundraisers (vs. NAMI Walks last year). Bottom line, BRAVO was told that See more...
By Mary M. on Anonymous Research Into the MHMR-TC Relationship W... on 5/10/11
What's the deal with the association between Jimmy McDermott's MHMR agency and the homosexual sector? From a shill calling the CEO a he-she to this recent reference to Teresa's wife. Of course, the deal with this JR dude (a cruel villain or good Samaritan?) of the gay bar Rainbow Lounge and this ambassador for Samaritan House+MHMRTC Anthony "the smiling 'manager'" Parente to his partner Lynn Curry and her close friends. Confusing and bizarre. Add on a boss hoggish ceo surrounded by obedient women he had placed in executive positions. Weird stuff.
By J.D. on Fort Worth is Up A Creek Without a Paddle With the... on 5/10/11

I want to see the receipts that showed the girlyman paying for all these phanthom benefits to MHMR-TC clients. You MHMR cons are either lying again or are going through a delusional phase, maybe resulting from the stress of trying to do even a fraction of the job usually done by the paradise pros and all the embarassment to yourself and your families. For people like my sister, the real important things are respect, support, and acceptance she gets from her friends who operate their organization and community center. Not your loony and abusive ways. W people being oppressed, disrespected, and used do not come back...or laugh. That's why no one freely comes to your cookoo's nest, no matter how white the walls (padded?...for you and your O'Donnell off incompetent chiefs) of your dropin cell is. Why keep lying and deceiving? There's professional help available you know? Right Tony, Lynn, Sandy, Sonja, Donna, Susanna, Jimbo, and the gang?
By Annoyed Sister on The Life of the New Paradise Center Continues to I... on 5/10/11
More on the BRAVO suspension: -------------- "In the Tarrant Service Area, Bravo Health has been placed on temporary enrollment suspension >>due to concerns about the ability to accurately process acute and long term services and supports claims.<< This means that until the enrollment suspension is lifted members in the Tarrant Service Area will have only one health plan available. Bravo has developed an acceptable corrective action plan to comply with HHSC requirements relative to claims processing and HHSC expects that the Bravo enrollment suspension will be lifted no later than May 1, 2011. When the enrollment suspension is lifted all Tarrant Service Area members will be informed about the availability of a second health plan...." This is the 32 page BRAVO Health "Agent Agreement" document (not the short one on their website) which outlines all tactics and procedures their peddlers can use:
By Anonymous on Anonymous Research Into the MHMR-TC Relationship W... on 5/10/11
More on the BRAVO suspension: -------------- "In the Tarrant Service Area, Bravo Health has been placed on temporary enrollment suspension >>due to concerns about the ability to accurately process acute and long term services and supports claims.<< This means that until the enrollment suspension is lifted members in the Tarrant Service Area will have only one health plan available. Bravo has developed an acceptable corrective action plan to comply with HHSC requirements relative to claims processing and HHSC expects that the Bravo enrollment suspension will be lifted no later than May 1, 2011. When the enrollment suspension is lifted all Tarrant Service Area members will be informed about the availability of a second health plan...." This is the 32 page BRAVO Health "Agent Agreement" document (not the short one on their website) which outlines all tactics and procedures their peddlers can use: docs/BravoAgentAgreement.doc ------------- Starting pay for Dallas area "recruiters" $52-55k (note Imprimis is an employment agency): Here's their 99 page "Provider Manual" ----------- Here's the 84 page "8-K" filing with the SEC detailing the BRAVO/ HEALTHSPRING merger last year. Here's the HEALTHSPRING stock chart (NYSE: HS): Their First Quarter Revenue was up 84% over last year and "The Company maintains its estimate that total revenue will be at least $5.4 billion." They report "Membership in Texas increased to 79,923 vs 48,298 in March 2010 --an increase of 65.5%" (Click "Headlines" under "News & Info" for more. ----------- DRUG PURCHASES= $1 BILLION "SXC Health Solutions Corp. ("SXC" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: SXCI) (TSX: SXC), a leading provider of technology and pharmacy benefit management ("PBM") services, announces that it has expanded the contractual relationship with HealthSpring to include the provision of services to HealthSpring's newly acquired Bravo Health, Inc. subsidiaries ("Bravo Health") effective January 1, 2012. Based in Baltimore, Maryland, Bravo Health is a wholly-owned subsidiary of HealthSpring Inc. and generates approximately $1.0 billion in annual drug spend" ----------- Amazing what a profitable, 'growth industry' mental illness is. Copanies 'socializing' the costs (i.e. passing themon to taxpayers) yet privatizing the profits. Cronyism at it's finest!
By Anonymous on Anonymous Research Into the MHMR-TC Relationship W... on 5/10/11
Thats so sad mhmr cons you still cant even set up a computer yet when many of us have played wii and other games in the new paradise center. we keep seeing 2-3 maintenance vans at you drop-out place but you cons still don't have nothing but b.s. Before you try to copypsradise with wii games and internet computer you should let people stay in the shade before my parents bring their lawyer and a camera crew out to show how you treat me and my friends like dogs in pound.
By pathway peeps on The Life of the New Paradise Center Continues to I... on 5/10/11
"Jim with a heart" is questionable at best, but "gutless" is not in doubt. Sissies.
By Guelma on The Most Recent 25 Paradise Center Scandal Comment... on 5/10/11
McDirty and his gang have purposefully schedule the Trustees meetings to minimize public participation and to make it easy on themselves first and foremost. Most people cannot get to a meeting at 5:30 PM. Then they put the public comments and questions part at the beginning of the meeting so that hardly any one with jobs or family could make it. Wickedly clever, but clear denial of public participation regarding how our tax dollars are used and how our friends and neighbors are treated. That's the McDirty way.
By J. Moore on Cancel Your Plans to Attend Tonight's Meeting of t... on 5/10/11

These mhmr life forms also obviously don't get the concept of irony. As in claiming the McDermott Gang aren't concerned about their victims, while they constantly troll the blogs and scrutinize the nonprofit's website, which makes the MHMRTC one looks lika third-rate high school project. Why not spend some of our tax dollars on a real professional web designer? ? Probably the waste on toilet paper--- especially to clean what's leaking out of these thugs' heads---would be enough to pay for a decent website. Paradise and Durango should make their sites less attractive, and "bright and shiny!", so these illiterates won't spend so much of their time viewing them...and flipping through picture dictionaries (probably too lazy to even to that). So sad, really. Keep watching out for the "team of six seals"...that's where LOL would be appropriate.
By Hulen Tower drone on A Harris County Advocate Weighs In On The Removal ... on 5/10/11
Mr. Durango, it looks like the many comments and questions about the bond-funded community center that was allegedly stolen from the people with mental illness might have touched a raw nerve: MHMRTC leaders are now calling their lame drop-in-center the "Community Center". I guess they think people aren't smart enough to know what they're up to now. The incompetence and shameless theft of others' work and properties are embarassing. First they tried to steal the name Paradise Center, and now they're copying Paradise's term for their main programming. Sad. Sad. Sad. New and competent leadership needs to be in place soon before many of us competent staff leave this shameful agency.
By Clinic Staff on The Life of the New Paradise Center Continues to I... on 5/10/11

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Message from Paradise Center's Teresa Davis

Last night a message arrived from Teresa Davis in which we get updated on what's been happening with Paradise Center, comments on some blog comments and learn the Paradise Center Scandal is now under the care of lawyers.

Below is the message from Teresa Davis...

Mr. Durango,

Sorry it's taken so long for me to update you.

It has been a huge undertaking to set up our Center.  Exhilirating, complex, fulfilling.

Although we aren't really "open" yet, members keep showing up.  They complain about the "old place," the MHMR drop-in center.  Just today, one fellow came for the first time.  He said the other place "wasn't paying me" for work that he says he did.  He's young and wants to stay busy but doesn't feel like they folks over there appreciate him.  Even though we're not really open, I'm proud they have the option to come here.

I admit I've stayed away from the scandal blog.  I'm focusing my energy on getting the Center set up and making it available to our members as soon as possible.  We're letting the lawyers handle everything, which is a huge relief.  Hopefully all of the rigamarole with MHMR will be settled soon. 

Most of our guys don't really understand what all happened still.  They seem scared to ask me about it.  One guy today told me he heard I was in the hospital for a stroke.  Another said he heard I stole something, but he's not sure what.   Another said no one ever told him anything, he just noticed all the changes and that it was really different.  He said he didn't really feel welcome there since he's not an MHMR client. 

You know, I think it says alot that, even though they think I may be impaired from a stroke or even a thief, they feel more comfortable here with me than over there. 

I said I don't read the blog, but a relative of one of the guys forwarded me a link to someone's comment about her brother.  Yes, it's true, I helped and am helping him get into a safe, secure place to live.  He is frustrating, though, I'll tell you that.   All the things that they said are true:  he smells bad, he talks alot and doesn't make much sense, and he can't manage his money.  But these things are true about him too:  he's a gifted artist whose prints were widely distributed in Pier 1 "back in the day".  He's a graduate of UT, has a wicked sense of humor, and even when you think he's not listening, he is.  He just may not like what we're saying. 

He can argue about the silliest, or not so silliest, thing and make sense.  You just have to be willing to listen.

And yes, it's true, that his sister was told by his MHMR caseworker that if he is not taking his medications, then he would not get his trust fund check.  This is very illegal. 

MHMR is the "trustee" for many patients who are determined by a physician unable to manage their disability income.  If they have no one locally who is able or willing to be their financial payee, MHMR will be the payee. 

And the way these clients get their money is by keeping their appointments with their caseworkers, nurse, doctors, etc.  Even though it's a practice, I have never heard of a professional telling a family member that they will withhold money from the client if they don't show up for appointments or don't take medications.  Not only is this illegal, and a violation of his patient rights, it is also very brazen.  If this caseworker is willing to tell a family member this, wonder what she's been saying to the client? 

Well, this fellow is going to be okay.  His family is involved and are making great efforts to make sure he is safe and that his rights are not violated.

And for him, Paradise Center is once again what it always for him:  a place where everyone knows his name, where he is safe, and where, if he needs it, we will help him to help himself.

His sister has told me via telephone how grateful she is for Paradise Center and for our efforts on her brother's behalf.  I can tell that she wonders why I do what I do at Paradise Center.  She mentioned, sheepishly, that she had read your blog, as had her other sister.  She wasn't sure if  she should mention it to me or not, indicating that she still wasn't sure about why or how everything happened with MHMR. 

I assured her that Paradise Center is still the same non-profit that we were in the other building.  We're just more independent now, without MHMR's grant.  And a little poorer, too!  But you can't put a price on freedom, that's what our guys here are saying.  They've never been happier than they are now. 

And truthfully, I'm pretty happy, too. 

I'll tell you more about what motivates me personally another time.  But these guys, showing up everyday and knowing they are welcomed, safe, and among friends, with opportunities to help themselves and contribute to our organization, is a big part of why I get out of bed every morning.

Thanks, Durango, for your blogs.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Most Recent 25 Paradise Center Scandal Comments

April 19 was the last day we posted a compilation of Paradise Center Scandal blog comments. Originally this was going to be done every 3 days. But that proved too daunting.

Since April 19 a couple hundred comments have been made on the various postings on the Paradise Center Scandal blog.

To give you an idea of what people are currently saying about the Paradise Center Scandal below are the most recent 25 comments....

I'd hate to be the attorney representing this ceo and his bunch since I wouldn't be sure that they had told the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
By Anonymous on A Harris County Advocate Weighs In On The Removal ... on 5/5/11
Amerigroup Community Health corporation should thank Paradise Center and its director because it pretty much got the Tarrant Service Area all to itself and raking in millions of excess revenue and unexpected profit margin. Maybe Amerigroup can make a large donation, from its millions of unexpected profit, to the Paradise organization in carrying out its mission to improve the quality of life and Heath of the community.
By Joyce on The Life of the New Paradise Center Continues to I... on 5/5/11
We've known Jim McDermott for a long time. He has little feeling for the mentally ill and even _much less regard for them as full human beings. We often get the impression that he sees himself as the head rancher and the clients are his nameless herd that he prods and uses to serve his own interests. The employees were viewed just a tad better because thy're not disabled and could fend for themselves. This scandal is the collision between his dehumanizing attitude and a group of self- empowered mental health consumers who refused to be treated as less than full human beings. As far as the cause for the human and civil rights of people with serious mental illness goes, this group's courage and determination have more than made up for the significant losses on the parts of neutralized advocacy groups like NAMI and MHA. History will show that this was a major victory for the rights and dignity of people suffering with serious mental illness and that they "overcame" IN SPITE OF BETRAYALS BY SO CALLED FRIENDS, SUPPORTERS, ADVOCATES, AND EVEN INDIVIDUALS AND ENTITIES CLAIMING TO SUPPORT CIVIL RIGHTS AND HUMAN DIGNITY UNDER BOTH THE LAWS OF MAN AND THAT OF THE ALMIGHTY. This scandal revealed which master certain individuals really served and what kind of moral and ethical foundation they have.
By James S. on The Life of the New Paradise Center Continues to I... on 5/5/11
It must have been an uncomfortable few months for Jimbo and MHMR since their Medicaid HMO partner was on suspension since the first of the year, which resulted in most of MHMR clients being enrolled with the other HMO, and their competition, Amerigroup Community Health. Which means that special arrangements had to made for MHMR psychiatrists to contract as "providers " in the Amerigroup stable...until BRAVO Health -MHMR-TC could legally do Medicaid business. Ironic that MHMR-TC 's clever plan to work with BRAVO to double team Amerigroup got turned around, where MHMR-TC was forced to be business partners with Amerigroup even before their partner BRAVO. BRAVO must have many reasons to distrust and blame MHMR-TC for their losses. An industry analyst wrote last month that BRAVO will lose even more money since most people will not want to go through the hassles of switching HMOs after they've already gotten used to Amerigroup. Could this fact help explain the evasiveness of MHMR-TC leaders and their launching nasty but immature personal attacks on the Paradise leaders and their properties?? They were p.o.'d and desperate from realizing that they'd been outplayed at every turn by a weak consumer-run organization and their director Ms. Davis
By guelma on Anonymous Research Into the MHMR-TC Relationship W... on 5/4/11
So this is the little POD container that we've heard so much about. It's rather small to be able to contain all of the "junk" and "trashy" things that belong to the little nonprofit organization, isn't it? I can see how bad it made the mhmr agency look really bad. The loss of PR points is hard to put a monetary value on, but the money used to pay for this portable container, packing and loading, and staff time spent on trying to put out the fires from this controversy should be in the tens of thousands of dollars. That's not counting legal bills and loss of productivity that were suffered. At least BP put their leader front and center to deal with the aftermath of their catastrophe, which incidentally is turning into a scandal after recent revelation that BP had covered up prior problems that foreshadowed the catastrophe. Interestingly, there appears the be a growing list of questionable behavior on the part of MHMR-TC leadership that foreshadowed this mess they've found themselves stuck in. Ironically, legal action/s could be perceived as a less costly solution for the agency, financially, emotionally, organizationally, and so on. To effectively resolve a major tactical blunder of this kind will require lots of monetary payments to the injured parties and recovery time , and usually sweeping changes in leadership.
By P.R. consultant on The Life of the New Paradise Center Continues to I... on 5/4/11

BRAVO Health's use of propaganda, local politics, and money in the form of "donations" to select groups in the community is like a smaller version of the Chesapeake campaign to subdue the community in 2007-2008. Remember the billboards, bus wraps, and 30-minute infomercials telling us to " thank Barnett shale for jobs, education " clean-burning natural gas, and "get behind the Shale"?? And Chesapeake was tight with the City of FW and its Strongman Mike Moncrief. Don't forget all the donations to neighborhood associations and churches that served the dual objectives of having these groups exert their influence to push property owners to sign gas drilling leases with Chesapeake AND to "neutral-ize" them when situation like the abuses and exploitation of people on Carter Street were perpetrated. The neighborhood association did put up a brief but half- hearted protest to help keep the huge gas pipeline off people's front yards. But when it came down to taking a firm stance and to fight that bullying by the private+public team of CHK and Moncrief, there was no advocacy by the neighborhood association on behalf of the few who dared to put up a resistance against that tyrannous saga. SOUND FAMILIAR? ??
By COWTOWNER on Anonymous Research Into the MHMR-TC Relationship W... on 5/4/11
The thugs tried to rob and use this group's properties that were apparently just fine. Amazingly, everything turned into junk and trash as soon as these bureaucratic pirates got caught and forced to return a community center full of properties. Interesting how their perception of reality changed in response to exposure of their dirty deeds. Shameful and shameless.
By Artie on Some Words From The Watchful Clinic Case Manager A... on 5/3/11
We MHMR-TC employees recall the CEO making statements, both verbal and written, several times over the years that "as long as I'm here, Paradise Center will get the necessary funding to continue operations". Wonder how he's going to keep his word? We have a feeling it will be via some kind of legal instrument. Man, MHMR-TC has a savvy law firm providing it with sound legal counsel...the same lawyers and firm guiding Haltom City throughout its scandal with the economic development fund scheme that was reported by the FW Weekly last week. Small county, isn't it?
By hulen tower moles on You Can Now Visit The Paradise Center Website & Ma... on 5/3/11
Re the cooperation between consumer-run organization Paradise Center and a managed-care company to construct and deliver needed services, it really wouldn't have mattered because Jimmy McDermott would not have allowed it since that would seen as even more loss of control (and thus manipulation) for him. The man has become even more egotistical the longer he's been the big dog in Tarrant County, which was accentuated by the death of the most veteran county leader DA Tim Curry. Compared to Jim McDermott's 24 year rule over MHMR-TC, elected officials like the County Judge, County Commissioners, Sheriff, and DA are like rookies in county government. The massive ego, unchecked power, and lack of activist energy all contributed to the reckless behavior of this little autocrat. Employees, consumers, and even advocates and community leaders were simply pawns in the man's quest for more personal power and gain. Those seen as being in his way would be bought of, pushed aside, manipulated/charmed, or just bullied and destroyed like Theresa Davis and the Paradise Center organization, whose successful fight was a major for Jim McDermott and eroded most of the perceived power that he had carefully constructed over almost a quarter century as a "public servant". That woman and the consumer organization have done something historic in terms of resisting tyranny in Tarrant County and asserting the rights and power of mental health consumers in the state of Texas. Such an accomplishment is no big deal in more progressive states in the Union. But this is Texas, the state that's consistently in the bottom five in just about every way when it comes to the issue of mental illness and consumer rights and empowerment.
By Wayne on The Life of the New Paradise Center Continues to I... on 5/3/11

We still stay in touch with people we knew when we worked at MHMR-TC and they say that "the Creative Executive Officer " was caught lying about Paradise being "overbudget" by almost $30K in the last fiscal year. The Paradise people apparently called him out on such a big whopper by pointing out that the contract for in-kind grants placed control over every dollar in MHMR's hands. They're pretty sure that it was a dumb "pretext for the takeover of Paradise Center against their will and their legal rights". They point to hundreds of thousands of agency money thrown at making costly repairs at the Jennings Place quadplex and taking out the huge kitchen in the Paradise community center that's now a clinic-offices and the overpaying to buy the polluted lot at 507 s. Jennings, which took several months and extensive environmental clean up just to have a useless "medical record storage building " and a small picnic area...right next door to a busy gay bar and major intersection. So whoever it is from the clinic commenting about the crowded clinic in the mental ghetto surrounded by several gay bars is right on target. Nothing's wrong with gay bars, it's the choice by MHMR bigwigs to cram three neighborhood clinics into a crowded facility surrounded by bars, and the activities that usually go along with such an area (a few loud drunks, some inappropriate behavior, lots of alcohol, broke bottles nearby, etc.). Of all the places in Tarrant county, MHMR-TC could only use that location? And forcing people to take long bus rides or taxi services from all over the southern part of the county? Why? Why subject the clients or consumers to such hardship and, frankly, such unhealthy environment? But the executives are perched on a multimillion dollar office tower near TCU area?? Whose needs (and "wants") are really being served in all of this is the question that we keep coming across while working for MHMR- TC and particularly now after seeing the facts and the blatant dishonesty and plain disregard for common decency. For the sake of the many good employees like our friends, but especially for the thousands of disabled people under the care of the agency, we pray that much needed leadership change would take place soon before more damage and embarrassment.
By Anonymous on A Harris County Advocate Weighs In On The Removal ... on 5/3/11
The now sanitized and sterilized drop in center has to be tightly controlled because as of May first BRAVO and MHMR-TC can start making profits off the disabled people who go there, many now not by choice because the MHMR staff make it a requirement that they go there while they wait for appointments to see someone in the clinic or to get their money from case managers to pay bills. That's a lot of control and power in the hands of MHMR. The reason for the quietness is partly due to power and control that's the MHMR Way. Plus, the four mentally ill peer leaders Tony, Sandy, Lynne, and Cam are having to deal with the stress of working under demanding MHMR-TC +BRAVO management along with working "over" their sicker peers who have many needs, annoying quirks, and great difficulties dealing with drastic changes and the loss of any say in how things are done as was the practice with their consumer-run Paradise Center. Please keep in mind that the four ill peer leaders MHMR-TC has paid to be in charge of running the place are more familiar with being powerless clients and mental patients rather than a seasoned professional like Teresa Davis. And as mentally ill people they have built-in anxieties anyways even without the additional stress. But that's what the CEO and Chiefs wanted. I'm doing what I can as an HR person to support them. But they hanging on so far.
By Anonymous on The Life of the New Paradise Center Continues to I... on 5/3/11
Some of our local tax dollars should go toward keeping this organization going since it has apparently shown over the years that it helps hundreds of people stay well mentally, socially, and even physically (they notice problems and get needed attention), which in turn means financial savings to our community. And doing so will enable the organization to help improve the quality of life and public perception of the whole community. Just like investments in the education and enrichment of our children make the community attractive for businesses and families, such little financial support for this group's work is a great investment for the perception of our community as well. Remember the expression about the quality of a community or society is often based on how it treats its weakest members. So far, Fort Worth and Tarrant County are getting just a passing mark in this respect. On the other hand, the community is summa cum laude, if not Valedictorian, when it comes to preferential treatment for the wealthy and the politically connected.
By Change the FW Way on You Can Now Visit The Paradise Center Website & Ma... on 5/3/11
One of the sleazy mhmh caseworkers even made threats to her client, a good friend of mine, for daring to join the Paradise group in th3ir non-violent protests against jim macdermot and his gang.she told him that the police could get involved and that she wasn't gonna bail him out. plus she told him he could go back to prison since he had served time for a crime he did a long time ago when he wasn't in his rite mind. yes its try that you have to be a client of mhmr or three other small agencies to get shelterplus apartment. section 8 quit taking names for their waiting list a few years ago. without shelterplus, people like me and my friends wood be homeless or cramped into those nasty group homes in the rough neighborhoods. i heard that the mean peer leader name Lynne has a nonprofit organization to provide nice group homes for mentally ill people, but after seeing how nasty shes been to teresa davis who was so kind and patience with her, i'm going no where near her. but i do feel sorda sorry for her sense mhmr is playing with her head and using her mental illness to make her use her meanest against good and decent people like teresa and even lynne's own peers who are members of paradise. she must really need money and not doing well with her mental illness because she used to hate mhmr and jim macdurmot where teresa had to talk to her about being appropriate and respecting even people she couldn't stand, like people who smoke, are overwait or too loud (everybody know what color they are). something should be done to make mhmr do the right thing for there clients. oh yea, n.a.m.i. was very kind to the consumers when linda groom and mr. and mrs. cates were in charge. consumer's quit n.a.m.i. when the new people kept us separate from them like wear not good enough for them or something. i wish n.a.m.i. would go back too supporting mental ill people again too.
By shelterplus consumer on The Paradise Center Scandal 3 Day Blog Comment Col... on 5/2/11

Add these factors together and one gets this scandal: a man in power over a large taxpayer funded agency + "local control" (i.e. little to no state oversight and having the Trustees and County Commissioners in his pocket) + a "corporate culture" in the agency that rewards conformity and mediocrity + an insecure egomaniac who knows how to use taxpayer funds and donations to his 501(c)3 nonprofit charity to buy political favors and to "neutralize" voices of advocacy + a group of people /victims not known to have any sense of empowerment to resist abuse and exploitation + a community that is rife with civic/political apathy and lack of moral clarity and leadership. Throw in the love of money and the corrupting power of money and the result was this contemptible abuse of public funds and authority to skirt common decency and the rule of law in the insatiable pursuit of personal power and private people entrusted to help those that they victimized. Along the line of abuses by priests and other religious authorities, teachers, foster parents, and such. A cruel betrayal of public trust.
By Retired Nurse on The Life of the New Paradise Center Continues to I... on 5/2/11
It looks like BRAVO Health has done business almost completely with the federally controlled Medicare program. So I would agree with the conclusion by the first anonymous commenter on 4/28 that this is major "foot in the door" for the corporation as far as state-controlled Medicaid program. Medicaid can be and often is much more profitable than the more stringent retirement (with some for disabled workers on SSDI) medical benefit Medicare. So I see why this market is so valuable to BRAVO and its new parent company Health Spring. No wonder BRAVO is plastering ads all over and handing out donations to groups like NAMI-TC and MHA . I still can't get my hand on information to explain why BRAVO was placed on a five month suspension to begin doing business by the state's Dept of HHS back in December. The information provided on this blog would make it reasonable to think that THE only reason for that rather surprising--and pretty harsh-- suspension was due to Theresa Davis' refusal to collude with the McDermott gang. Because thinking about it what McDermott and his gang did to Ms. Davis and Paradise Center were also rather surprising and extremely harsh. Aside from criminal prosecution, I can only think that something as serious and very consequential as such a financial matter would explain the disturbing decision and damaging actions on the part of the agency's highest level of leadership. Some with master level social worker licenses could be in some hot water with the State Board since they as professionals in that field should have known of the likely harm that such sudden and drastic changes would have on people recovering from very serious mental illness. But they thought that their victims would ever speak up and call them out like the Paradise group has. Give Ms. Davis a lot of credit for not only standing her ground but also for helping to give those folks the self confidence and cohesion as a group to fight and essentially win this David v. Goliath fight. That's very remarkable in itself there because it looked like the McDermott gang and cronies were throwing everything at them to make them lose heart and give up. Your blog shares a lot of credit because it helped expose wrongdoing and spread the truth against the MHMR-TC political machinery.
By Retired executive on Anonymous Research Into the MHMR-TC Relationship W... on 5/1/11
The bland comments were what nami-tc's masters told them to say. They've been directed not to say or do anything else. Pretty disgusting to see.
By nami mommy on NAMI Tarrant County is Very Interested in Supporti... on 5/1/11
For an agency that's always whining about lack of taxpayer funding to provide basic and essential mental health services, MHMR-TC sure does dole out a lot of money. To NAMI-TC, MHA, Mental Health Connection, DBSA, and the newly launched web information site, which is redundant since MHA is supposed to be the official information and referral "clearinghouse" for mental health matters. And MHMR-TC's mouthpieces dared try in earlier blog comments claim that their improper and hostile takeover of the consumer-run Paradise Center was due to b7dgetary constraints? Of course, after that goofy excuse was shot down they went on and tried other silly excuses. The constant was the mean spirited personal attacks on the Resistance and individual supporters from an innocent child to gravely ill individuals. These are major signs of a sickly organization. The sickness hurts 1,400 +employees and thousands of clients and their families and friends. Of course, other parts of the local healthcare See more...
By JPS administrator on Anonymous Research Into the MHMR-TC Relationship W... on 5/1/11
That shoddy letter does show very little regard for the PEOPLE who were upset and/or confused by the disappearance of their organizational leaders and apparently their beloved professional staff person. Another side of this guy's arrogance and self-centeredness is reflected in the statement about supporting consumer activities over the past 25 years. The number just happen to coincide with his tenure at MHMR-TC. He's saying that in the 17 years before his rule MHMR of Tarrant county did NOT support consumer activities. What other distortions has the guy committed? If he and his team were working in the private sector, they would have been suspended and/or fired a long time ago once the scandal was exposed. But unfortunately for the taxpayers and the people living with mental illness, they rule over a bureaucracy in a morally challenged community.
By Anonymous on A Harris County Advocate Weighs In On The Removal ... on 5/1/11

I stopped by to drop off some donation at the new Paradise Center last week and was pleased to see about a dozen of the leaders and members busily trimming the hedges and putting things that had been boxed up. They looked very happy and said that they really like the new place very much, especially with the freedom from MHMR in terms of their use of the facility. Teresa Davis wasn't there because she and a couple of leaders were meeting with lawyers I was told. The leaders also reported that as an organization NAMI of Tarrant County has not even contacted them at all. But various members have, some have been quietly providing support all along, which is a good sign that all's not lost for the advocacy organization. Despite all the shock, pain, and betrayals these people have endured they seem very resilient and united. And very optimistic about the future.
By The G Family on You Can Now Visit The Paradise Center Website & Ma... on 4/30/11
It looks like Tony and Lynn got "outed" by their mhmr puppetmasters. You two clients may believe the b.s. those manipulators have been feeding you about how important you are and all, but the truth is they're using you for their own purposes. You're no "manager" to them. You are the mental patients who are well enough for them to use as "peer leaders", meaning you're the leaders of your peers , the very disabled people with mental illness that they're trying to profit off through Medicaid. You're in much worse shape than they even think IF YOU CAN'T SEE WHAT'S HAPPENING AROUND YOU DAILY OVER THE PAST SEVERAL WEEKS. In a way many of us feel bad for you since your abusive behavior is the result of manipulation by the mhmr executives in the hot seats right now. Still, mental illness is not an excuse for nasty words and destructive actions.
By Hulen Tower Pros on Comment Problems & A Tiny Pool Table at the Former... on 4/30/11
That letter right there shows the lack of feeling this dude has for the people who are sick with brain diseases. They are just numbers, "phases", and the means to building his own power as the big fish in the little pond that is Tarrant county. The women executives shown scampering around like trapped mice on the news report couldn't share the message with the consumer because we heard they were too busy going through Theresa's office and personal items. And the Clients Rights guy was too busy coaching the BRAVO people on the mhmr-tc way. I'm glad my son now goes to JPS for his psych treatment because these people just cannot be trusted to do even basic tasks properly. After all this, I want to know why are they still there? I would have gone to their Trustees meeting to ask but those people are in withn the gang that can't shoot straight.
By Dan the dad on A Harris County Advocate Weighs In On The Removal ... on 4/30/11
Many of us MHMR-TC employees are anxiously waiting to see the legal attacks from the Paradise Center group and Teresa Davis because it looks like that will be the final push needed to clean house inside MHMR-TC. Sadly for us minorities, it looks like the legal route is necessary since there's no political will or moral backbone in this community. However things turn out, the courageous resistance to tyranny by Teresa and Paradise gave many hope and weakened the superficial perception of power that this crooked CEO had promoted, with precious tax dollars and public trust. Actually there's some whispering that BRAVO Health might take the lead in forcing the dishonest CEO and his incompetent cronies out since these people have cost the corporation millions of dollars and precious PR points.
By Kevin on A Harris County Advocate Weighs In On The Removal ... on 4/29/11
One organization that has flown under the radar in this abuse of mental health consumers is the Mental Health Association (MHA) of Tarrant county. This organization is a chapter of the national Mental Health America. They. have a lot of money and political. connections. Not unlike the McDermott mhmr agency. Why has this mental health consumer advocacy organization kept silent as the wholely consumer-run organization Paradise Center was bullied and abused by the McDermottites? We venture to guess that it is probably infected by McDermottitis as well.
By scandal watchers on A Harris County Advocate Weighs In On The Removal ... on 4/29/11

Jim McDermott and his puppets in the form of NAMI-TC have been caught in a major lie. What else have these people not told the truth about?
By Anonymous on A Harris County Advocate Weighs In On The Removal ... on 4/29/11
Friends in the Tarrant county area just told us that Melissa Gibbons is busy working on getting her 25% bonus money for helping with the NAMI Walks fundraiser six months down the road. She's offering some gimmicky tote bag to get people to sign up early as "captains". We guess she's trying to justify her twenty hours per week AT $20/hour. Now that's monetizing off a good volunteer cause. We've organized major events for church, scouts, and PTA over the years but never considered getting paid for something we would do as volunteers. Especially not at around 300% of minimum wage, which would be what mental health consumers would get paid if they're able to go to work. It's ironic because all the money switching accounts between MHMR-TC+BRAVO and NAMI-TC don't really benefit the people suffering from mental illness at all. At least BRAVO Health doesn't try to pass itself off as anything more than a profit-driven organization. Honesty is what's in short supply down your way, not money or government funding.
By Anonymous on A Harris County Advocate Weighs In On The Removal ... on 4/29/11

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Life of the New Paradise Center Continues to Improve while MHMR's Drop-In Center Does Not

During the course of events known as the Paradise Center Scandal the sources of information have come via email, blog comments and phone calls. Some have told me information and asked that it not be blogged, quite yet.

Yesterday I got two emails with some interesting information. And someone who helped Paradise Center make its move to their new location sent me pictures of the group having fun setting up their new place, including pictures of the infamous POD.

I'll stick some of the pictures in this blog post for your viewing pleasure and the two emails I just referred to.

The first email, from someone anonymous, is an update on the ongoing process of getting the new Paradise Center up and running, along with a bit of info about how the old "Drop-In" center is doing...

We are getting everything set up and ready for our friends.  We've heard sad reports about the Drop In Center:  limited activities, determined by the staff.  Quiet is the rule now.  No loud fun. Word is spreading about the new Paradise Center location; we had 20 people one day last week.

The next email, also from an anonymous someone, might help wise up MHMR and Jim McDermott as to how this entire sad situation might have played out without a scandal.....

Look at this site.  It is an upfront way of doing what MHMR tried to do in a sneaky, profitable way.  They took the consumer-run organization, Paradise Center, completely out of the equation. 

This is a power point presentation at the New York Psychosocial Rehab Conference.  I've attended one in Atlanta.  These guys are on the cutting edge of what is going on in the mental health consumer world.

Anyway, it's a pretty self-explanatory presentation about how some consumer-run groups are choosing to partner with HMO's in order to be self-sustaining (instead of relying on donations, grants, etc.). 

This is what COULD have happened, had we known that Bravo was even looking to add this service. 

But Dr. McDermott, and the other MHMR folks, don't think that our little group of people are smart enough to take on something like that. 

They have to think for us, you know, since we're all mentally ill.  And they make choices for us, too.  We forgot to do our part and sit in the corner and drool.

If you did not already know, you can now go to the Paradise Center website and make a donation. I've been asked more times than I can count how one can make a donation to the Paradise Center. Just click on this paragraph and you will be brought to the webpage where you can make a donation.