On the one hand you have New York State Department of Health officials who will proclaim their commitment to making sure brain injury survivors in New York receive the best services possible under the TBI Medicaid Waiver. But the DOH signs a contract with Southern Tier Independence Center in Binghamton knowing full well STIC will hand the work to a clinical predator like Tim Feeney who prances about proclaiming he has college degrees he doesn’t have.
Then you have STIC, the Southern Tier Independence Center and their executive director Maria Dibble who would no doubt proclaim their loyalty to people with disabilities, yet Dibble and STIC have no problem giving work to a man they know lies about his credentials to the very people STIC and Dibble claim to care about.
At least the DOH has enough respect for a consumer led advocacy coalition to sit down with us and while some of their position related to the Feeney debacle is, in a word, indefensible, there are other things the DOH is doing that are admirable. Not so STIC and Dibble and sure as hell not so Feeney, all of whom simply ignore requests for answers for the consumer led advocacy coalition.
I’m in the early strides of penning a book about my experience as a brain injury survivor as well as my experience working in the field. Feeney and his enablers are certainly great examples of yet another reality dramatically wrong with the health care system. Just as troubling are those who go along with the ruse. NYSARC again hiring Feeney for a presentation knowing damn well he is a fake.
Soon a round of interviews will begin, with elected officials, law enforcement officials, DOH officials and many more. Meanwhile, it appears time to do all I can to bring the media in on this. In addition to inflicting Feeney and his enablers on men and women (and for Feeney, children too) with disabilities, there is more than a quarter million in state dollars being paid to the contract that pays Feeney and his crew.
For any advocacy group to not take a public stand against this means, by default, they are standing for it.
As Dante Alighieri said, “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality.”