Mccooey & Feeney Now Targeting Children

If you’re looking for integrity and honesty in business leadership you’d be well advised to avoid the likes of John Mccooey and Timothy J. Feeney. If you’re looking for honesty and integrity in healthcare, healthcare for your children, then, when it comes to Feeney and Mccooey you might want to crawl under a rock. Wait, better not. Under a rock is exactly where you’re likely to find Mccooey and Feeney. They head-up an Albany-based company called  OB2L (Overcoming Barriers to Learning) .

Readers of this blog know that in 2008 this writer revealed that Timothy J. Feeney had for years misrepresented his education credentials to all comers. While Feeney has a legitimate bachelor’s degree, his so-called masters and PhD were issued by a now defunct diploma mill called Greenwich University that operated on Norfolk island off the coast of Australia before closing its doors. GU was a non-accredited diploma mill whose degrees have never been recognized as valid anywhere on planet earth. The Australian government issued an alert about GU.

None of this has stopped Mccooey and Feeney from joining forces and targeting children with disabilities on a website that lists Feeney as Timothy J. Feeney, PhD. Both Mccooey and Feeney know this claim is untrue but that hasn’t stopped them from targeting children with autism, fetal alcohol syndrome, traumatic brain injury, substance abuse issues, mental illness, ADHD and reactive attachment disorder.

What’s equally curious and deeply disturbing is the website’s claim that this company has worked with 130 school districts around the world.

Will they get away with it? We’ll see. New York State only offers title protection, meaning one can’t claim to be a social worker, doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist without the necessary degrees from accredited institutions. My guess is the Feeney-Mccooey duo is trying to thread the needle by saying the former has a PhD. We’ll see how far it gets them.

One last note. When I met Mccooey in 2001 he told me that at one time in his life he was thinking of becoming a monk. I suspect there are at least two reasons he did not pursue this.  You can’t live a life revolving around making money and shoring up a fragile ego as a monk and, in order to be a monk, you have to be in possession of a conscience.

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NYS DOH ends contract with Feeney

It seems the efforts of this pen, the Kahrmann Advocacy Coalition, and others have finally paid off. Sources say the NYS Department of Health has cancelled its contract with Timothy J. Feeney et al effective the end of this month.

This writer revealed in 2008 that Mr. Feeney  misrepresents his educational credentials. He claims to have a valid masters degree and PhD when he has neither. Over the past three years this writer along with other real advocates – not the lip-service advocates in the state who seek headlines based on words not actions – have worked hard to have Mr. Feeney removed from his post in the Statewide Neurobehavioral Project, a group that was affiliated with the state’s Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver. Sources say the DOH has terminated the contract in its entirety.

Those who know me well, I mean really know me well, know I take no pleasure in Mr. Feeney’s demise nor in the demise of the other staff that worked in the project. However, like all of us, they are accountable for their choices. I am, however, very glad that survivors of brain injuries on the TBI Waiver, their families, and the many truly good providers of waiver services will no longer have to deal with Mr. Feeney. Life with brain damage is tough enough, dealing with dishonest people at the same time you are trying to learn how to manage life makes it all the tougher.

I have little doubt Mr. Feeney will continue to misrepresent himself in any venue he can. Hopefully others will be pick up where the DOH  left off and require he be honest or remove him from the field.

The NYS DOH has very little to be proud of when it comes to its oversight of the TBI Waiver; however, it can be proud of the decision to end the contract.

Answering a Reader’s Questions

Recently a reader posted the following comment to an August 12, 2008 blog essay about my mother’s suicide called Dusty Stones: Notes On A Suicide. The well thought out comment reads as follows: 

  • The New York State Education Department, Division of Professional Licensing, establishes ethical guidelines for the practice of the professions it monitors and regulates.
  • What are their guidelines in this important and delicate area?
  • Was this Therapist actually licensed by the New York State Education Department and subject to its disciplinary authority and review?

The were no doubt related to Fred Drobin, the psychotherapist who worked with my mother and, the day after her suicide, told me he had to end our phone conversation because his dinner was getting cold.

Here is my response to this reader, whose comment and questions are deeply appreciated. The reader is right that the New York State Education Department, Division of Professional Licensing, establishes ethical guidelines for the practice of the professions it monitors and regulates. The problem is New York, like most states, only has what’s called title protection, meaning you can’t call yourself a social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist, etc., without certain education credentials and you must be licensed by State Ed.

The problem in the case of folks like Drobin and the poster-boy for misrepresentation, Tim Feeney, is you can call yourself a psychotherapist or behavior specialist or life coach and more and because none of these titles are included in the list of those that fall under the title-protection umbrella, you can pretty much get away with it.

Equally disturbing is the fact there are only something like eight or nine states in the country that make it a criminal offense to misrepresent your education credentials, and in these states the crime is only a misdemeanor.

Drobin continues to practice as a psychotherapist in Nyack, New York and Feeney has essentially been hired to work with brain injury survivors for the state. Like I said, the rules are frayed and lax and the cost to the lives of many is brutally high.

Ethics Welcome (Needed!) in NY State

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s directive that his staff along with top officials undergo ethics training is a breath of fresh air. There is nothing like fresh air to displace the pollution of unethical behavior, the stench of the latter being no more pronounced than it is in the way the state’s department of health manages the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Waiver.

I can’t imagine the  governor will be at pleased when he hears the DOH and their contract employees continue to present Timothy J. Feeney as being Dr. Feeney or Timothy J. Feeney PhD. despite the demand for ethics from the new administration. In fact, I suspect he will be angry. And, in all likelihood, not surprised. As Bloomberg news recently reported,  “New York’s legislature has fought off efforts to require disclosure of the amount and source of their outside income and be subject to an independent commission with the power to monitor and enforce ethics rules” so the unethical behavior coming out of the DOH is not new news.

Recently, Joan Barbieri, Long Island’s lead Regional Resource Development Specialist for the TBI Waiver sent out an email to waiver providers telling them at their  “February 16, 2011 Provider meeting Dr. Timothy Feeney Program Director from the Neurobehavioral Resource Project at Wildwood Institute will be in attendance and discussing the program." Not only is he not a doctor (the only valid college degree he does have is a bachelors) he is also no longer connected to Wildwood. I sent an email to the providers letting them know the information they were given was false. While providers need to be ethical, they bloody well deserve honesty and ethical behavior from the others.

Additional emails have also been sent to the DOH, Barbieri, and Maria Dibble, the executive director of the Southern Tier Independence Center (STIC). STIC subcontracts to Feeney knowing full well he lies about his credentials. No response from any of’m. Let me end this missive here.  Thought it might be nice to end without a surprise.

It’s the Ethnic Cleansing, Stupid: Part II

Max unfolds his Daily News for the umpteenth time and says, “They’re cutting all the subsidies.”

“Yankees lost again,”  Mort says, seeing the sports headline.

Martha looks at Mort, then Max, says, “They don’t care my brother. They’re denying services and cutting subsidies all over the place.”

Young woman twirling her coffee cup on the table top says, “This one dude on the waiver had to move, landlord needed the house for family, something like that, and because he stayed with a friend for a few weeks till he found his next place, they fucked him out of his rent and utility subsidies.”

Dolly says, “Where’s all the money going?”

Max folds his Daily News and slips it under his right arm, presses it tight against his chest. “The rent and utility subsidy is state money. Some of it’s going to Feeney.”

“The messianic little shit,” Martha says. “He’s still bullshittin’ planet earth about his college degrees, D-O-H doesn’t give a shit.”

“Brain Injury Association doesn’t either. You didn’t hear a peep out of them when his bullshit degrees became public,” Max says. “But that ain’t even the point. Think about this. They all march around saying how much they give a shit about us, but what happens. They’re throwin’ people off the waiver left and right, sending them into the streets with no housing help claiming they have no money, but they sign a contract  that’s throw’n more’n a quarter million state money to that asshole Feeney. You imagine how many folks could get housing help with that money?”

Dolly, tearing up again, says, “The fix is in.”