Who Pressured NY DOH into Bringing Back a Clinical Predator?

Someone must have pressured the New York State Department of Health to enter into a contract that allows a clinical predator back into the lives of brain injury survivors, their families and those who provide services to them. Some political favor or debt has called in, someone with some pull who clearly cares absolutely nothing about brain injury survivors.

I make this observation because it is the only thing that makes sense. There are some truly good people working at the DOH who really do care about brain injury survivors. But who among them (or anyone for that matter) can say with a straight face that they are comfortable with the department’s entering into a contract that allows Timothy J. Feeney, who by all accounts is nothing but a full-blown narcissist, back into the lives of those of us living with brain injuries.

There are some good people at the DOH and I dare say many would be forced to bite deep into their tongues in order to get themselves to say, “I think it is fine that someone who lies about his credentials to everyone provides services related to the TBI Waiver.” Don’t forget, Feeney and his company are already an approved provider of waiver services which makes one wonder what will be done about the obvious conflict of interest now that the clinical predators are back as the “neurobehavioral project.”  But Feeney doesn’t stop there. Let’s not forget that only this week Feeney was up in Washington County’s Fort Ann School District working with disabled children, never mind that school officials know his credentials are bogus. So much for putting children first.

A DOH official who  I will not name said the DOH has been assured by Maria Dibble, the executive director of the Southern Tier Independence Center, the recipient of the more than $250,000 contract that will hand the work to Feeney, that the provisions of the contract will be carried out in the highest professional manner. As presented, Ms. Dibble’s reassurance would actually be funny were it not so morally and clinically troubling – not too mention absent any relationship to  reality. How on earth can you provide quality services when you know the person providing them is lying about their credentials?

An email asking Ms. Dibble to explain STIC’s support for Feeney has gone unanswered.

Back to the question of the day. Who is pulling the strings? Is it solely a coincidence that Patricia Greene Gumson, a former DOH employee and Feeney supporter used to work at STIC? Sources have made it clear that both Ms. Gumson and current DOH employee Bruce Rosen had the reality of Feeney’s invalid college degrees brought to their attention and they did nothing about it.  There is no doubt that Gumson and Rosen did some admirable things over the years, no doubt at all. But this truth does not spare them accountability for supporting a clinical predator who likes to call himself “the angel of death” and has been known to be a bully. I’ve heard him refer to himself like this and the late Dr. Mark Ylvisaker often referenced Feeney’s penchant for this macabre moniker.

But back to the question at hand. Who pulled the strings for Feeney? To where or to whom does the corruption thread lead? One possible clue would be to watch which provider Feeney buddies up with.

Anyway, the truth will out.

 

Feeney, the White House, Editors, Elected Officials & Criminal Investigations

If New York State enters into a contract allowing Timothy J. Feeney to once again impact the lives of survivors of brain injury and those who provide services to them, several things will take place. Before I get to them, let’s review some of the facts.

  • Fact: For more 15 years now Timothy J. Feeney has misrepresented his educational credentials to New York State Officials, people with brain injuries of all ages, children with disabilities, educational institutions and healthcare providers.
  • Fact: Feeney’s so-called PhD and so-called Masters Degree were issued by Greenwich University, a now defunct diploma mill whose degrees are not recognized as valid anywhere in the world.
  • Fact: The New York State Department of Health now knows Feeney has misrepresented and continues to misrepresent his credentials.
  • Fact: STIC (the Southern Tier Independence Living Center), the provider likely to be awarded the contract and give the work to Feeney and his people, has been fully informed of Feeney’s past and present misrepresentations.
  • Fact: STIC and the New York State Department of Health have been informed that Feeney is under contract with the Fort Ann Central School District in New York’s Washington County to work with children (children!) with disabilities , where he is again misrepresenting himself in the process. Fort Ann has been informed as well and has continued working with Feeney; so much for putting the children first.
  • Fact: If Feeney is part of the contract he will be getting paid in taxpayer dollars, Medicaid dollars which means your money and mine will be paying a dishonest individual.

If New York State enters into any contract which allows Feeney to be part of the Statewide Neurobehavioral Project, an entity that wields enormous power over the lives of survivors of brain injury and their families as well as those who provide services to them, then New York and STIC are making it clear they have no respect for people with brain injuries. Why on earth should those of us who live with brain injuries have to deal with someone who lies about who they are? Someone who is unqualified?

And what was the dysfunctional thinking and the behind the scenes backslapping that went on that led to the decision to contract with someone everyone knows is a fraud? What did not go on behind the scenes was any real concern for those of us who live with brain injuries, our loved ones, and the honest healthcare providers that do give a damn. What did not go on was any respect whatsoever for the hard-earned taxpayer dollars that will pay Feeney and his crew.

Back to what  will take place should Feeney and his people be involved in the contract.

  • Letters will be written to the editors of all daily newspapers in New York State and neighboring states detailing the actions of the State and Feeney and STIC.
  • Letters will be sent out to a wide array of State and Federal officials, including President Obama, Healthcare Secretary Sibelius, as well as various members of law enforcement given that historically Feeney has interacted with the judicial system again misrepresenting himself in the process.
  • Last, but by no means least, letters will be sent to CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services), the Federal Agency the oversees the spending of Medicaid and Medicare dollars in all states, and an agency that will not be pleased to here New York has knowingly entered into a contract with someone they know is misrepresenting his credentials.

The ball is in the court of the State and STIC. We’ll see what happens.

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Tim Feeney, John Mccooey & NY State DOH

Sources say Belvedere Brain Injury Program owner John Mccooey may be behind an effort to get Tim Feeney another contract with the New York State Department of Health to again oversee the Neurobehavioral Project for the state.  State officials are looking into the matter. Belvedere has sites in Albany and Syracuse.

Tim Feeney had three consecutive five-year contracts with the NY DOH to oversee the Neurobehavioral Project despite the fact his doctorate and masters degrees are bogus, not recognized as valid anywhere in the world. In his last years under contract, Feeney and Mccooey worked closely to develop a substance abuse program for Belvedere that, sources say, continues to deny participants choice and in some instances locks the doors when workshops begin, telling participants they will not be allowed back in if they have to use the bathroom or go for a drink of water.

Feeney is currently under contract with the Fort Ann School District in Washington County New York  to work with children, including children with disabilities and is again representing himself as Dr. Feeney or Tim Feeney PhD. School officials, including Fort Ann School Superintendent Maureen VanBuren, have been told about his bogus degrees but it seems they are continuing to work with Feeney anyway, the welfare of the children be damned.

Some Background

On more than once occasion I have been asked what led me to investigate and  Feeney’s credentials, or, as it turned out, his lack thereof.  Some think it is because when I was forced out of Belvedere, John Mccooey said Feeney made him do it. First of all, by the time Mccooey told me that he had about as much right to claim the mantel of honesty as Willie Sutton had to a job as bank manager. Mccooey’s finger pointing at Feeney is not what led me to investigate the on again off again rumors that Feeney’s credentials were, in a word I feel comfortable using in this blog, bullshit. What led me to investigate his credentials was a change in his, Feeney’s, pattern of behavior.

One of the things they teach you in behavior management is that a change in a person’s common behavior pattern means something. In 2007 it had become clear that my advocating for the rights of those participating in Belvedere’s Albany substance abuse program was going nowhere. Participants were being talked to in degrading ways by Belvedere employee Michael Loiselle, they were being denied choice as provided for in the regulations and in their rights as human beings, and John Mccooey was doing nothing about it. At the time I had a close relationship with Pat Green Gumson and Bruce Rosen in the Department of Health. I reached out and let them know that there were real problems and something needed to be done. Feeney and his crew were sent in to deal with the problems. Historically, when the DOH caught wind of participants being denied their rights, they corrected things. Not this time.

This time the punitive rights-denying behavior of Belvedere was supported. There had been a change in Feeney and the DOH’s  normal pattern of behavior.

And so now we are looking at the possibility of Feeney being reinstated and a dysfunctional company owner named John Mccooey being involved.

Equal Rights Will Prevail

Yes, it is disheartening to encounter people like Mccooey and Feeney who apparently see people with disabilities as a way to make money and make themselves feel big and strong (both men are wimps, by the way). But do not give up. There are in fact, some good people in the New York State Department of Health and there are some truly good people in the advocacy community who offer more than simply lip service to the cause of equal rights. I can tell you that in those rare moments when I get down, I remember Mandela, King, Elie Wiesel, Simon Wiesenthal, Rosa Parks, Gloria Steinem and countless others; God knows they paid heavier dues than I have. So no, I will never give up and I hope you won’t either.

Make Your Voices Heard

If you share my concerns you can make your voices heard by calling the complaint line at the Brain Injury Association of NY State – 518-459-7911 – the Commission on Quality of Care at 518-388-2887 or the DOH at 518-474-6580 or you can write to the Kahrmann Advocacy Coalition at kahrma1@gmail.com

Keep the faith.

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Feeney Again – This Time Targeting Children

This time it’s children.

Timothy J. Feeney has contracted with the Fort Ann Central School District in New York’s Washington County to work with children with behavioral issues, including, but not limited to, children with autism. In his contract with the district and in the resume he presented to the district, Mr. Feeney represents himself as having a valid PhD and masters degree and he doesn’t. District Superintendent Maureen VanBuren and district school members have been informed, but to date there is no reason to believe the district has severed its contract with Mr. Feeney.

I am not unique when I lay claim to a special form of disgust and anger when I see children being targeted. To portray yourself as Dr. Feeney or Tim Feeney PhD and then impact the lives of children, including children with disabilities no less, is both unconscionable and potentially dangerous for this child.

Apparently Feeney has no problem misleading the public, and one has to wonder about his staff as well, given the fact since it was revealed in 2008 that he is misrepresenting his credentials. Staff members Melissa Capo, Paul Akers and James Feeney were with him at the time. Feeney’s company website certainly wants you to think he is Dr. Feeney. It is no surprise that nowhere does he mention Greenwich University in his bio.

Mr. Feeney’s PhD and Masters were issued by a now defunct diploma mill called Greenwich University, pretty much a by-mail course since Greenwich University was located on Norfolk Island off the coast of Australia. When Mr. Feeney took advantage of its services he was living in New York.

The Australian Government was so concerned about Greenwich it formerly issued an alert

If Feeney’s website’s claim that he “travels the world over speaking to audiences about collaborative supports for individuals with brain injury, autism and related disorders, and individuals with challenging behaviors” appears accurate. One has to wonder what impact he has. After all, he is misrepresenting his credentials to families and their children, around the world.

According to District Superintendent VanBuren, the district has no specific policy to vet potential contract employees. You would think the parents and community would be up in arms over this. There is no excuse on God’s green earth for putting children at risk.

Mr. Feeney did not respond to a written request for comment.

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