NY TBI Waiver: Not Always Health or Care

I’ve been living in a new county in New York for four months now and I am still waiting for the TBI Waiver’s RRDC (Regional Resource Development Center), the contract employee of the state’s Department of Health that represents the DOH and oversees those who provide waiver services and waiver service recipients, like myself, in a particular region, to approve my service plan.

Not a surprise, though it should be.

Now, to say the the state’s DOH has been anything but impressive in it’s management of the waiver of late is an understatement. Let’s add another fact to the mix. The RRDC in my area is STIC,  the Southern Tier Independence Center in Binghamton.  Have you read about them before in this blog? Of course you have. They’re the ones who hired Timothy J. Feeney of fictitious college degree fame to play a major role in STIC’s new contract for the Neurobehavioral Project linked to, wait for it, the TBI Waiver.  When STIC’s executive director, Maria Dibble, was notified that Feeney’s claim to have a valid masters and doctorate was bogus, it apparently didn’t matter.

Is it any wonder there is some inexplicable delay in signing my service plan? I am waiting for a discharge from the waiver notice any day now claiming that somehow the brain injury I live with has, what, gotten better? In truth, it debilitating impact on my life has increased dramatically. But I don’t expect that matters to some either.

As a side note, or perhaps not so side note, it is also worth noting that I’ve yet to receive a decision from my Fair Hearing held on December 1, 2010, a Fair Hearing in which we sought to reverse the DOH’s denial of my request for a life alert and white noise machines given the increase in sound sensitivity I live with. And hey, this month is an anniversary of sorts, given that it is now one year since we first asked for them.

Like I said, the TBI Waiver is not always healthcare because sometimes it lacks commitment to health and sure as hell lacks care.

Feeney Facts Plain and Simple

It is  amazing how stone cold facts sometimes get a bit foggy,  or so some would hope. So, I thought I’d lift the fog a bit.

Fact: Timothy J. Feeney continues to say he has a valid PhD and a valid Masters Degree when he doesn’t.

Fact: The Southern Tier Independence Center in Binghamton New York may well get the contract from the New York State Department of Health to be the Statewide Neurobehavioral Project for New York’s Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver.

Fact: All indications are Southern Tier has every intention of giving the work, once again because they did it before, to Feeney and his team. 

Fact: The New York State Department of Health and the Southern Tier Independence Center are fully aware of  Feeney’s bogus degrees and both parties have received communication from brain injury survivors, family members and, in some cases, providers, asking to be protected from having Feeney and his company in their lives. Some providers have said they will stop providing services if Feeney returns.

Fact: If the Southern Tier Independence Center gets the contract and gives work to Feeney and the state doesn’t step up and stop this from happening that means that the Southern Tier Independence Center and the NY State DOH are okay with a dishonest and unqualified individual impacting the lives of the 2700 or so brain injury survivors on the waiver, their families, and the dozens of honorable healthcare providers trying to provide waiver services.

Fact: If the last Fact were to happen, it would mean Southern Tier and the State are not putting the survivors, their families, and the providers first.  And, by the way, it would mean both parties are sticking  it to the taxpayers because it is taxpayer dollars that would foot the bill, and taxpayers deserve honesty too.

Fact: The Kahrmann Advocacy Coalition, whose membership will soon be larger than that of the prestigious Brain Injury Association of NY State, is paying close attention, which is fairly relevant since the coalition was founded by brain injury survivors and their loved ones, they very people all the aforementioned parties say they care about.


In Fairness to STIC

The Southern Tier Independence Center in Binghamton New York is in line to get the contract for the Neurobehavioral Project for the state’s Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver. If history has it’s way, they will give the work to Timothy J. Feeney and his staff. That would be a terrible mistake.

However, it is important that fairness is given to STIC and, by all accounts, its remarkable leader, Maria Dibble. One cannot assume (remember the Odd Couple joke) that Ms. Dibble and STIC have been made fully aware of all the untenable realities linked to Feeney.

But now STIC knows. This writer and others have provided Ms. Dibble and STIC with a plethora of documentation that reveals, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Mr. Feeney’s claims to have a PhD and a Masters degree are bogus. Both degrees, as the several thousand readers of this blog already know, were issued by Greenwich University, a now defunct diploma mill off the coast of Australia. In fact, one of the bogus degrees issued Mr. Feeney by Greenwich was issued before the diploma  mill before it moved from the American west coast to Norfolk Island off of Australia.

Now, STIC is aware.

STIC has also been made aware that Mr. Feeney has contracted with at least one public school district, the Fort Ann School District in Washington County, and is again presenting himself as Dr. Feeney or Timothy Feeney PhD. STIC has also been made aware that Feeney’s company’s voicemail already says they (not STIC) are under contract with the DOH as the Neurobehavioral Project when two things are true, the contract is not signed and were it signed, it would be with STIC, not Feeney’s company.

There’s more, and there’s more because all I hear of Maria Dibble and STIC is positive and she and they deserve all the facts. Some have already reached out to STIC about their concerns and STIC has been informed that some providers of services under the waiver will drop out if Feeney and his company are in any way involved.

For STIC, or anyone for that matter, to give the work to Feeney and his people now would be to somehow approve of the fact he misrepresents his credentials to families, consumers, providers and, in the case of the schools he is involved with, children. There have been complaints filed against him as a result of his actions at Fort Ann already.

Now STIC and Maria Dibble are aware of the facts, and they are honorable folks and I would like to think will do the honorable thing.

To give the work to Feeney, who is already misrepresenting himself even more on his new resume where claims, for example, that he is a “Registered psychologist (temporary)” in Victoria, Australia, resulted in this response from Linda Jen, the Senior Registration Officer for the Psychologists Registration Board of Victoria:  “Our records indicate that Timothy Feeney is not registered with the Psychologists Registration Board of Victoria. However, I am unsure what you mean by “temporary” registration?”

So again, it is another misrepresentation by Feeney. Now STIC and Maria Dibble do know the facts.  For them to work with Feeney now would mean that in some way STIC and Maria Dibble are comfortable working with someone who continues to misrepresent himself to consumers, children, professionals, and, perhaps in this case, the very agency that was going to give him work.

Were Feeney and his company given the work, then it would certainly appear to be a tail wagging the dog scenario, meaning Feeney, not STIC and Ms. Dibble, is calling the shots.