Coward defends McDevitt's 5 yr contract as head of largest LME in NC,Smoky Mountain Center LME : YOU CAN KISS MH SERVICES IN WESTERN NC GOODBYE
If I lived in one of those old counties, and if I was a commissioner there, I'd be documenting all the denials of services with the expecation that NOTHING WILL CHANGE UNTIL 2013, when McDevitt's contract expires.
THERE ARE NO THERAPY SERVICES AVAILABLE TO STATE FUNDED CLIENTS UNDER THE LARGEST LME IN NC, SMOKY MOUNTAIN CENTER LME, AS ALL THERAPY COMES UNDER COMMUNITY SUPPORT SERVICES.
What's the problem w/ that?
*Meridian Behavioral Health Services which spun out of SMC LME and is headed up by former SMC retired employee, Joe Ferraro, is being awarded the lion's share of the MH work. Meridian is manned mostly by non-professionals who are paid $10/ hour in order to do what professionals formerly did.
*qualified professionals are required to undergo 20+ hours of non-paid, unnecessary training in order to offer therapy under CSS, something they were well trained to do in their doctoral programs
*Medicaid post payment reviews at the hands of SMC LME's Utilization Review Department manager, Charles Barry, is punitive and attempts to silence the complainers
*Steve Puckett, PhD, the clinical manager, disallows any therapy services for state funded clients by employing punitive, unnecessary overviewing of 20 page Person centered Plans that should be acceptable for the miserable nunmber of therapy hours allowed by SMC LME
*no one who knows what SMC LME has been up do wants ANYTHING to do w/ SMC LME.
*and CSS is being constantly defunded (another reduction 2 weeks ago to no more than 8 hours/ week, which includes case management)
Nice timing, Tom McDevitt (head of SMC LME for the past 8 years and continuing on, along w/ his daughter in medical records and his wife who manages the real estate: you waited until the northern counties, eager to curry favor and vote for you, came on board so they could out-vote the older counties WHO KNOW THE STORY OF HOW MH SERVICES ARE SUB-STANDARD UNDER SME LME.
week of 7.30.08
Divided board OKs mental health director’s contract
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer
"...(SMC LME) board attorney Jay Coward said that wasn’t necessary. Any board decision to terminate McDevitt would be up for interpretation and would probably be contested in a court of law anyway, regardless of whether there was more clarification in the contract.
McDevitt took issue with the vagueness of the interpretation of what it meant to fail to act in the Smoky Center’s best interest.
“I think it’s so vague and ambiguous that anything I don’t do in the satisfaction of the board gives them reason to terminate my employment,” he said. He said an independent party, like a court of law, should be in charge of evaluating whether he acted in the best interest of the organization.
Ironically, McDevitt came under fire at the last board meeting for the same thing he was protesting. At that time, McDevitt attempted to amend the bylaws by including a phrase allowing for the termination of a board member at any time if they expressed negativity or criticism toward Smoky Mountain Center. The board protested and the phrase was removed.
During the meeting to approve the contract, board members raised questions about some of McDevitt’s practices. Smoky Mountain Center’s nepotism policy was a topic of concern. McDevitt’s daughter is employed by the organization, and some questioned whether she received special treatment.
McDevitt defended her employment, saying her position in medical record disposal was temporary and would be finished within eight weeks. He said the nepotism policy had become somewhat lax because of the difficulty of finding qualified employees, and that far from receiving special treatment, his daughter is the lowest paid employee in the agency.
The fact that the daughter’s position was temporary was news to Enloe.
“Never had it been mentioned to me before that it was a temporary job that would be ending,” she said.
Enloe asked about the involvement of McDevitt’s wife, who is a Realtor, in the sale of property owned by the Smoky Mountain Center.
“When Smoky sells or buys property, what real estate firm or agent handles that?” she asked.
McDevitt responded that the organization doesn’t own any property. Enloe then asked whether McDevitt’s wife was in any way involved in property transactions for the organization.
McDevitt said his wife is a Realtor with Main Street Realty, in Waynesville, though not a broker, and that “she’s been involved in assisting the foundation and purchasing properties.” The Evergreen Foundation is the private arm of the Smoky Mountain Center that owns the organization’s assets. McDevitt said that Enloe’s question was “answered in the affirmative at this point.”