Monday, March 09, 2009

Secretary Cansler: request 4 public records assoc. with Center Pointe LME (mental health LME in eastern NC) assoc w/ creation of 14% Medicaid bed hosp

Marsha V. Hammond, PhD: Clinical Licensed Psychologist, NC
---------------------Asheville, NC 28806
E mail: cell: 404 964 5338
Fax: 828 -------------

March 9, 2009

RE: release of public documents

Dear Secretary of NC DHHS, Mr. Cansler:

The purpose of this letter is to request a release of public information as pertaining to three sets of information (see below). I understand that there may be some copying charges and I am glad to pay for this if you would advise me. My cell phone is above as is my address. I ask for the release of these records as pertaining to this matter:

GS 132 (b) The public records and public information compiled by the agencies of North Carolina government or its subdivisions are the property of the people. Therefore, it is the policy of this State that the people may obtain copies of their public records and public information free or at minimal cost unless otherwise specifically provided by law.

These are the public records I would like released.

Item 1: Center Pointe LME CFAC minutes prior to 8.2.07 and after 6.12.08.

Specific to the minutes of the Center Pointe LME CFAC meetings, it seems to me that they need to be online available to citizens of NC. As per Leza Wainwright’s e mail to me 1.2.2008 (see below), it seems that I should contact Ann Remington. However, when I call NC DHHS and try to obtain her name via the Directory, after hours, Ann Remington is not listed and therefore I assume she no longer works at NC DHHS. I am, nevertheless, sending her an e mail at the e mail address suggested by Leza Wainwright.

Additionally, I am wondering if obtaining the CFAC minutes PIOR to 8.2.07 (see CFAC dates/ minutes below as pertaining to Center Pointe LME CFAC website ( could be problematic in that Leza Wainwright stated in her 1.2.08 e mail letter to me the following: “As you know, CFACs are by state statute designed to be a "self- governing and a self-directed organization" (G. S. 122C-170 (a)) so the decision to post the minutes on the Internet had to be made by the CFAC.”

I wanted to circumvent any conversation that might go along with the matter that the earlier CFAC was completely dismissed by the LME regarding disagreements and therefore I bring up that information in order to make a suggestion.

In that the first CFAC was dismissed by the LME----in its entirety, apparently----it would appear that the previous CFAC should ‘meet’ somehow in order to have the minutes released. Or, maybe the current CFAC should have the previous CFAC-----all with completely different members-----release the older minutes. Or, perhaps, as the Secretary, you can cut to the chase and obtain the minutes. I would ask the CEO of Center Pointe LME, Betty Taylor, but given the history of the LME vis a vis the previous CFAC, I do not believe Ms. Taylor will bring forward the minutes. In case the previous CFAC’s minutes cannot be ‘found’ I am forwarding this e mail to previous members of that CFAC which was dismissed due to their disagreements w/ Center Pointe LME, and I am betting that the Secretary, assumably the appointed note taker, will have that CFAC’s minutes. Can we have those CFAC minutes placed on the CFAC website associated w/ the LME that the CFAC was attached to please?

Here is a previous e mail letter from Leza Wainwright to me re: my request for CFAC minutes from the Smoky Mountain Center LME CFAC. I am happy to say that the public was given these CFAC minutes---at the SMC LME online website----for all citizens to read:


Date: Wed, 02 Jan 2008 13:53:03 -0500 From: Leza Wainwright User-Agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20060909) MIME-Version: 1.0 To: CC: Dempsey Benton , Mike Moseley , Ann Remington Subject: Smoky Mountain CFAC Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit X-ContentStamp: 13:6:1880312345 X-MAIL-INFO:496f6fbf6702bf0e028f2ea78f43832ec3d7e7b3fbd7eeebee6f7ab367fe6f0fe70aced76f8ffe8f131b8fbfaa430afb3b4b2bba9b3a8f438f1f4a1f77ef X-UNTD-Peer-Info: X-UNTD-UBE:-1
Dr. Hammond:

Secretary Benton requested that I respond to your inquiry to him regarding the Smoky Mountain Consumer and Family Advisory Committee (CFAC). Your correspondence with Secretary Benton indicated concerns that the Smoky Mountain CFAC minutes were not available on the web and that Smoky Mountain staff had not given you contact information for two CFAC members, as you requested.

I am pleased to tell you that the Smoky Mountain CFAC has now chosen to have the minutes of their meetings posted on the Smoky Mountain Center website. The minutes are available at by clicking on the hyperlink labeled "meeting notes" on the right hand side of the page.
Minutes for all meetings thus far this state fiscal year have been posted and future minutes will also be posted. As you know, CFACs are by state statute designed to be a "self- governing and a self-directed organization" (G. S. 122C-170 (a)) so the decision to post the minutes on the Internet had to be made by the CFAC.

As for your request to be given contact information for specific Smoky Mountain CFAC members, I am told that the membership of the Smoky Mountain CFAC have decided that they do not want their individual contact information distributed. Instead, there is a dedicated e-mail address at The Smoky Mountain Center ( that can be used to contact CFAC members. Of course, employees of The Smoky Mountain Center cannot compel volunteer CFAC members to respond to inquiries, but I have been assured that any inquiries received are passed along to the appropriate CFAC members.

I hope this information is helpful. If you have further questions regarding the roles and responsibilities of CFACs or any specific CFAC, please contact Ann Remington in the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services central office. Ann is the team leader for a team of state employees who provide support to CFACs statewide. Ann can be reached at or via telephone at 919-715-3197.

Leza Wainwright
Deputy Director
Division of MH/DD/SAS


Specifically, Secretary Cansler, I would like the minutes of the CFAC prior to 8.2.07 and subsequent to 6.12.08. Moreover, as Governor Perdue has an agenda of increased transparency, I would hope that the minutes would be put on the Center Pointe LME CFAC website.

Again, I am requesting Center Pointe LME CFAC records prior to these dates and subsequent to these dates. Here is what is currently available on the Center Pointe LME CFAC site, in terms of minutes:

Meeting Minutes 08/02/07

Meeting Minutes 08/16/07

Meeting Minutes 09/13/07

Meeting Minutes 10/11/07

Meeting Minutes 02/11/08

Meeting Minutes 03/10/08

Meeting Minutes 03/13/08

Meeting Minutes 04/10/08

Meeting Minutes 04/14/08

Meeting Minutes 06/09/08

Meeting Minutes 06/12/08

Item 2: All minutes associated with meetings pertaining to construction of free standing psychiatric hospital as organized by NC DHHS; Old Vineyard Behavioral Health; and, Center Pointe LME. In particular, where are the minutes associated with the statement on 2.20.09 by you, Mr. Cansler, outlining the following agreement which appears to have been struck by the above mentioned parties prior to this 2.20.09 announcement which indeed indicated that meetings have been taking place since 'early 2008.' Therefore, I am requesting all the minutes associated with those meetings held since early 2008 regarding plans for this free standing, private psychiatric hospital.

More specifically, I am speaking about meetings and minutes associated with events that took place prior to this 2.20.09 announcement put out by Center Pointe LME: “24/7 Psychiatric Emergency Department, Additional Hospoital Beds Coming : DHHS Secretary Commends Local Partnership” (contact Michael Cottingham, Marketing & Public Relations Officer, Center Pointe LME)

Item 3: Can the Center Pointe LME make available to the public---on its website----information about the meeting to be held, assumably, at the March 20, 1 pm, Winston Salem library regarding this newly proposed, free standing, private psychiatric hospital that will take only 14% Medicaid patients?

I would like to ask why there is no information about anything----at all----- taking place in 2008 under ‘News’ at the Center Pointe LME website. See here for yourself what I am talking about. These are the most recent items under ‘News’ on the Center Pointe LME website:


Marsha V. Hammond, PhD, Clinical Licensed Psychologist, NC

cc: Governor Beverly Perdue; mental health advocates in eastern NC; Madame Defarge blogspot:; NAMI NC


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