Author Topic: SLS in Brewster, NY?  (Read 33193 times)

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Offline Anonymous

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UPDATE ON THE STATUS OF SLS HEALTH & SLS RESIDENTIAL OF BREW
« Reply #45 on: March 23, 2009, 01:35:21 AM »
THESE ARE THE FACTS REGARDING THE STATUS OF SLS HEALTH VS OMH AS OF MARCH 23, 2009:

1.)  On or around December 3rd Justice O'Rourke from the Putnam County
Supreme Court ordered that all fines and also ordered OMH would be barred
from taking further regulatory action against SLS, including the revocation
of SLS licenses.  This was after him supposedly reviewing the over 3,498
pages of evidence in ONE NIGHT.

2.)  On December 10 the NY State Attorney General filed a motion with the
Appellate Division barring enforcement of Justice O'Rourke's order until the
Appellate Division has had an opportunity to review and decide the appeal.
This permitted the OMH Revocation hearing to move forward (and it did start
on Jan 5, 2009).  Also, the Appellate Division only grants orders of this
type when it has serious concerns about the order issued by the lower court.
In this case the fact that all of the evidence could not have been humanly
possible to be reviewed in under 24 hours made Justice O'Rourke's order
appear to be a "favor" to SLS.

3.) On December 23 the Appellate Division acted swiftly and issued an
Emergency Stay of Justice O'Rourke's order.  Justice O'Rourke's order was
stayed, meaning not in effect, on the condition the NY Attorney General
files its appellate brief on or before Jan. 22, 2009.  This means the
Appellate Division is fast-tracking the appeal.

4.) On Jan 19, 2009 the OMH Revocation Hearing started.  SLS made a motion
prior to the OMH Revocation Hearing on Jan 5,2009 to have the administrative
judge recues himself since he oversaw the hearings regarding the fines and
investigations.  The motion was denied.  SLS appealed this decision on Jan
14, 2009 to the OMH Commissioner.  He rejected the appeal.

5.) On Jan 20, 2009 SLS commenced another lawsuit in front of Justice
O'Rourke of Putnam County requesting to overrule the OMH Commissioners
decision to allow the Administrative Judge to not recues himself from the
Revocation Hearing.  Justice O'Rourke DENIED SLS' request.  The NY Attorney
General also filed motion to dismiss SLS lawsuit as well as fil the Appeal
Brief  and the parties were due in court on Feb 10, 2009. The NY State
Attorney General filed the following to the Appellate Court:

". Justice O'Rourke signed the order finding that Prof. Hutter's decision
was not supported by the evidence one day after he received the 3, 498 page
hearing transcript.

. Although SLS complains that OMH relied on hearsay (which is allowed in
administrative hearings) it failed to mention that its expert, Dr. Samenow,
relied on statements made by 14 unidentified SLS patients to him.

. SLS policy allowed restraints, euphemistically called Brief Safety
Interventions, to last up to 45 minutes even though SLS' own expert
testified that they should last no longer than 20 minutes due to the risks
to the patient.

. In 2006, SLS restrained one-fourth of its residents.

. Santoro admitted that SLS would only call a physician "sometimes" after a
patient was restrained; Dr. Stumacher, the in-house physician, testified
that he was not summoned when restraints were used.

. SLS Clinical Director, Shawn Prichard admitted that he would monitor
patients' phone calls to their families when in his opinion, they were lying
about conditions at SLS.

. Among the many incidents that SLS was required to report to OMH- but did
not-were the following: 1. A patient received 12 stitches at the community
hospital after cutting her arm with glass. The hospital concluded she was
suicidal and transferred her to a psych hospital. Betsey Bergman testified
that SLS did not report this to OMH because they did not think the patient
was suicidal. 2. A patient got violent, went to store, called 911 and said
she was going to kill herself. SLS did not report this to OMH because they
felt she was not suicidal.

. Betsey Bergman, who was in charge of Incident Reporting, had never heard
of the regulations on incident reporting and had never conducted a special
investigation into any incident.

. Matt Sena, SLS' Residential Director, did not know what constituted a
reportable incident and was not familiar with the OMH regulations.

. Despite regulations requiring staff to be fingerprinted, 21 employees were
not fingerprinted until months after they were hired. SLS admitted that
these employees had regular and substantial contact with patients. "

6.) Feb 19, 2009 Justice O'Rourke to SLS "The Revocation Hearing will
proceed" and granted OMH' motion to dismiss SLS' lawsuit regarding the
recusal of the OMH Administrative Judge which was simply a delay tactic to
begin with and never had merit.

7.) On Feb 23 it was discovered by Justice O'Rourke (the Judge SLS
continuously lies to people that he supposedly granted them the big
"Victory" of OMH) that SLS no longer had a medical doctor on staff which is
an extremely serious regulatory violation. He also held that SLS improperly
brought the case in Putnam County and ordered the venue changed to Albany
County.  He also stated that SLS is not entitled to any restraining orders
or any injunctions.  After SLS received the order changing venue
and denying their request for an injunction, SLS filed a stipulation
discontinuing the action.  Oddly, they filed it in Putnam and specifically
limited the discontinuance of action in Putnam, even though the case has
been moved to Albany.

8.)  On March 25 SLS and Roman/Morgan start Mediation in result of the
Federal Judge ordering them to do so.

Summary:  SLS lost it's appeal that it has been touting about since Jan.
on two different websites with the sole purpose of misleading former
and current members and the people who pay for treatment.


They have not had any "victory" and in fact are in a worsening situation.
SLS is currently still participating in the OMH Revocation Hearing.

SLS employees including Joseph Santoro and Shawn Prichard were
CAUGHT lying under oath. Al Bergman was caught trying to
convince other programs to sign opt-out notices on behalf of
former members, so as to ensure they never even knew the lawsuit
existed.

Once the class action trial starts the REAL story will come out and
everything discussed so far will be reinforced, proven and finally
the former members can have the closure they deserve.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

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Re: SLS in Brewster, NY?
« Reply #46 on: December 03, 2009, 01:44:37 PM »
SLS to be shut down by the State of New York.  

http://www.lohud.com/article/20091122/N ... ealth-firm

The state Appellate Division has overturned most of a lower court’s 2008 ruling that supported a private, for-profit mental health facility accused of violating patients’ rights.


The Appellate Division ruled mostly for the state Office of Mental Health in its three-year battle with SLS Residential Inc., which treats adolescents and young adults with behavioral and psychological issues at two residential facilities and an outpatient facility in Southeast.

State mental health officials fined SLS $110,000 and have moved to close SLS by revoking its operating permits.

The four-judge panel upheld $100,000 of those fines, finding "substantial evidence in the record" to support them, but rescinded a $10,000 fine that OMH levied against SLS for the alleged illegal use of manual restraints on its clients.

The court found that OMH was trying to change state law by redefining the meaning of "restraint" to include manual restraints and that it violated the state Constitution because it failed to notify licensed facilities of its restraint policy. The court also found no evidence that SLS?used restraints.

"The Appellate Division’s decision ... is a tremendous victory for SLS," Joseph Santoro, co-chairman of SLS, wrote in an e-mail. "As you know our basic position on restraint is that OMH cannot legislate. The Court found that OMH violated New York Constitution by failing to promulgate official rules and regulations. This is the essence of our dispute with OMH and therefore it vindicates our position."

But spokeswoman Jill Daniels said the state agency "is pleased that the court ruled in OMH’s favor on all issues but one" and said the agency has introduced legislation to clarify the definition of the term "restraint" to include "physical, mechanical, or pharmacological measures used to restrict movement."

Santoro said SLS was disappointed that the rest of the court’s ruling went against it but that SLS will appeal to a higher court.

The saga began in November 2006 when OMH inspectors visited the two residential treatment centers in Southeast run by SLS, also known as Supervised LifeStyles Inc., and fined the company $80,000 on violations that included illegally restraining residents, limiting their contact with people outside the facility, including family, violating their privacy by watching them as they provided a urine sample for drug tests and unfairly punishing residents.

OMH moved to rescind the operating permits for SLS, which appealed the ruling and fines in a hearing before the state agency. A hearing officer ruled in favor of OMH, and the agency’s commissioner, Michael F. Hogan, upheld the ruling.

SLS then appealed to the state Supreme Court. In December 2008, Justice Andrew P. O’Rourke ruled in favor of SLS, finding that OMH’s actions were "arbitrary, capricious and contrary to law and wholly unsupported by substantial evidence."

O’Rourke’s ruling, which also vacated the $110,000 in fines, let SLS maintain its operations while the state went to the Appellate Division, which largely overturned O’Rourke Nov. 10.

Daniels said the agency now will move forward to revoke SLS’s permits.

Glen Feinberg, a Pleasantville resident who says his son received abusive treatment while a patient at SLS and who has been a vocal critic, called the ruling "a resounding victory" for OMH and urged the state Office of the Professions to "take action against the SLS psychologists responsible for this lawlessness."



In addition, SLS continues to falsely advertise to a target audience, specifically current and former patients and the families/payees as well as potentially new clients who may have caught wind of the numerous lawsuits and investigations this hospital has been under since 2006.  Here was SLS' spin on the exact same scenario of loosing it's appeal:

http://friendsofslshealth.com/

OMH VIOLATES NY CONSTITUTION

Supreme Court of the State of New York: “…OMH’s failure to officially promulgate its policy as a rule or regulation violated the New York Constitution...”

It is proven once again that OMH, even though it is a state government agency, does not live up to the standards one would expect from the government. Below some informative writing that we received:


November 12, 2009

To Friends of SLS:

The Appellate Division of NY issued its decision today on the SLS v. OMH matter concerning fines for SLS actions which allegedly violated NY regulations and law.

The Court decided in SLS’s favor in the major issue of whether SLS used illegal restraints.  The Court found that OMH failed to obey the law.  OMH attempted to usurp the power of the Legislature by defining restraint in a manner which the law did not permit.  OMH then used this false definition to defame SLS’s programs by accusing SLS of illegally restraint patients.  SLS has been vindicated on this the most important of the several issues reviewed by the Court.

On the other issues the Court found in favor of OMH.  SLS’s attorneys are reviewing this part of the Court’s decision in depth.  At this time SLS believes that the Court may have incorrectly decided at least three of these issues. The issues that SLS believes were decided incorrectly concern the limitations of patient rights, the imposition of an admissions block without prior due process and the violation of that order.  Once we have completed our legal analysis we will decide on whether we will appeal to the Court of Appeals (NY’s highest Court) for a reversal of the lower Court’s decision.

SLS has won a significant victory. In addition, OMH has been cited for its failed management of Rockland Psychiatric Center.

We wish to take this opportunity to thank all of our friends and supporters who have stood by SLS and its dedicated staff of professionals.

Sincerely,

SLS Residential, Inc.

--

Scary stuff right?! It's pretty safe to say that several people are going to jail. The owners will likely lose homes, cars, assets, etc. Doctors will lose the right to practice anymore. Don't forget these clowns were fined $35,000 already for lying to potential class members about medical records being exposed...
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Offline Anonymous

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Re: Free Zone my ass, SLS!
« Reply #47 on: December 03, 2009, 02:46:54 PM »
http://aboutsls.blogspot.com/
ABOUT SLS HEALTH, SLS RESIDENTIAL, JOSEPH SANTORO, SHAWN PRICHARD AND LIFEASSISTCOACH.COM
Quote
SLS “is devoid of moral compass” and its actions demonstrate “a serious lack of care about current and former patients.” Federal Judge Stephen Robinson.
SLS is “manipulative, cynical and downright predatory.” New York Journal News.
"SLS lacks the requisite character and competence to operate a program licensed by OMH." NYS Office of Mental Health
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Offline Anonymous

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Re: SLS in Brewster, NY?
« Reply #48 on: December 10, 2009, 12:58:23 PM »
This company is now being sued by five different groups, agencies, insurance providers, ex-patients.

The state of NY is shutting down the facility.

The owners and operators are facing license revocation to practice medicine or psychology in the US.

Some of these clown are going to face criminal charges.


A lot of people on here (Fornits) were abused as teenagers and adolescents.  This is the first I have heard of an adult facility.  These guys are being shut down because of the work of former patients and family members banding together.  They are going to loose a fortune in a lawsuit too.  Other survivors should take great notice of this situation because this has the potential to change case law and allow for victims of other programs to more easily prove the abuse they faced and possibly gain some closure through punitive legal measures.

posting.php?mode=reply&f=14&t=23220#
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Offline brokenbySLS

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Re: SLS in Brewster, NY?
« Reply #49 on: April 05, 2010, 08:54:15 PM »
I just have to say, as a previous "member" in the 90's, that everything in these lawsuits is true, and there are PLENTY of other things that they did that were horribly wrong. I was ejected into homelessness when they randomly searched my room and found documentation I had put together regarding reasons to sue them. They lied to everyone they had contact information for, telling them that I was removed from the program because of drug use, and told them not to help me because they'd be enabling me. They abused me while I was there, and ruined my life after forcing me into homelessness.
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Offline psy

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Re: SLS in Brewster, NY?
« Reply #50 on: April 05, 2010, 10:15:30 PM »
Quote from: "brokenbySLS"
I just have to say, as a previous "member" in the 90's, that everything in these lawsuits is true, and there are PLENTY of other things that they did that were horribly wrong. I was ejected into homelessness when they randomly searched my room and found documentation I had put together regarding reasons to sue them. They lied to everyone they had contact information for, telling them that I was removed from the program because of drug use, and told them not to help me because they'd be enabling me. They abused me while I was there, and ruined my life after forcing me into homelessness.
I feel for you, man, and I believe you.  I know how programs can do that kind of shit from personal experience.  Homelessness was used as a punishment at Benchmark (where I was) as well.  I too was thrown out on the streets for a while.  Believe it or not my parents agreed to it (they were assured it was in my best interests).
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Benchmark Young Adult School - bad place [archive.org link]
Sue Scheff Truth - Blog on Sue Scheff
"Our services are free; we do not make a profit. Parents of troubled teens ourselves, PURE strives to create a safe haven of truth and reality." - Sue Scheff - August 13th, 2007 (fukkin surreal)

Offline Ursus

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Re: SLS in Brewster, NY?
« Reply #51 on: April 06, 2010, 12:13:54 AM »
Some more threads on SLS Health or which mention SLS in several posts:

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline brokenbySLS

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Re: SLS in Brewster, NY?
« Reply #52 on: April 08, 2010, 05:17:57 PM »
does anyone happen to know the result of the lawsuit? I've seen on the blog that they're still up and running, but haven't had the opportunity to go through the years worth of posts...
edit:
my bad... just checked out the blog again and found this:
Quote
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
COURT SENDS OUT CLASS ACTION NOTICES
I just received the following comment:

"just received the new letter from Judge Robinson regarding the class action suit. There is also an apology attached from SLS stating that all patients records would remain confidential and a court order which says the same. Has anyone else heard anything? "

Looks like the long-stalled class action is going to start moving forward.
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Offline Eurystheus

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Re: SLS in Brewster, NY?
« Reply #53 on: August 04, 2010, 09:50:47 PM »
Interesting thing I noticed.  SLS threatened and filed a lawsuit against the owner of aboutsls.blogspot.com saying several of his interpretations of ruling from the court were invalid and they in turn lost revenue over a period of time and are suing him for 6.5 million.  Over the past several days when tying to read the blog, a page opens up which said I had to log in and be invited to read the blog which is new to me I have read it freely without having to register or log in.  Today I used a back door link from this website to go to aboutsls.blogspot.com and it appears that the blog is dead and SLS owns the web address as it read SLS health the center for excellence or something like that and no longer has posts.  Possible that he agreed to remove the blog in order for SLS to drop the suit?? Also the Friends of SLS website does not exist either content wise it is a blank page.
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Offline Ursus

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Re: SLS in Brewster, NY?
« Reply #54 on: August 04, 2010, 10:58:37 PM »
Quote from: "Eurystheus"
Interesting thing I noticed.  SLS threatened and filed a lawsuit against the owner of aboutsls.blogspot.com saying several of his interpretations of ruling from the court were invalid and they in turn lost revenue over a period of time and are suing him for 6.5 million.  Over the past several days when tying to read the blog, a page opens up which said I had to log in and be invited to read the blog which is new to me I have read it freely without having to register or log in.  Today I used a back door link from this website to go to aboutsls.blogspot.com and it appears that the blog is dead and SLS owns the web address as it read SLS health the center for excellence or something like that and no longer has posts.  Possible that he agreed to remove the blog in order for SLS to drop the suit?? Also the Friends of SLS website does not exist either content wise it is a blank page.
Wow. So much for free speech. I too get an almost blank page for the "friends" site: http://friendsofslshealth.com/

    Friends of SLS Health
    The site for supporters of SLS Residential and SLS Health.
    [/list]

    Here's what I get for http://aboutsls.blogspot.com/:

      SLS Residential

      Tuesday, August 03, 2010
      SLS Health
      SLS Residential the Center of Excellence for Residential Care
      Posted by testing at 10:00 PM[/list]

      And here is SLS Health's own blog (not blank at all): http://aboutslshealth.blogspot.com/
      « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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      Offline DannyB II

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      Re: SLS in Brewster, NY?
      « Reply #55 on: August 04, 2010, 11:21:27 PM »
      Quote from: "Ursus"
      Quote from: "Eurystheus"
      Interesting thing I noticed.  SLS threatened and filed a lawsuit against the owner of aboutsls.blogspot.com saying several of his interpretations of ruling from the court were invalid and they in turn lost revenue over a period of time and are suing him for 6.5 million.  Over the past several days when tying to read the blog, a page opens up which said I had to log in and be invited to read the blog which is new to me I have read it freely without having to register or log in.  Today I used a back door link from this website to go to aboutsls.blogspot.com and it appears that the blog is dead and SLS owns the web address as it read SLS health the center for excellence or something like that and no longer has posts.  Possible that he agreed to remove the blog in order for SLS to drop the suit?? Also the Friends of SLS website does not exist either content wise it is a blank page.
      Wow. So much for free speech. I too get an almost blank page for the "friends" site: http://friendsofslshealth.com/

        Friends of SLS Health
        The site for supporters of SLS Residential and SLS Health.
        [/list]

        Here's what I get for http://aboutsls.blogspot.com/:

          SLS Residential

          Tuesday, August 03, 2010
          SLS Health
          SLS Residential the Center of Excellence for Residential Care
          Posted by testing at 10:00 PM[/list]

          And here is SLS Health's own blog (not blank at all): http://aboutslshealth.blogspot.com/
           


          So long as your free speech does not defame someone or thing.
          People will sue, you have to know this.
          « Last Edit: August 06, 2010, 10:17:00 PM by DannyB II »
          Stand and fight, till there is no more.

          Offline Ursus

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          Re: SLS in Brewster, NY?
          « Reply #56 on: August 06, 2010, 05:24:26 PM »
          Quote from: "Ursus"
          Here's what I get for http://aboutsls.blogspot.com/:

            SLS Residential

            Tuesday, August 03, 2010
            SLS Health
            SLS Residential the Center of Excellence for Residential Care
            Posted by testing at 10:00 PM[/list]
            Today this page merely notes: "No posts."
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            Offline wdtony

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            Re: SLS in Brewster, NY?
            « Reply #57 on: August 10, 2010, 09:45:51 PM »
            I think SLS has been shut down (operating certificate revoked) by the State of New York - Office of Mental Health (OMH) - July 30th, 2010.

            http://www.heal-online.org/SLS.FinalDet ... 080910.pdf
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            Offline Eurystheus

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            Re: SLS in Brewster, NY?
            « Reply #58 on: August 12, 2010, 11:21:19 AM »
            Article on lohud.com has a write up if you click on the Putnam County link up to the left
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            Offline wdtony

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            Re: SLS in Brewster, NY?
            « Reply #59 on: August 12, 2010, 12:04:12 PM »
            State orders Putnam mental-health company SLS to give up permits


            By Terence Corcoran • tcorcora@lohud.com • August 12, 2010


            The state has ordered a private Putnam County-based mental-health provider that treats teens and young adults to surrender its operating certificates after the mental-health commissioner upheld charges that the for-profit facility violated patients' rights and ignored state regulations.


            Commissioner Michael F. Hogan notified SLS Residential of his decision Tuesday.

            But an attorney for SLS, also known as Supervised LifeStyles, said Wednesday that the facility intends to appeal the decision in court and is confident it will prevail. To keep operating, SLS will have to ask a judge for a temporary order to stay the revocation of its permits.

            "SLS is disappointed in the commissioner's decision and believes that all the charges are unfounded," said David C. Trueman, a Manhattan attorney and adjunct Columbia University law professor. "SLS maintains that the commissioner's decision and the hearing officer's report are unsupported by the law and the evidence."

            The SLS saga dates to November 2006 when state inspectors visited two residential facilities the agency runs in Southeast, found numerous violations and fined the company $80,000. A return trip three weeks later resulted in more violations and $30,000 more in fines, none of which SLS has paid while it has appealed.

            Violations included that SLS limited residents' contact with people outside the facility, violated their privacy by watching them as they used the bathroom, punished them unfairly and humiliated them with other clients, continued to use an unauthorized building for programs and failed to conduct incident reviews as required by state law.

            The state also alleged that SLS illegally restrained patients, but a court dismissed that charge.

            After finding the violations, the state Office of Mental Health moved to rescind the operating permits SLS uses to run two residential-treatment facilties and a clinic. SLS appealed but a hearing officer ruled in favor of the state, and Hogan upheld the ruling.

            SLS then appealed to state Supreme Court. In December 2008, Justice Andrew P. O'Rourke ruled in favor of SLS, calling OMH's actions "arbitrary, capricious and contrary to the law and wholly unsupported by substantial evidence."
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