Psych Crime Reporter

March 8, 2018

Did You Work at Covington Behavioral Health in Covington, LA?

Filed under: Acadia Healthcare — Psych Crime Reporter @ 12:35 pm
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Are you a current or former employee of Acadia Healthcare’s Covington Behavioral Health Hospital in Covington, Louisiana?

During your time there, did you witness any of the following:

  • Patient abuse
  • Use of chemical restraint
  • Billing irregularies
  • Fraud
  • Use of non-medical personnel to make admissions or medical or diagnostic decisions?
  • Any other questionable or illegal events or conduct

You can make a confidential report about it to Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR). If you want to take action, CCHR may be able to assist you.

Citizens Commission on Human Rights is a mental health watchdog established by the Church of Scientology in 1969 to investigate and expose psychiatric abuses of human rights and crime and fraud in the field of mental health.


Ever Worked at a Universal Health Services Behavioral Facility in Illinois?

Filed under: UHS,Universal Health Services — Psych Crime Reporter @ 11:45 am
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Have you ever been employed at any of the following Universal Health Services (UHS) psychiatric facilities in Illinois:

  • Lincoln Prairie Behavioral Health Center in Springfield
  • The Pavilion Behavioral Health System in Champaign
  • Innovations Academy in Streamwood
  • Riverdge Hospital in Forest Park
  • Hartgrove Hospital in Chicago
  • Garfield Park Hospital in Chicago
  • Chicago Children’s Center in Chicago

Did you witness or do you have knowledge of patient abuses, safety issues, fraud or other crimes or dangerous situations at any of these hospitals?

You can make a confidential report about it to Citizens Commission on Human Rights. If you want to take action, they may be able to assist you.

Citizens Commission on Human Rights is a mental health watchdog established by the Church of Scientology in 1969 to investigate and expose psychiatric abuses of human rights and crime and fraud in the field of mental health.

November 29, 2013

State halts admissions to Arbour-HRI psych facility for unsafe conditions

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 5:03 pm
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A Brookline psychiatric hospital was ordered to stop admitting patients by a state agency because of what the state deemed to be unsafe conditions.

The Department of Mental Health conducted a surprise inspection of Arbour-HRI Hospital in Brookline on Oct. 24 and reportedly found a number of infractions. After that inspection, the department asked the hospital to submit a corrective action plan to address the deficiencies. That plan was submitted on Nov. 15, but it did not adequately address the issues, according to the state.

One of those issues was an incident on Sept. 4. The state did not immediately release details about the incident, but the TAB has filed a request for more information.

The order was first reported in the Boston Globe as part of a investigative series the paper did into Arbour-HRI’s parent company, Universal Health Services, and its repeated citations for understaffing and poor worker training at numerous facilities across the country.

The state eventually rejected Arbour-HRI’s plan and required Arbour to submit a new plan within 10 days. If the new plan does not address the deficiencies, the state will suspend Arbour’s license, according to the letter.

The state’s letter, written by Lizbeth Kinkead, director of licensing for the Department of Mental Health, states that the department received numerous phone calls from anonymous sources describing unsafe conditions at the hospital, as well as pictures showing the staff acting inappropriately and unsafe practices at the facility.

Before suspending admissions to the hospital, the state previously cut down the amount of patients allowed at the mental care facility, but that did not seem to curb the infractions, “raising an immediate and serious concern that patient safety and care at Arbour/HRI is substantially compromised,” according to the letter.

The hospital did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Source: Ignacio Laguarda, “State orders Brookline psychiatric hospital to stop admitting patients,” Brookline Tab, November 27, 2013.

August 7, 2013

Universal Health Services among defendants in sexual “grooming” suit

PHOENIX (CN) – A medical health technician seduced a mother of six at a psychiatric hospital, then got her to leave her family and “borrowed” $1,000 from her, the woman and her husband claim in court.

Kristiina Wuollet, and her husband Theodore claim that Clarence Copeland, then a medical health technician at Valley Hospital Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Care, began “grooming” Kristiina while she was a patient at the hospital.

They sued Copeland, the hospital, Universal Health Services, and Ascend Health Corp., in Maricopa County Court.

“During the duration that plaintiff Kristiina Wuollet resided at the facility, defendant Copeland began ‘grooming’ her, taking advantage of his position on her treatment team and of her vulnerability, through continuously flattering her and by initiating inappropriate intimate conversations with her,” the lawsuit states.

The Wuollets claim that Copeland’s job required him to “function as an active part of plaintiff’s treatment team, providing continuous patient care, supervision, interaction, and role modeling, and whose work was under the direction and care of a registered nurse.”

When Kristiina was discharged from Valley Hospital, Copeland got her contact information from her patient file and “began sexting with her and engaging her in numerous daily phone conversations,” according to the complaint.

Kristiina left her husband and children shortly after she was discharged, “moved in with defendant Copeland, and continued a sexual affair which had begun during her residency at the facility and continued for approximately eight months,” according to the lawsuit.

Theodore Wuollet says he filed a complaint with Valley Hospital after Kristiina was discharged, “providing evidence of the text message exchanges between his wife and defendant Copeland,” but Valley Hospital failed to respond.

The Wuollets, who have been married since 1987, claim Kristiina “was unable to protect herself from the exploitation she suffered at the hands of defendants.”

Copeland, who is no longer employed by the hospital, “abused his position of trust and ‘borrowed’ $1,000 from plaintiff Kristiina Wuollet, which has not been repaid,” the complaint states.

Copeland continued to contact Kristiina, including one instance “when he called her at her place of work and drove there to talk to her, threatening to move closer to her home so he could see her,” according to the complaint.

Valley Hospital did not respond by press time to a request for comment.

The Wuollets seek damages for breach of fiduciary duty, medical negligence, elder abuse and infliction of emotional distress.

They are represented by Terrence Woods and Marilyn Cage with Broening, Oberg, Woods & Wilson.

Source: Jamie Roos, “Hospital Tech Accused of Seducing Patient,” Courthouse News, August 7, 2013.

June 18, 2013

State confirms allegations in patient death complaint againt UHS psychiatric hospital

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 11:38 am
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The 22-year-old was cherished by his family, and in good physical health. But he had bouts of depression.

On Jan. 16, 2013, his grandmother convinced him to sign himself into University Behavioral Health (UBH).

UBH and Mayhill Hospital are sister hospitals in Denton County that treat mental illness and drug addiction. Both are owned and operated by Universal Health Services (UHS).

“I still feel it’s my fault for taking him there,” his grandmother, Sandra Chaffin, told News 8. “I encouraged him to sign [his entry papers.] I said, ‘It’ll be all right. Sign it, baby.'”

Seventeen days later, Aaron Gower was brain dead. He was found unconscious in his room. UBH told his relatives Aaron was unconscious for fifteen minutes. His family says it was longer.

“At least two hours he laid there like that – in his own vomit – and no one checked on him,” said his sister, based on information she says she was given at the hospital Aaron was transferred to. “If they did [check on him,] they walked past and didn’t physically go in there and check him.”

“He was in the critical stabilization unit [at UBH,]” said Aaron’s father, John Gower. “And that sounds like they’re supposed to take care of him, look after him — critical stabilization.”

Mrs. Chaffin, Aaron’s grandmother, said the day he was found unconscious, she was called by UBH and told he’d been transferred to another hospital. When she found him, “Aaron was lying there unconscious, intubated, foamy blood was oozing, coming up from his lungs. I talked. I held him, just wanting any response. There was nothing, and there never was anything. But the foam, the blood dried in his nose, and [he] was hiccupping over and over.”

Three months later, the Gowers still haven’t received Aaron’s medical records. They don’t know exactly what drugs he was being given. They say UBH told them the cause of his death was a fast-spreading kind of pneumonia, and was he was brain dead a few hours later.

Attorney Dawn Smith is representing three patients who have grievances against UBH and Mayhill. Their complaints range from negligence, to understaffing and to over-medication by the institutions.

“The circumstance as to why he was deprived of that oxygen, and why he threw up and laid there for a period of time — we still don’t know that,” Smith told News 8.

The Gowers filed a complaint with the Texas Department of State Health Services over Aaron’s treatment.

Separately, under the Texas Public Information Act, News 8 obtained a dozen complaints filed by patients at UBH Denton and Mayhill with the Denton Police Department.

They include two alleged cases of forcible sodomy, to the alleged rape of a young woman last year at UBH.

Laurie, we’ll call her, was seventeen at the time. She was highly medicated, awoke on her bed, and felt like she’d been assaulted.

“There was quite a bit of pain, and some blood on my clothes,” she told News 8.

She said the UBH doctor would not let her be examined. She was finally allowed to call her parents, who took her to John Peter Smith Hospital, where she was tested by a sexual assault nurse examiner.

“The nurse that performed the examination said she couldn’t say I was legally raped, because she wasn’t there,” Laurie said, “but there were signs of intercourse, whether it was willing or not.”

Jessica Rogers, a patient at Mayhill Hospital, had been heavily sedated, too. She was asleep in her room when she said she was jolted awake.

“There was a man’s hands on my breast,” Rogers told News 8. “And he had his hands in my pants, and he was penetrating me.”

Rogers said she had complained to staff about another patient who had entered her room several times.

“I said, ‘I want the police called,’” Rogers recalls. “And [the staffer] said, ‘We do in-house investigations here.’”

After she reported her alleged assault, Rogers said her clothes were taken and she was placed on ‘suicide watch.’

That was last year, police records show. To this day, the hospital has not produced a report of the incident.

“The hospital hasn’t responded of any of the allegations,” Dawn Smith said.

News 8 contacted Universal Health Services (UHS), which owns UBH Denton and Mayhill. UHS responded in writing, saying two of the three incidents occurred when UBH Denton and Mayhill were owned by Ascend Health Corporation, which UHS acquired last year for $517 million.

“Notwithstanding,” UHS said in its statement to News 8, “UBH of Denton and Mayhill Hospital are committed to providing the highest quality care and treatment to our patients. Each of these facilities is licensed by the state, nationally accredited or certified and in good standing.”

Aaron Gower died at UBH three months after UHS bought the hospital. After his parents filed a complaint about his treatment with the state, the Texas Department of State Health Services investigated. In a letter to Sandra Chaffin, the state said “one or more” of the allegations in the complaint were “substantiated.”

But the state says complaints, investigations, and their findings are confidential.

Source: Byron Harris, “Former patients voice allegations against Denton mental hospitals,” WFAA ABC-8, June 4, 2013.

June 5, 2011

Universal Health Services behavioral health facilities: Profits Over Patients continues

Filed under: mental health — Psych Crime Reporter @ 12:17 pm
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In 2009, Citizens Commission on Human Rights issued the report “Universal Health Services: Profits Over Patients,” containing information on three then-recent teen deaths in UHS facilities, as well as reports of abuses, crimes, lawsuits and investigations involving UHS facilities going back to 1991.  Until recently, the most visible UHS news was how the company had paid more than $3 billion in November 2010 to acquire the 126 psychiatric facilities owned by Psychiatric Solutions, Inc.

But in April 2011 news started to appear about violence and investigations in UHS behavioral health facilities in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia:

  • On April 25, 2011, the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) placed all three of UHS’ The Pines Children’s Residential Facilities on provisional licenses for six months.  Provisional licenses are issued to health care facilities when corrective measures have been ordered.  Failure to make the necessary corrections could result in the state revoking The Pines’ licenses.  The state also froze all admissions to the facilities until such time as the facilities can provide evidence of sufficient improvement of a number of safety and treatment issues.  This action occurred after state investigators determined that The Pines filed to report and document an allegation of sexual abuse at one of its facilities.[1]
  • On May 11, 2011, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Health Service Regulation issued a Statement of Deficiencies and Plan of Correction to UHS’ Old Vineyard Youth Services after state investigators found evidence of approximately 15 instances of improper sexual contact between two male residents (ages 14 and 17) of the facility and accompanying staff failure to properly monitor and detect the abuse.[2]
  • On October 25, 2010, The Keys of Carolina paid a $26,500 penalty to the state of North Carolina to settle an investigation which began with the report of a 15-year-old Keys resident who was stabbed in the eye with a nail by another resident.  The attacked occurred after one of the residents gossiped about the other having been raped as a child—information he’d gathered from the other resident’s records, which had been left unattended by Keys staff.  The Keys failed to report the incident to the state, as required.  Further investigation uncovered additional (but unfortunately, not uncommon in the psychiatric hospital world) problems including training deficiencies, use of improper restraint techniques and other incidents of violence.[3]
  • Police were called to UHS’ Palmetto Behavioral Health facility in Summerville, South Carolina 128 times since February 2006, including 19 calls for missing persons and runaways, 42 reports of assaults and three reports of sexual assaults. In one incident, a 15-year-old resident was accused of attacking and beating a 64-year-old woman after he slipped away from the facility.  She has filed a lawsuit against the facility, accusing it of gross negligence and recklessness.[4]
  • Police were called to UHS’ Palmetto Behavioral Health facility in North Charleston, South Carolina 98 times in the last five years, including 13 runaways and missing persons calls, 22 assault calls and six reports of sexual assault.[5]

This information has been added to Universal Health Services: Profits Over Patients.”


[1]“Universal Health Services facilities under scrutiny,” The Post and Courier, May 15, 2011and Memorandum of Agreement to The Pines Residential Treatment Center from Commissioner of Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, April 25, 2011.

[2] “Universal Health Services facilities under scrutiny,” The Post and Courier, May 15, 2011and Statement of Deficiencies and Plan of Correction, Old Vineyard Youth Services, ID number MHH0188, North Carolina Division of Health Service Regulation,April 29, 2010.

[3] “Universal Health Services facilities under scrutiny,” The Post and Courier, May 15, 2011and Statement of Deficiencies and Plan of Correction, The Keys of Carolina, ID number MHL060-600, North Carolina Division of Health Service Regulation, November 3, 2009.

[4] Glenn Smith, “Cops no stranger to Palmetto Summerville Behavioral Health,” Post and Courier, May 15, 2011 and Summerville Police Law Incident Address History, by Date Reported, 2/12/06 to 4/21/11.

[5] Glenn Smith, “Cops no stranger to Palmetto Summerville Behavioral Health,” Post and Courier, May 15, 2011 and Calls for service report of the North Charleston Police, 2/12/05 to 3/19/11.

January 7, 2010

Atlanta psychiatrist Seth Pope surrenders license following criminal sex charges

On January 7, 2010, psychiatrist Seth Pope surrendered his medical license to the Georgia Composite Medical Board, acknowledging “that this surrender shall have the same effect as a revocation of my license….”  According to the Board’s interim consent order, “On or about July 2009, the Board received information alleging [Pope] was indicted in Dekalb Superior Court for one count of…sexual assault against a patient, and one count of…unlawful prescription.”  Pope pleaded not guilty to the charges but, according to the Board’s document, “desires to voluntarily suspend his license so that he can devote his undivided attention to the defense of the charges against him.”

Pope’s office is on the campus of Peachford Hospital, a psychiatric facility that is owned and administered by Universal Health Services, a Pennsylvania-based health care management company with more than 100 behavioral health facilities.

Universal Health Services has been the subject of interest by concerned groups due to an apparent disregard for patient safety and well-being, which is documented in a report you can read here.

Source: Voluntary Surrender in the Matter of Seth Pop, M.D., License No. 23710, Docket No. 20100054, Before the Georgia Composite Medical Board, filed January 7, 2010.

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