This is a  staff list for National Deaf Academy in Mt. Dora, FL

(we are working to acquire the complete records for ALL years)




We advise current and/or former staff to report any abuses you may have witnessed while working at National Deaf Academy.  For information on your rights and how to take action, visit  If you were fired or forced to resign because you opposed any illegal and/or unethical practices at National Deaf Academy, you have the right to take action. 


If you were harmed (family or survivor) by National Deaf Academy, please contact if you remember the long-term employees and from which years.  This will help!   Also, if you recognize any of these staff as having worked at another program, please send in any information about their past or present employment at other facilities and/or cults.



This program is reportedly abusive.  Please do not place your child/loved one in this program and rescue him/her if he/she is there now.




Additional Information
Deanna Goldstein CEO (former) Formerly worked for Liberty Point RTC in VA.  Also worked for Psychiatric Solutions which refers to multiple programs on our watchlists.  Goldstein is not a licensed social worker, mental health nor medical professional in Florida.  Source:  Goldstein reportedly went on to work as CEO of The Refuge in Florida, but, was reportedly dismissed for misconduct.
Maxine Minto Medical Director There is a Maxine Jean Minto (may be a different person) that is a licensed medical doctor in Florida.  However, Minto is not licensed to prescribe controlled substances.  Source:
Cathy Nadeau Nurse HEAL requires Nadeau's full legal name (first, middle, and last) and/or license number in order to verify whether or not Nadeau holds any professional licenses in Florida.
Matthew Dray Director of Mental Health His qualifications are that he has a B.A. with a major in history.  Dray is not a licensed social worker, mental health nor medical professional in Florida.  Source:
Jag Dawadi Therapist
LICENSE NUMBER: IMH4872 Printer Friendly Version 

License/Activity Status
NULL AND VOID/Click here for more information
License Expiration Date License Original Issue Date
3/31/2007 11/03/2004


Michael Huffman Assoc. Clinical Director Michael Thomas Huffman is licensed solely as a mental health counselor in Florida and has been licensed since June, 1999.  Source:  Huffman reportedly went onto work at The Refuge in Florida where he still reportedly works.
David Killam Case Manager Killam is not a licensed social worker, mental health nor medical professional in Florida.  Source:
Christi Behnk Therapist
LICENSE NUMBER: IMH7209 Printer Friendly Version 

License/Activity Status
NULL AND VOID/Click here for more information
License Expiration Date License Original Issue Date
3/31/2013 11/24/2008


Kim Tran-Bardell Therapist Tran-Bardell is licensed solely as a clinical social worker intern in FL and has been so licensed since 2010.  Source:
Tanya Wyatt-Dennis Therapist Wyatt-Dennis is not a licensed social worker, mental health nor medical professional in Florida.  Source:
Greg Sizemore CEO Sizemore is not a licensed social worker, mental health nor medical professional in Florida.  Source:
Sanjeev Singh Medical Director There is a Sanjeev Kumar Singh (may be a different person) that is a licensed medical doctor in Florida.  However, this doctor does not claim the National Deaf Academy as a place of practice in his practitioner profile and claims to practice solely in Orlando, FL.  We have e-mailed the licensee in hopes to determine whether or not he is the same person working for the Academy.  We will post additional information as it becomes available.  Source for current data listed here:
Michael Perez Patient Services Director HEAL requires Perez's full name (first, middle, and last) and/or license number and profession in order to verify whether Perez holds any professional licenses in Florida.
Richard Willis Clinical Services Director Richard Willis is a licensed psychologist in Florida and has been since 1986.  Source: 
Cristina Warrington Therapist Warrington is not a licensed social worker, mental health nor medical professional in Florida.  Source:
*(National Deaf Academy, like many other programs in this industry, keeps a "tight lid" on any specific information regarding their staff, qualifications, and practices.  Please contact us with the names of any staff of which you have firsthand knowledge or experience.  Thank you for your help.)
This program does not keep its enrollment materials or program details online or available to the general public.
Article: Deaf academy's troubles stretch Mount Dora police thin (June 23rd, 2009, Source: Orlando Sentinel)
Three lawsuits filed against National Deaf Academy LIVI STANFORD | Staff Writer | Posted: Friday, September 19, 2014 6:00 am National Deaf Academy The National Deaf Academy is seen in Mount Dora, Fla., on Monday, Sept. 15, 2014. Allegations of negligence and abuse have cause three new lawsuits to be filed against the National Deaf Academy. The new litigation brings the total of lawsuits against the psychiatric treatment facility to thirteen. Three separate civil lawsuits citing alleged negligence and abuse to children have been filed this week against the National Deaf Academy in Mount Dora, according to the families’ attorney, Bruce Maxwell. The NDA, 19650 U.S. Highway 441, is a psychiatric treatment facility for those with special needs, according to its website. The 132-bed facility has programs designed for patients that are hard of hearing, autistic or deaf, the website further stated. “These are special needs kids that have been neglected or abused,” Maxwell said in a phone interview Thursday of the three children he is representing, ranging in age from 10 to 14. “These are helpless children that don’t have a voice. Most of them can’t speak. They have to sign (use sign language). They are trapped in this facility.” Maxwell said he has a soft spot for these children as a father of a disabled child who died a few years ago. The allegations of abuse and neglect involving the three separate cases include one child being punched and thrown to the ground, another being doped up and a third child getting scabies after he was only admitted for four months, according to Maxwell. Two of the children were allowed to view and access pornographic material, Maxwell said. “All three children lost a significant amount of weight,” he said. Officials are still trying to determine their mental state in regard to the alleged abuse. “The level of permanent harm charged to them is not fully ascertained and may not be known for some time,” Maxwell said. “It is going to take time to work with these kids to get them back where they should be.” The Jacksonville attorney said in each case his clients are seeking damages in excess of $15,000. “My hope is that the NDA is shut down or significant changes occur,” he said. “This kind of conduct should not be tolerated.” While NBC News reported the FBI is investigating NDA, a spokesman for the FBI Jacksonville said it is not the protocol of the FBI to confirm or deny that it is investigating a case. However, Maxwell said he was contacted by the FBI in April, asking for information on what he knew about the facility and the children he is representing. “I think there may be an issue involving Tricare or Medicare, but I don’t know for sure,” he said. This is not the first cases filed against the facility, which is owned by Universal Health Services (UHS), which operates 225 facilities in 37 states, according to its website. UHS accepts Medicare, its website states, and NDA works with Medicaid, private insurance companies and other payer sources to secure funding, the academy's website further notes. There have been 10 other lawsuits filed over the years, including two small claims suits and a wrongful death suit, which was recently settled. The wrongful death suit involved a 17-year-old teenager, Bryan Montgomery, who suffered from juvenile diabetes. The suit alleges the “NDA failed to timely conduct a nutritional screening or assessment of Bryan by a nutritionist or registered dietitian despite knowing Bryan was diabetic,” which among other factors including improper supervision by staff of his condition and neglecting to set forth a treatment plan, contributed to his death. “The NDA disputed having anything to do with causing or contributing to Bryan’s death,” said Todd Romano, who represented the estate of Bryan Montgomery and Sabrina Montgomery, his mother. “We alleged in the lawsuit that the NDA’s mismanagement of Bryan’s juvenile diabetes, as corroborated by the AHCA, which found deficiencies in the assessment and overall management of Bryan’s diabetes, contributed to his passing.” Indeed, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, in a report dated Feb. 27, 2012, stated a resident was admitted to facility in December 2011 with juvenile diabetes, the same month Montgomery was admitted, according to the lawsuit. The AHCA report states per an interview with a nurse in February 2012, that all residents admitted with a “diabetic diagnosis received a nutritional assessment conducted by a nutritionist.” But, at the same time, the nurse reported the resident did not need to be screened. As a result, that nutritional assessment was not completed until Jan. 26, 2012, the AHCA report confirms, “after resident received emergency medical treatment associated with non-eating, and being non-compliant with medical management of his diabetes.” Montgomery died on Feb. 2, 2012, according to the wrongful death suit. In another suit filed in 2011, a 18-year-old woman was left alone without any supervision while having lunch and choked to death, according to that lawsuit. In yet another lawsuit, filed in September 2013, Kyle Gilrain and Carol Savage, former employees of the NDA, sued for wrongful termination, for calling an abuse hotline while employed to report allegations of abuse at the facility. “Most facilities will fire you if you don’t call the abuse hotline,” Savage said in a phone interview. “This facility fires you if you do.” When Savage would call the hotline, she said the Department of Children and Families would notify the NDA when they were on their way to investigate the abuse claims, something that is in violation of Chapter 39. “One child had a red hand print on his face and DCF called the NDA and staff put the child in the shower,” she said. Savage, who has a background as a state child abuse investigator for Georgia and Florida, said she could spot abuse. She continues to be concerned about the children in the facility, saying their faces never leave her mind. According to Gilrain’s and Savage’s lawsuit, Savage observed instances “where patients were punched in the stomach, spit on, bruised or denied medical care by defendants’ employees in the course of performing job related duties.” In particular, she witnessed one incident where nursing “staff refused to provide a wheelchair to a child with an injured leg, instead forcing her to crawl on the floor and sit in her own urine.” Gilrain also became “aware of incidents where defendants falsified patient records or instructed employees to falsify patient records.” Like Maxwell, Savage confirmed she has also been interviewed by the Department of Justice and the FBI. DCF has investigated the NDA 99 times for alleged child abuse between Jan. 1, 2004, through March 31, 2014, according to the agency. The AHCA has also investigated the agency numerous times since 2009, citing incidents where patients tried to commit suicide, left the facility resulting in the death of one patient hit by a car, among other incidents including “orders for the use of restraint or seclusion.” “This letter informs you of the findings of immediate jeopardy (the conditions at your facility pose an immediate and serious threat to the health and safety of clients,” the AHCA letter to the NDA states on July 15, 2011. In a statement to the Daily Commercial, Greg Sizemore, CEO of the NDA, disputed the allegations. “A large majority of the inspections or visits from the Florida Department of Children and Families or law enforcement result in no findings or further actions,” Sizemore said in the statement. “While patient privacy laws prevent us from commenting on any specific cases or patients, in our experience, allegations and accusations made about patient care are often found to be unsubstantiated and without merit when reviewed by regulatory agencies.” Further, Sizemore also disputes the pending lawsuits, not even referring to them as such, but as letters “from an attorney representing three former patients.” “The care at issue in these notices dates back as far as four years ago,” Sizemore said in a statement. “These unproven claims do not reflect the quality of care we have provided to hundreds of children and adults whose lives have been enhanced and improved by the caring treatment they received at NDA.” But in two of the three cases, the patients began residing at the facility two years ago, according to the complaints filed on behalf of the clients. Overall, Savage said: “The sad part is the vast population housed at the NDA are out of state foster kids that no one is looking for.”  Source:
Lawsuits accuse National Deaf Academy of abuse and neglect The National Deaf Academy in Mt. Dora is accused of abuse and neglect of the children it cared for. By Dave D'Marko, Reporter Last Updated: Monday, September 15, 2014, 8:41 PM MOUNT DORA --  Three families of deaf children are filing lawsuits, claiming their children were neglected and abused at a Mt. Dora school. The allegations range from sexual abuse to malnutrition. Ninety-nine times in the past decade, the Department of Children and Families has launched investigations at the National Deaf Academy in Mt. Dora, also known as NDA Behavioral Health Systems. Allegations include sexual molestation, asphyxiation and broken bones. Jacksonville attorney Bruce Maxwell is representing three families who filed suit Monday. All now live out of state. “These are children who have been victimized, they are either deaf, autistic or both," Maxwell said. "Many have to sign to communicate so it’s difficult to communicate to others. So in my mind that makes them the ideal prey.” One of those victims he’s representing was allegedly sexually abused with a straw. But after consulting with the state attorney’s office, the police department decided to drop the case. “We are not saying any of these incidents didn’t happen. Our job is to prove or disprove the allegations, in this case we could not prove that anything happened,” Deputy Chief Robert Bell said. But Mt. Dora Police have been in close contact with the school since 2008, when the number of calls for service at the 132-bed facility ballooned to more than 200. By 2010 they’d dropped off to 52 calls, but that same year Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration fined the school $6,000 when seven different students escaped or tried to kill themselves. “We don’t think enough has been done and unfortunately I’m the only one these families have to turn to to create change,” Maxwell said. NDA's Steven Smith issued the following statement: "Today, our facility was provided with letters from an attorney representing three former patients but no actual lawsuits were filed.  The care at issue in these notices dates back as far as 4 years ago.  NDA does not comment on pending or threatened litigation but does intend to defend itself vigorously while continuing to operate our facility with the patient’s best interest in mind.  For  14 years, the National Deaf Academy and its 230 employees have been successfully and diligently serving the psychiatric needs of this special community.  These claims, which have yet to be proven, do not reflect the quality of care we have provided to hundreds of children and adults whose lives have been enhanced and improved by the caring treatment they received at NDA."  Source:


 Last Updated: January 5th, 2020

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