This is a  staff list for Elgin Mental Health Center

(In Elgin, IL)

(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 the Elgin Mental Health Center.  For information on your rights and how to take action, visit www.heal-online.org/blowthewhistle.htm.  If you were fired or forced to resign because you opposed any illegal and/or unethical practices at Elgin Mental Health Center, you have the right to take action. 

 

If you were harmed (family or survivor) by Elgin Mental Health Center, please contact info@heal-online.org 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.

 

 

HEAL is currently investigating Elgin Mental Health Center.

 

Name

Unit/Position

Additional Information
Arturo Fogata Psychiatrist  
Dr. Anderson (First?) Psychologist  
Maria (Last?) Tech Staff  
Shirley (Last?) Staff  
Quentin (Last?) Staff  
Leda (Last?) Staff or Nurse  
Tom (Last?) Staff  
Victoria Ingram Court Services Director  
     
*(Elgin Mental Health Center, 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.)

THE TRUTH:

All segregated congregate care providers, including those on our watch-list, are welcome to contact us to correct any information or provide additional data that may assist with delivering the whole truth to the public.  We've found in many cases where this offer has been abused or resulted in revealing additional basis for our concerns. For some examples see: http://www.heal-online.org/tcfl.htm http://www.heal-online.org/bolthouse.htm and http://www.heal-online.org/abundant2.htm.  Now, we are willing to look at the facts and may have questions or require documentation backing up any claims.  We do verify licensing, academic backgrounds, and other qualifications when investigating and researching programs on our watch-list to assist consumers seeking additional information on such programs or victims requiring assistance with getting corroborating evidence of their claims.  We do that in order to make sure the information we provide is accurate and verified and cite our sources.  In the event any information we've posted is in error, we're happy to make a correction.  And, for information on how such requests are handled and have been resolved historically, see: http://www.heal-online.org/requests.htm

HEAL does not support segregated congregate care for many reasons which include that many such facilities are abusive, exploitative, fraudulent, and lack effective oversight often as a result of fraudulent misrepresentation coupled with the ignorance of those seeking to enroll loved ones in such facilities, programs, schools, or centers without a valid court order and involuntarily.  In the United States such involuntary placements done without a court order are apparently illegal as they either violate the Americans with Disabilities Act community integration requirement or due process rights of those involuntarily placed.  Now, in regards to parents, in the United States parents have the right to waive their own rights, but, not the rights of their minor children.  See http://www.heal-online.org/legalarguments.htm for more information.  Now, most facilities on our watch list include waivers, indemnity clauses, and sworn statements parents must sign assuring the program that the parents have the right to make the placement involuntarily and without due process in a segregated congregate care environment, however, California and federal prosecutors as well as settled law appears to suggest that is not the case.  In fact, in the David Taylor case found at http://www.heal-online.org/provocases.htm, Taylor sued Provo Canyon School and his mother as co-defendants.  His mother was found liable for 75% of the damages awarded to Taylor as a result of multiple complaints including false imprisonment, while the program was found only 25% liable because the mother owed a duty of due diligence to investigate anyone to which she would entrust care of her child and she failed to do so. 

Now, HEAL opposes segregated congregate care and we find most placements are happening illegally in the USA which if the youth understood their rights would result in unfortunate outcomes for the parents, particularly when they don't exercise good judgment and support the fraud and abuse rather than their own children when they need remedy and justice.  And, HEAL supports all victims of fraud and abuse in seeking remedies at law for any crimes or torts committed against them.  And, that's true whether or not the program or victims are in the USA. 

HEAL has a 5 point argument against segregated congregate care we'd like you to consider:

a.  Segregated care is unconstitutional and a civil rights violation.  It is only permissible if a person is unable to survive independent of an institutional environment.  For more on this, watch the HEAL Report at  https://youtu.be/C4NzhZc4P0A.  Or, see:   http://www.ada.gov/olmstead/  which includes in part:    "United States v. Florida – 1:12-cv-60460 – (S.D. Fla.) – On April 7, 2016, the United States filed an Opposition to the State of Florida’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment.  In the Motion, the State had asked the Court to rule, on a variety of grounds, that the United States could not recover damages for unnecessarily institutionalized children to whom the State had been deliberately indifferent."

b.  Institutionalization is always dehumanizing and coercive.  Institutionalization always harms the institutionalized and deprives them of protected civil rights.  Dr. David Straker, Psychiatry Professor at Columbia University's School of Medicine (Ivy League) explains this in detail at http://changingminds.org/disciplines/sociology/articles/institutionalization.htm.  "Many institutions, from prisons to monasteries to asylums, deliberately want to control and manage their inmates such that they conform and do not cause problems. Even in less harsh environments, many of the institutionalization methods may be found, albeit in more moderated form (although the psychological effect can be equally devastating)."  (See website linked in this paragraph for more info.)

c.  Institutionalization is not in the best interest of children.  Institutions are not ever better for a child than living with a loving family.  Source:   http://www.unicef.org/cambodia/12681_23295.html       

d.  Reform schools, residential treatment programs, and other segregated congregate care settings have been shown to be ineffective and harmful.  Best source on this currently is:     https://www.acgov.org/probation/documents/EndoftheReformSchoolbyVinny.doc

e. Boarding Schools, even the "good ones", result in a form of social death, isolation, and cause both anxiety and depression.  Therefore, it is clearly not in the best interest of the youth subjected to those environments.  Sources: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jun/08/boarding-school-syndrome-joy-schaverien-review and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/secondaryeducation/11662001/The-truth-about-boarding-school-syndrome.html

Beyond the above arguments against segregated congregate care, we have reports from the NIH, Surgeon General, Yale University Studies, and much more showing the methodologies of behavior modification are damaging, harmful, and ineffective.  You can request these documents via e-mail.  In addition, for such programs offering academic services or claiming to offer diplomas, certifications, or the like, it is important to check to see if it is a diploma mill with no accredited academic services.  Please see: http://heal-online.blogspot.com/2019/01/avoiding-scams-what-you-need-to-know.html for important information on how to avoid education/training scams.

If you'd like to see what HEAL suggests rather than segregated congregate care (i.e. committing a crime or tort against your child if done against their will without a court order), please see: http://heal-online.blogspot.com/2017/05/fix-your-family-help-your-teen.html

Now, we have many programs on our watch list including this one and we do our best to update the site regularly with any new information.  And, we appreciate public participation in information gathering and your support.

If you have a complaint against this facility, please file a complaint with the appropriate law enforcement agency or your home state's attorney general.  For reporting resources see: http://www.heal-online.org/report.htm.  If you have entrusted care of a loved one to this facility, please consider bringing them home because even in the "good ones", it causes anxiety and depression to be segregated. 

"8/6/2015   Be careful people. This one is a doozy.  They take a 20 year old girl that has zero history of mental illness, who was shipped over in the MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT from Northwest Community Hospital without warning because her insurance lapsed by a few hours, which the parents reinstated immediately.   Elgin doesn't let the parents see her or speak with her.  They have "armed guards" or what I like to call police rejects,  Barney Fife types, 7 dwarfs...one dumber than the next.  The minute you have a question for their professionals, like Dr. Fagata (who NEVER ONCE spoke with the parents about the state of their daughter, but rather dodged them.  Instead, he has his poorly educated "nurse" or social worker named Leda deal with it instead) and would you like to know how Leda dealt with it?  Instead of coming out to speak with the parents,  she calls the 7 dwarf security guards to chase the parents off the premises with arrest threats and foul language...all because the parents asked to see their daughter, and didn't want to leave without her.  The parents wanted to speak with the doctor to see what the state of their daughter was.   The doctor never appeared.  We aren't even sure there was a doctor assigned.  It doesn't stop there.  The daughter was kept against her will and when asked under what law are they allowed to keep anyone of age against their will, when the daughter had signed the papers necessary to be released, they send the 7 dwarf guards out to say "it's the Mental Health Law".  Remember now, she has not been diagnosed with anything.  Nothing.  It was right out of One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest from the minute you pulled your car in to approaching the front desk, to meeting the employees,to trying to see the patient.  Then for exercise, you watch patients walking around in circles in the "yard", yes the "yard".   It is the filthiest place I've ever seen with barbed wire around every fence.  And the state calls this a health facility.  Really?  Don't ever get caught in this place ladies and gentleman.  It's for criminals both as patients and as employees.  This is  where they employ people who can't get jobs in real health facilities, especially the scum bag Paul Blarts of the world who need to kick out innocent people just to prove their worth...which by the way is ZERO.  What an experience to observe.  Big fat, gross security guards that have nothing better to do then chase reasonable parents away from whatever Elgin might be hiding.   Have another donut, boys.  Good job!  Why this place is even open is absolutely astounding.   They'd probably get better help in jail.  Good job State of Illinois."  Tammy B. (Author) Review found on Yelp, here:  https://www.yelp.com/biz/elgin-mental-health-center-elgin
External Link: https://www.forestparkreview.com/News/Articles/9-23-2013/Mom%27s-suicide-at-Riveredge-came-12-hours-after-transfer/ 
CROWDED, UNDERSTAFFED, HOSPITAL REELS OVER RAPE Rob Karwath CHICAGO TRIBUNE Debbie sat nervously behind the glass-enclosed security station on Two South, a ward for the criminally insane at the Elgin Mental Health Center. Down the hall, a stocky, goateed patient in a T-shirt glared at two visitors. Another patient casually wrapped a bathrobe around his naked body as he stepped into the hallway. In the television room, a patient sat swaying from side to side.  The night before a nurse at Elgin had been raped by one of the patients in a vestibule to the nurses` station, officials said. Sunday evening, a day after taking her co-worker to the hospital, Debbie sat in a chair 20 feet from where the attack occurred and described what it was like to be back at work: ''A lot of fear.'' No one on the unit heard the nurse`s screams because the patient clamped his hand over the nurse`s mouth, and no one saw him shut the two doors to the vestibule, state officials investigating the rape said. The woman was the only nurse on duty Saturday night, and Debbie was one of only four mental-health technicians supervising the 60 patients. ''A lot of the guys are commenting on it,'' said Debbie, who recounted three incidents in less than 24 hours in which women working on Two South had been taunted by patients who mentioned the alleged rape. ''One made the comment that he wanted to get a nurse too.'' The weekend attack has focused heightened attention on Two South, one of seven wings for the criminally insane at Elgin. Workers at Elgin-one of six state-run hospitals in Illinois with ''forensic'' units housing people found not guilty or unable to stand trial because they are mentally ill-say the incident should serve notice to state officials of dangerous conditions at the hospital. Saturday night, there were 325 patients, almost all of them men, in Elgin`s forensic wards. They included 85 who had been charged with murder, 59 who had been charged with attempted murder and 21 who had been charged with rape. Moreover, the incident underscores the potential risk posed to workers or residents throughout the state`s mental-health system. Injuries from patient attacks are common: Last year, more than 2,200 of the 12,000 staff members at the state`s 21 hospitals for mentally ill and retarded people were injured in patient attacks, state records show. Also, 23 workers who were attacked by patients in previous years have been declared fully disabled and now get disability checks from the state, said C.J. Dombrowski, inspector general of the state Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities. And state workers are not the only ones injured. About 6,300 of the 18,000 patients admitted to state mental hospitals last year were injured to some degree in patient attacks, state records show. At Elgin, where forensic patients are allowed to roam freely throughout their locked units, the facilities were never intended for their current use. Rather, they were built in the late 1940s for medical and psychological evaluations of servicemen returning from World War II, said Angelo Campagna, acting director at Elgin.  ''Unfortunately, this building is all that we have right now,'' said Dombrowski, who was sent to Elgin on Sunday to investigate the rape. Along with the poor layout of the forensic units, workers on Two South said they are frustrated by low staffing and overcrowding on the units, which they believe has contributed to recent violence. Last September, a patient wielding a telephone receiver so brutally beat forensic supervisor Carol Kalvaitis that her heart briefly stopped. Kalvaitis had to undergo brain surgery. Overcrowding has also taxed the state`s forensic programs, officials said, just as it has county jails and state prisons throughout Illinois. The Department of Mental Health cannot control how many patients it receives from the courts, agency Director Jess McDonald said. Although the forensic population has risen, the General Assembly and the governor have not increased the budget to build more forensic units. As a result, Two South, which is designed to handle 46 patients, was holding 60 Saturday night, state officials said. In addition, the state`s budget problems have precluded hiring additional staff to tend to the growing numbers of forensic patients. Officially, the Department of Mental Health says it employs 1.6 staff members for every patient at its 21 hospitals. But, in calculating that ratio, the state includes all administrators, many of whom have no regular contact with patients. As a result, the direct-care staff-to-patient ratio, including workers who are off-duty and on vacation, is less than one-to-one, mental-health officials acknowledge. And, on any given shift, the staff-to-patient ratio can be as low as it was Saturday night on Two South: One staff member for every 12 patients. The overcrowding and the lack of new hiring have had an effect on Two South workers. ''After this, I don`t feel like taking any chances,'' said Cheryl Prestidge, a unit nurse. Prestidge, who has just returned to Elgin after qutting four years ago, said she left the hospital in 1988 because she feared for her safety. ''When I left, I was scared,'' she said. ''People were getting hurt. My friends were getting hurt.'' During her four years away from Elgin, Prestidge worked as a home-care nurse, but returned to Elgin in February because the state`s benefits were better and the hours were more predictable. On Sunday, the day after the alleged rape, Prestidge said she was passing out medication in the nurses` station when she caught a glimpse of a patient hiding behind a door in the vestibule where Prestidge`s nursing colleague said she was raped. Prestidge did what she could. ''I just told him to get out of there,'' she said.  Source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1992-06-23-9202250444-story.html
 2nd lawsuit filed claiming sexual abuse at Elgin Mental Health Center Posted 12:20 PM, January 17, 2018, by Patrick Elwood, Updated at 05:10PM, January 17, 2018   ELGIN, Ill. -- A second lawsuit was filed in federal court Wednesday by another former patient at the Elgin Mental Health Center claiming he, too, was sexually abused by a social worker there. The charges follow similar ones from November that claim Benhadin Hurt, a 24-year-old Aurora man was kept at the center much longer than needed, so that the sexual abuse could continue with the man. Hurt, who has schizophrenia, was sent to the Elgin Mental Health Center (EMHC) after pleading guilty by reason of insanity to assaulting a police officer. Hurt, and now a second patient, allege a social worker forced them to have sex with her during their time there. Related Story Lawsuit claims sex slavery at suburban mental health center Two doctors have also been named in the first suit claiming they knew what was going on but looked the other way. Mark Owens Jr, 27, was the second person who came forward. He was charged with trying to disarm a police officer then later diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and institutionalized at EMHC. "That's when he was confronted with the idea, 'She can get me drugged to the gills so I better do what she says,'" Randy Kretchmar, attorney, said. According to the lawsuit, Owens said in part that he had, "no choice but to comply with [her] sexual advances or be diagnosed and drugged into a zombie state...and she committed felonies by unlawfully touching him...engaging in sex acts...all while under her complete control." The attorneys said the conduct is part of long time systemic abuse at the facility. The attorneys say the social worker was fired after the allegations came to light. The attorneys also claim the same social worker was having sex with a convicted child molester there, Angelo Rotunno, and actually helped him escape and is still on the run. The Illinois State Police already are investigating Hurt's claims, and attorneys said they should now widen their probe to include these new developments. A spokesman for the EMCH parent agency, the Illinois Department of Human Servies, said they are aware of the suit and beyond that can't comment.  Related stories Lawsuit claims sex slavery at suburban mental health center  Source: https://wgntv.com/2018/01/17/2nd-lawsuit-filed-claiming-sexual-abuse-at-elgin-mental-health-center/
 Lawsuit claims sex slavery at suburban mental health center Posted 5:37 PM, November 2, 2017, by WGN Web Desk and Patrick Elwood Share Update: Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest Email This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated. Lawsuit claims sex slavery at suburban mental health center ELGIN, Ill. -- A lawsuit is filed in federal court by a former patient at the Elgin Mental Health Center claims he was sexually abused by a social worker there.   Moreover, the suit claims he was kept at the center much, much longer than needed, so that the sexual abuse could continue with the man. Benhadin Hurt, a 24-year-old Aurora man, plead guilty by reason of insanity to assaulting a police officer. Diagnosed with schizophrenia he was sent to the state-run Elgin Mental Health Center. In a federal lawsuit filed today he is alleging a social worker there forced him to have sex with her over a three year period from 2014 until his release in 2017 and kept him there beyond the time he should have been released. Two doctors are also named in the suit claiming they knew what was going on but looked the other way. His attorneys say what happened to Hurt is part of long time systemic abuse at the facility. The attorneys say the social worker was fired after the allegations came to light. The attorneys also claim the same social worker was having sex with a convicted child molester there, Angelo Rotunno, and actually helped him escape and is still on the run. A state police spokesman said, “The ISP is currently investigating an alleged incident that occurred at  the Elgin Mental Health Center involving a former employee. This is an active and ongoing investigation and no further information is available.”  Source: https://wgntv.com/2017/11/02/lawsuit-claims-sex-slavery-at-suburban-mental-health-center/
External Link: https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/illinois/ilndce/1:2016cv05685/327123/56/
External Link: https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/gac/HRA/Reports/2011/11-100-9008.pdf 

 

 Last Updated: May 16th, 2019

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