This is a  staff list for Elevations in Syracuse, UT

(f.k.a. Island View RTC, Aspen Education Group--Confirmedly Abusive and Associated with the CEDU Cult Model)

(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 Island View.  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 Island View, you have the right to take action.

 

If you were harmed (family or survivor) by Island View, 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.

 

 

Please donít place your loved one in Island View and rescue them if they are there now. 

 

Name

Unit/Position

Additional Information
Guy Andersen Teacher The UT Dep't of Education cannot officially verify any teacher without their CACTUS ID number or social security number.  That said, Guy Andersen appears to have been licensed to teach Physical Science, Physical Education, and Biology in UT.  Andersen's teaching license expired in June, 2012.  (Source: e-mail from UT Dep't of Education)
David Melear Executive Director (Starting January 3rd, 2011).  Melear is not a licensed mental health nor medical professional in Utah.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html   Melear no longer appears to work for this program.
Alayna Bean Registrar Bean is not a licensed mental health nor medical professional in Utah.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Jennifer Capellen Teacher The UT Dep't of Education cannot officially verify any teacher without their CACTUS ID number or social security number.  That said, Jennifer Capellen appears to be licensed to teach Social Studies in UT.  (Source: e-mail from UT Dep't of Education)  Capellen is now with Elevations RTC.
Julie Harper Supervisor There is a Julie Ann Harper that is a licensed pharmacist.  But, Harper is not a licensed mental health professional, nurse, nor doctor in UT.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Donna Hart Teacher HEAL has contacted the Utah Office of Education and is waiting on verification regarding Island View's teacher certifications.  Hart no longer appears to work for this program.
Shannon Hohosh Teacher HEAL has contacted the Utah Office of Education and is waiting on verification regarding Island View's teacher certifications.  Hohosh no longer appears to work for this program.
Keith Hubbard Recreation Hubbard is not a licensed recreational therapist, mental heath professional, nor medical professional in UT.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Judi Jacques Academic Director/Asst. Executive Director The UT Dep't of Education cannot officially verify any teacher without their CACTUS ID number or social security number.  That said, Judi Jacques appears to be licensed to teach Special Education, Social Studies, and French in UT.  (Source: e-mail from UT Dep't of Education)  Jacques was the Academic Director for Island View and is now the Asst. Executive Director of Elevations RTC.
Jon Mehl Teacher HEAL has contacted the Utah Office of Education and is waiting on verification regarding Island View's teacher certifications.  Mehl no longer appears to work for this program.
Nate Pack Teacher Educated in Logan, UT.  The UT Dep't of Education cannot officially verify any teacher without their CACTUS ID number or social security number.  That said, Nate Pack appears to be licensed to teach Visual Arts in UT.  (Source: e-mail from UT Dep't of Education)
Stacey Palmer Teacher HEAL has contacted the Utah Office of Education and is waiting on verification regarding Island View's teacher certifications.  Palmer no longer appears to work for this program.
Chad Sanders Teacher Graduate of Southern UT Univ.  Majored in German.  HEAL has contacted the Utah Office of Education and is waiting on verification regarding Island View's teacher certifications.  Sanders no longer appears to work for this program.
JaLane Smock Teacher The UT Dep't of Education cannot officially verify any teacher without their CACTUS ID number or social security number.  That said, JaLane Smock appears to be licensed to teach Special Education, Sociology, and English in UT.  (Source: e-mail from UT Dep't of Education)
Mary Covington Insurance Consultant Covington has been with Island View since 2002.  There is a Maryann Covington that is a licensed nurse in UT.  It is unclear whether or not this is the same individual.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Brandi Fox HR Asst. Brandi is an Identical twin from Phoenix Arizona. (And Randi her twin sister works next door at the new Aspen Institute.  HEAL chose not to do a verification of professional licensure as clerical assistants are typically not expected to have any professional licenses.
Tamra Fox (Foy) HR Asst. HEAL chose not to do a verification of professional licensure as clerical assistants are typically not expected to have any professional licenses.
Lynne Herfel Accounting HEAL chose not to do a verification of professional licensure as accountants are typically not expected to have any professional licenses.  (Herfel is not a licensed accountant nor CPA in UT).  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Jana Randall Office Asst. Jana started working at the Aspen Institute (the facility next door) in July of 2008. She is now working as the Business Office Assistant for both facilities.  HEAL chose not to do a verification of professional licensure as clerical assistants are typically not expected to have any professional licenses.
Brandee Johnson Finance Mgr. Johnson started at Island View in 2005.  HEAL chose not to do a verification of professional licensure as finance managers are typically not expected to have any professional licenses.  Johnson no longer appears to work for this program.
Clint Saline Facilities Mgr. Saline is not a licensed mental health nor medical professional in UT.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html   Saline no longer appears to work for this program.
Tammi Spaulding Parent Check-In Spaulding controls when and if a parent can speak with or visit their child.  Spaulding is not a licensed mental health nor medical professional in UT.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Sherrie Young Food Services HEAL chose not to do a verification of professional licensure as food preparation/chefs are typically not expected to have any professional licenses.  Young no longer appears to work for this program.
Lisa Lloyd Buccambuso Admissions Lloyd was formerly in the Air Force and began at Island View in 2004.  Buccambuso is not a licensed mental health nor medical professional in UT.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Laura Burt Admissions Burt is not a licensed mental health nor medical professional in UT.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html   Burt is now with Elevations RTC.
Brittany Freebairn-Knighton Admissions Freebairn has been with Island View since 2007.  Freebairn-Knighton is not a licensed mental health nor medical professional in UT.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Michelle Boulware Residential Mgr. Boulware is not a licensed mental health nor medical professional in UT.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html   Boulware no longer appears to work for this program.
Jason Drake Program Mgr. Drake has worked at numerous unnamed/unidentified residential programs since 1999.*  Jason Alton Drake (may be a different person) is a licensed clinical social worker and has been since 2006.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html  Drake earned degree from Barry University in 2003.  Drake no longer appears to work for this program.
Steve Lancaster Director of Residential Svcs. Lancaster has worked for other unnamed facilities.*  Lancaster reportedly no longer works for this program.  Lancaster reportedly works at Child Help in Lignum, VA now.  Steven Dale Lancaster (may be a different person) is a licensed clinical social worker in UT and has been since 1997.   Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html 
Kathryn Robison Residential Program Mgr. Robison is not a licensed mental health nor medical professional in UT.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html  Robison no longer appears to work for this program.
(Dr.) Kirk Simon Medical Director Simon is a licensed medical doctor in UT and has been since 1996.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html   Simon is now with Elevations RTC.
Don Vardell Executive Director Don ran two programs prior to assuming his role at Island View - the Academy at Swift River (confirmedly abusive) in western Massachusetts, and EXCEL Academy (confirmedly abusive) of Texas near Houston. He also served as the Administrator of an unnamed* long term adolescent residential treatment center in Tennessee serving private pay clients. He started at Island View in January, 2009.  Vardell will be replaced by David Melear as of January 3rd, 2011.  No news on whether Vardell will remain at the program in another capacity.  Vardell is not a licensed mental health nor medical professional in UT.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html   Vardell no longer appears to work for this program.
Rebecca "Beckie" Basso Nurse Basso is a registered nurse in UT and has been since 2001.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html   Basso no longer appears to work for this program.
Sue Colgate Medical Records Colgate has been with Island View since 1998.  Colgate is not a licensed mental health nor medical professional in UT.  It is inappropriate for Colgate to have access to or be in charge of medical records.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Mike Connolly Psychiatrist Connolly is a licensed medical doctor in UT.  However, there is no information on whether he specialized in psychiatry.  This is a concern.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html  Connolly is now with Elevations RTC.
Frankie Davis Nurse Davis is a licensed nurse in UT and has been since 1992.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html   Davis no longer appears to work for this program.
Rachelle "Shelly" Dunn Nurse Dunn has been with Island View since 2008.  Dunn is not a licensed nurse in UT.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Patricia Goldman Nurse Goldman is a licensed practical nurse and has been since 2004.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html  Goldman no longer appears to work for this program.
Jana Mark Transportation HEAL chose not to do a verification of professional licensure as drivers are typically not expected to have any professional licenses.  Mark no longer appears to work for this program.
Melody Neel Nursing Director Neel is a registered nurse in UT and has been since 2004.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Judy Nelson Nurse Nelson is originally from Idaho.  There are multiple Judy Nelson's that are licensed nurses in UT.  HEAL requires Judy's full name or license number to verify.  Nelson no longer appears to work for this program.
Jeff Ryan Physician Asst. There are multiple Jeff Ryan's that are licensed physician's assistants in UT.  HEAL requires Jeff's full name or license number to verify.
Jan Sewell Nurse Sewell has been with Island View since 2001.  Sewell is a licensed registered nurse in UT and has been since 1982.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Claudia Shultz Nurse Claudia Jacobs Shultz (may be a different person) is a licensed registered nurse in UT and has been since 2007.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html  Shultz no longer appears to work for this program.
Janelle Stratford Nurse Stratford has been with Island View since 2007.  Her son is a missionary with the LDS/Mormon church.  Janelle Waite Stratford (may be a different person) is a licensed registered nurse in UT and has been since 1978.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
PJ Gravis Specialist Formerly worked for Outward Bound.  Has been with Island View since 2007.  Gravis is not a licensed mental health nor medical professional in UT.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Jonathon Griffith Supervisor Griffith has been with Island View since 2007.  Griffith is not a licensed mental health nor medical professional in UT.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html  Griffith is now with Elevations RTC.
Amanda Kays Recreation Specialist Kays is not a licensed recreation therapist, mental health nor medical professional in UT.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Shari Rasmussen Specialist Rasmussen is not a licensed mental health nor medical professional in UT.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Bradley Sheneman Specialist Sheneman is not a licensed mental health nor medical professional in UT.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html   Sheneman no longer appears to work for this program.
Robert "Bob" Croxford Counselor A native of Utah, he lived 31 years in Wyoming before returning to Utah in 2002 and has worked with Island View RTC since his return.   Croxford, like many in the industry were attendants of Weber State University.*  Croxford is a licensed substance use disorder counselor only and has been since 2003.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html   Croxford no longer appears to work for this program.
Ken Francis Therapist Kenton Lee Francis (may be a different person) is a licensed clinical social worker in UT and has been since 2008.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Jalene Hansen Therapist Hansen is a licensed clinical social worker in UT and has been since 2008.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Stephen Havertz Therapist Havertz reportedly no longer works for this program.  Havertz is a licensed clinical social worker in UT and has been since 1993.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Kim Hill Therapist Kimberly S. Hill (may be a different person) is a licensed clinical social worker in UT and has been since 2007.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Jessica Holzbauer Therapist Jessica Holzbauer is a licensed clinical social worker and has only been licensed since February, 2012.  She has held the title of "therapist" at Island View since prior to her licensure.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html  Holzbauer no longer appears to work for this program.
Jeff Lavallee Therapist Lavallee has worked at various unnamed programs for 16 years (as of August, 2009).  Lavallee is a licensed marriage and family therapist in UT and has been since 1998.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Misty Rosier Program Mgr. Rosier has been with Island View since 2000.  Rosier is a licensed counselor and has been only since December, 2011.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Matt Seelos Therapist Seelos has worked at multiple unnamed residential teen facilities since 2000.*  Seelos is a licensed clinical social worker and has been since 2006.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Shad Swanson Teacher Swanson started with Island View in 2009 (according to parentcheckin.com on August 2nd, 2009).  Swanson no longer appears to work for this program.  HEAL has contacted the Utah Office of Education and is waiting on verification regarding Island View's teacher certifications.
Charlotte Scott Nutritionist Scott no longer appears to work for this program.  Charlotte Cragun Scott (may be a different person) is a licensed dietician in UT and has been since 1988.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Jennifer Weese Operations Director Weese no longer appears to work for this program.  Weese is not a licensed mental health nor medical professional in UT.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Jody Fowers Nurse Fowers has been with Island View since 2006.  Fowers no longer appears to work for this program.  Fowers is a licensed nurse in UT and has been since September, 2006.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Janice Mumford Nurse Mumford no longer appears to work for this program.  Mumford is not a licensed nurse in UT.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Mark Regier Specialist Formerly worked for confirmedly abusive program, Second Nature WildernessRegier no longer appears to work for this program.  Regier is not a licensed mental health nor medical professional in UT.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Stacey Rosenberg Specialist Stacey worked at Second Nature Wilderness program in Duchesne, Utah for 1 and 1/2 years, worked at Second Nature Wilderness program at Blue Ridge in Clayton, GA for 8 months as a field instructor, and she has worked as a recreation specialist at Island View since November 2004. Rosenberg no longer appears to work for this program.  Rosenberg is not a licensed mental health nor medical professional in UT.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Dale Erdmann Therapist He has worked with Island View for 8 years, then with Aspen Institute for a year, and now he is back at Island View.  Erdmann no longer appears to work for this program.  Erdmann is not a licensed mental health nor medical professional in UT.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Rich Michaelson Therapist Michaelson has worked at Island View since 2005.  Michaelson no longer appears to work for this program.  Michaelson is a licensed clinical social worker and has been since September, 2005.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Jennifer Selent Therapist Selent was originally from Muskegon/Kalamazoo, MI.  Selent worked for programs in MI before moving to Utah.  Selent no longer appears to work for this program.  Selent is a licensed marriage and family therapist in UT and has been since 2008.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Melissa Stephens Therapist Formerly worked for Children and Family Services of Alabama.*  Stephens no longer appears to work for this program.  Stephens is a licensed marriage and family therapist in UT and has been since 2010.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Blake Taylor Therapist Taylor has been with Island View since 1999 and worked for other unnamed programs from 1987-1999.*  Taylor no longer appears to work for this program.  Taylor is solely licensed as a counselor in UT and only since 2004.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Jack Hinman Therapist (2005/2006) Hinman no longer works for Island View and currently works at Sunrise RTC Hinman is not a licensed mental health nor medical professional in UT.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Keone (last name?) Counselor Reported by e-mail by survivor from 2005/2006.
Kelly Cooper Spanish Teacher The UT Dep't of Education cannot officially verify any teacher without their CACTUS ID number or social security number.  That said, Kelly Cooper appears to be licensed to teach Spanish in UT.  (Source: e-mail from UT Dep't of Education)
Shellie Halbritter Math Teacher Shellie Halbritter is NOT a licensed teacher in UT.  (Source: e-mail from UT Dep't of Education)
Ryan Mortensen Math Teacher The UT Dep't of Education cannot officially verify any teacher without their CACTUS ID number or social security number.  That said, Ryan Mortensen appears to be licensed to teach Math in UT.  (Source: e-mail from UT Dep't of Education)
Jo Thomas Science Teacher The UT Dep't of Education cannot officially verify any teacher without their CACTUS ID number or social security number.  The UT Dep't of Education requires additional information (full name, etc.) to assist with verifying whether Jo Thomas is licensed.  (Source: e-mail from UT Dep't of Education)
David Hans Executive Director Hans is not a licensed mental health nor medical professional in UT.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html  Hans is the Executive Director of Elevations and was the also the Executive Director of Island View RTC.
Kimi Germer Food Services Supervisor HEAL chose not to do a verification of professional licensure as food preparation/chefs are typically not expected to have any professional licenses.
Chase Hemsley RN Hemsley is not a licensed nurse in UT.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Angie Michaelson Medical Transport Michaelson is not a licensed mental health nor medical professional in UT.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Jennifer Tackitt RN Tackitt is a Registered Nurse in UT and has been since 2009.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Erik Taylor RN Taylor is a Registered Nurse and has been since 2011.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Britani Brown Office Manager HEAL chose not to do a verification of professional licensure as office managers are typically not expected to have any professional licenses.
Eric Flores Residential Program Mgr. Flores is not a licensed mental health nor medical professional in UT.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html  Flores is now with Elevations RTC.
Joe Ballent Recreation Specialist Ballent is not a licensed mental health nor medical professional in UT.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Jake Andreason Primary Therapist Jacob Ray Andreason (may be a different person) is solely licensed as an Assoc. Clinical Mental Health Counselor (NOT THERAPIST) and has only been licensed since January, 2011.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Peter Brickey Therapist Peter Brickey is solely licensed as an Assoc. Clinical Mental Health Counselor (NOT THERAPIST) and has only been licensed since February, 2011.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Christine Dick Primary Therapist Christine Dick is solely licensed as a Certified Social Worker (NOT THERAPIST) and has been since 1996.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Stacy Hamilton Primary Therapist Stacy Lynn Hamilton (may be a different person) is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in UT and has been since July, 2011.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Tricia Morton Substance Abuse Therapist Morton is solely licensed as an Assoc. Clinical Mental Health Counselor (NOT THERAPIST) and has only been licensed since April, 2012.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html  Morton graduated from the University of Phoenix in April, 2012. 

"The Justice Department announced today that the University of Phoenix has agreed to pay the United States $67.5 million to resolve allegations that its student recruitment policies violated the False Claims Act.  This case began as a whistleblower action filed in the Eastern District of California under the False Claims Act, which permits private citizens to bring lawsuits for fraud on behalf of the United States and to share in any recovery. Whistleblowers Mary Hendow and Julie Behn, two former University of Phoenix employees, alleged that the university accepted federal student financial aid while in violation of statutory and regulatory provisions prohibiting post-secondary schools from paying admissions counselors certain forms of incentive-based compensation tied to the number of students recruited. Though the United States did not intervene in this action, the Government provided support and assistance to the whistleblowers at many stages of the case, including filing friend-of-the-court briefs when the case was on appeal to the Ninth Circuit. The two whistleblowers will receive $19 million from the settlement."

The University of Phoenix does not have the specialized accreditation necessary for degrees in psychology.  (Source: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/Search.aspx)   It is accredited for teaching and nursing degrees.

Kim Williams-Redmond Primary Therapist Williams-Redmond is solely licensed as an Assoc. Clinical Mental Health Counselor (NOT THERAPIST) and has only been licensed since October, 2010.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html  Morton graduated from the University of Phoenix in July, 2010. 

"The Justice Department announced today that the University of Phoenix has agreed to pay the United States $67.5 million to resolve allegations that its student recruitment policies violated the False Claims Act.  This case began as a whistleblower action filed in the Eastern District of California under the False Claims Act, which permits private citizens to bring lawsuits for fraud on behalf of the United States and to share in any recovery. Whistleblowers Mary Hendow and Julie Behn, two former University of Phoenix employees, alleged that the university accepted federal student financial aid while in violation of statutory and regulatory provisions prohibiting post-secondary schools from paying admissions counselors certain forms of incentive-based compensation tied to the number of students recruited. Though the United States did not intervene in this action, the Government provided support and assistance to the whistleblowers at many stages of the case, including filing friend-of-the-court briefs when the case was on appeal to the Ninth Circuit. The two whistleblowers will receive $19 million from the settlement."

The University of Phoenix does not have the specialized accreditation necessary for degrees in psychology.  (Source: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/Search.aspx)   It is accredited for teaching and nursing degrees.

Jennifer Wilde Clinical Director Wilde appears to be new and to have only worked under the Elevations RTC brand at this location.  Please let us know if Wilde worked at Island View prior to the re-branding.  Wilde is a licensed clinical social worker and has been since 2000 in Utah.  Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html
Karen Fitzhugh Staff Fitzhugh formerly worked for CEDU and Sovereign Journey in NH.
Sarah Finney Staff Finney reportedly no longer works for Island View and is now reportedly scamming people as an "educational consultant".  Source: Report from victim of her educational consultant business.
W. Dean Belnap Attending Phys.
Name: WILFORD DEAN BELNAP
City, State, Zip, Country: KAYSVILLE, UT 84037, UNITED STATES
Profession: PHYSICIAN
License Type: PHYSICIAN & SURGEON
License Number: 137049-1205
Obtained By: APPLICATION
License Status: EXPIRED
Original Issue Date: 07/26/1948
Expiration Date: 01/31/2014
Agency and Disciplinary Action*: NONE
Docket Number: N/A

Name: WILFORD DEAN BELNAP
City, State, Zip, Country: KAYSVILLE, UT 84037, UNITED STATES
Profession: PHYSICIAN
License Type: PHYSICIAN/SURGEON CS
  SCHEDULE 2-5
License Number: 137049-8905
Obtained By: APPLICATION
License Status: EXPIRED
Original Issue Date: 01/03/1974
Expiration Date: 01/31/2014
Agency and Disciplinary Action*: NONE
Docket Number: N/A

Source: https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html

*(Elevations RTC (fka Island View),  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.)
Island View was an Aspen Education Group program.  Thomas J. Croke, Educational Consultant, has denounced Aspen Education Group for putting profits over the safety and care of children in Aspen programs.

HEAL SPECIAL REPORT:

ISLAND VIEW RTC

ENROLLMENT AGREEMENT REVIEW

HEAL has found multiple problems with Island View's enrollment agreement, including apparent unconscionable terms and/or contradictory terms leaving us to believe that Island View is running a money-making scam on families in need of assistance.  We will be alternating between "quoted text" from pages of of Island View's enrollment agreement (as was downloaded from islandview-rtc.com on October 10th, 2010) and HEAL's questions/concerns.  HEAL will not repeatedly link to the enrollment agreement in full throughout this review, and, we advise readers to scroll back and/or open the enrollment agreement in a new window while reviewing our work for accuracy or if additional contextualization is preferred.  This is an independent review and if you are in need of legal assistance or advice, please consult with an attorney

Admission Record (unnumbered page)

"Parent/Guardian #1 Name"

"Birth Date"

Guarantor #1 Name"

"Social Security Number"

Guarantor's Employer"

"Work Address"

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

HEAL would like to point out that the parent/guardian of the youth is likely also the primary guarantor of payment.  The program requests a lot of private, personally identifying information such as date of birth and social security number.  This is a minor concern given the history and current activities of programs operating in this field.  It is our experience that most programs do not require such personally identifying information and this is a concern given the possibility for misuse of that information. 

At this time, we alert readers to the fact that this review is incomplete.  Island View does not make available the financial information (costs associated with program), all waivers, parent handbook, nor power of attorney they require for their program.  So, we advise families considering Island View to review the other Aspen Education Group enrollment packet reviews such as those located at www.heal-online.org/aspeninst.htm, www.heal-online.org/aspenrch.htm, and www.heal-online.org/aspenache.htm.

Enrollment Agreement (page 1)

"This agreement ("Agreement") is entered into by and between Island View Residential Treatment Center, L.L.C., a Delaware limited liability company, (hereinafter "Island View") operating as Island View, a licensed program, which is described in the program materials that Sponsor has received previously and which is made a part of this Agreement by reference (the "Program") and the parent(s) and/or guardian(s) of the Resident (hereinafter the "Sponsors"). 

"On the day of enrollment, Sponsor shall transfer, by a Power of Attorney in the form received and executed by Sponsor, temporary custody of the Resident to Island View for the duration of the enrollment period, or until the Resident attains the age of eighteen (18), unless the Resident (a) has otherwise been placed in the custody of Island View by a court of proper jurisdiction or (b) voluntarily consents in writing to remain in the Program for any period of time beyond said eighteenth (18th) birthday."

"The Resident is accepted with the expectation that the Resident will complete the individual master treatment program.  The Program fee per month excludes the cost of psychotropic and other medications, laboratory fees, and medical services as may be necessary."

"Payments not received by the 1st of the month of service are subject to a $250 late fee and may result in discharge of the resident from the program.  With the exception of the discharge summary, transcripts and other transition information, such as resident records, will not be released after a resident discharges until all tuition and fees are paid in full."  (ends on page 2)

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

Island View is a licensed program in Utah.  However, Utah does not effectively or even admittedly regulate these programs.  This was admitted by Ken Stettler in an interview with The Deseret News.  There are many reasons parents should avoid entrusting their children to programs in Utah.  See www.heal-online.org/utah.htm for more information.

The Power of Attorney form and Program Description for Island View were not included in Island View's online forms.  However, we are including below our review of the Power of Attorney requirements and Program Description of other Aspen programs as they are likely similar or the same. 

We cannot discuss the costs of the program (as they have not been provided by Island View), but, if similar to other Aspen programs, the costs are outrageously high and go beyond any reasonable expectation of fair-dealing considering all of the services not covered by the so-called "tuition" costs.

We included the late fee above as it contradicts the late fee on page 10 (unnumbered, but will show as page 10 in the .pdf of the enrollment agreement) of $50.  Regardless, this is an extraordinarily high late fee and suggests a punitive rather than compensatory clause to the agreement.  Punitive clauses are generally not enforced as they are often considered unconscionable.

Aspen Achievement Academy Enrollment Agreement (Page G & H)

"POWER OF ATTORNEY"

"KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENT, that I/we _______(the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) and hereafter known as the "Sponsor"), do hereby certify to Aspen Education Group, which owns and operates the program known as Aspen Achievement Academy, that I/we are the true and lawful attorney in-fact and legal custodian(s) for ____(hereinafter the "Student")...We hereby execute this Power of Attorney for the purpose of providing custodial care, educational, therapeutic and clinical services in connection with the Aspen Achievement Academy (hereinafter known as the "Program")."

"Without limiting or qualifying the general Power of Attorney granted and delegated by Sponsor to Aspen in the paragraph above, Sponsor specifically grants to Aspen the following powers:"

"To provide or obtain all medical, dental, psychiatric treatment and hospital care, and to authorize a physician to perform any and all procedures that may appear to be medically necessary."

"To guide and discipline the Student as deemed necessary and reasonable by Aspen (but not to include physical punishment)."

"To physically restrain the Student should he/she become a danger to himself/herself or to anyone else, as deemed necessary by Aspen."

"To allow the Student to participate in all activities that may risk physical injury or illness."

"To search the person and personal effects of the Student at any time as Aspen Education Group in its discretion deems appropriate, and seize and confiscate any items deemed by Aspen to be contraband or counterproductive to the Student's successful completion of the Program.  The search of the Student's person may require Student to remove all of his or her clothing and may include a "strip search" of all or any portions of Student's body, including cavities in which contraband could be hidden."

"To restrict the Student's access to telephone calls, visitors, and delivered materials."

"FamilyIQ' 4 CD series"

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

Many programs in the industry require a limited power of attorney.  And, we remind parents that they can sign away their own rights, but, not the rights of their minor children.  This likely includes the right to be protected against unreasonable searches and seizures.  For more information, see www.heal-online.org/legalarguments.htm.  This is for information purposes only.  If you need legal advice, consult an attorney.

In addition, in other areas of the contract (to be discussed below), AAA limits all liability for harms up to and including death and places all risk on the side of the family.  It is a concern and seems unconscionable that a program would demand such authority over a child while taking no responsibility for the care of that child.  What are parents really getting out of this lopsided bargain?

It is reasonable for the program to request the power to obtain medical care in the event it is required.  There is nothing wrong with that portion of the agreement.  However, the following statements are contradictory.

The use of physical restraint is a form of physical punishment as is using pressure points and other torture techniques to enforce compliance with scheduled hikes and activities in the program.  The program will argue that they have to get the kids from one destination to another for their own "safety" and that using restraint and other physical abuse is necessary for the "safety" of all the children in the program.  This is not the intent of laws preventing or limiting the use of physical restraint.  An immediate threat of imminent bodily harm created by an individual warrants restraint.  Any "threat" that involves a slow-down in the hike or delay in reaching destinations should be managed in a way that does not violate the rights of the child or the intent of laws regulating the use of restraint.  In addition, AAA does not limit the use of physical restraint to just the event in which a child is a danger to self or others.  This is developed in discussion of later pages of the contract.  The claim that they don't use physical punishment and that they do use restraint beyond the limits claimed in this section of the document suggests misleading and/or deceptive practices.

It is a serious concern that the child's contact with the outside world is severely limited by the program.  What restrictions are placed on a child's communication with their family?  Do they have access to a phone in the event of an emergency or even simply the need to talk to "Mom or Dad"?  Federal court decisions have shown that censoring/monitoring a child's mail is a violation of their rights.  These are all serious concerns.

FamilyIQ was created by Mark Hobbins, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Aspen Education Group.  It is not an independent program.  And, the "nice" appearance of their "system" and the lack of reference on FamilyIQ to its Aspen Education Group connection really suggests additional deception by both parties.  It could be an attempt to begin rebranding as Aspen Education Group has been facing extensive criticism for their practices.  Children have died and been severely injured in Aspen wilderness programs and residential programs.  This is something that suggests Aspen should be avoided.

Aspen Ranch Enrollment Agreement (Pages 27 & 28)

"Aspen Ranch Program Details"

"In order to maintain a safe environment for students and staff, we will conduct a thorough intake which includes a strip search and search of all belongings upon admission and upon return of all off-campus visits with parents."

"Your child will be provided most of the items he or she will need at Aspen Ranch."

"Other family members can write letters later in the child's treatment as he or she moves through the level system.  Students can only receive letters from friends in the final stages of treatment and only with parental approval."

"Typically, the first eight weeks in the program are a time of orientation and emotional adjustment for the student and family.  Our experience has indicated that it is more productive when family and student have made this adjustment separately.  Therefore, parent visits can be set up with the therapist after the eighth week in treatment."

"The student will be present for at least one family session via teleconference each month after the blackout period."

"The minimum time that a student can complete the program is nine months.  For most students, completion of the program will take longer than nine months."

"A minimum of (2) parent education workshops and Family Enrichment is required."

"We retain the services of a psychiatrist who visits the Ranch once a month...We also retain the services of an Family Nurse Practitioner who visits the Ranch once a week."

"Students who attain Rider or Wrangler are eligible for off campus trips that may include hikes, visits to National Parks, snowboarding, river rafting and trail rides.  These are privileges that students must earn.  Typically, students are not able to earn this level and these privileges until they've been in treatment for at least 6 months."

"Aspen Ranch is a Residential Treatment Center...For a child to be successful in all aspects of the program, the parent's attitude needs to embrace all aspects of the program."

"Aspen Ranch is accredited through the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools...Aspen Ranch offers a college preparatory track, but does not offer Advanced Placement options...Students may take a foreign language through a correspondence course available through Brigham Young University.  Parents are responsible for the extra fee that this incurs."

"Parents should understand that academic progress waxes and wanes relative to therapeutic progress."

"Students must complete the program in order to receive transitional services.  If you elect to terminate your child's care prior to his/her completion of the program, you forfeit the $7,982.50 pre-paid fee for transitional services."

"Monthly tuition covers room and board, supervision, therapeutic care and academics.  In addition, parents will pay for miscellaneous expenses including: escort fees, clothing & hygiene products, minor school supplies, birthday cakes, activities and SAT/ACT testing."

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

HEAL has amply covered the issues regarding the strip searches conducted by Aspen.  We include it again above as a reminder that body cavity searches are included and conducted on all children in the program regardless of the child's needs or history.  This is a serious concern and an apparent violation of the child's rights.

What necessities are not provided by Aspen?  Why are children deprived of any item they need while being under the control of Aspen?  Deprivation of needs would suggest blatant child neglect.  Neglect is a serious child abuse issue.  These and other abuses are described in detail on HEAL's Teen Rights' page at www.heal-online.org/teenrights.htm.

It is one of HEAL's primary warning signs of an abusive program that they deny or severely limit contact with the outside world.  Denying children the right to speak with parents by phone, and vice versa, during the first few months of "treatment" is a sign of an abusive program.  See www.heal-online.org/warn.htm for more warning signs and questions you should ask any program you consider. 

How long is the blackout period?  Does it ever last more than two months?  What is the longest period a child has been denied contact with the outside world (including parents) while in the program?

What is the average length of stay in the program?  How many years of "Harvard tuition" will be sucked up by Aspen's scam?  How many vacations or homes will be forfeited as a result of the extraordinary costs of this program?

Are the seminars included in the cost of the program?  Are the seminars and other parenting materials to be purchased separately by the family? 

For what purpose does Aspen retain the services of a psychiatrist?  Why does the psychiatrist only visit once per month?  Is the psychiatrist's sole purpose to prescribe psychoactive drugs to children?  Is the sole purpose or primary purpose of the nurse's weekly visit to monitor the effects of psychoactive drugs on children?  Are any legitimate professional therapies provided by Aspen?  They do not appear to be.

Are children held within the confines of Aspen Ranch on location for 6-months or more without any interaction with the outside world?  If so, this seems like a blatant violation of the child's civil rights.  See www.heal-online.org/provocases.htm and www.heal-online.org/legalarguments.htm for more information.

Again, we have Aspen demanding parents support the program without question.  This is a serious concern as many reported practices of Aspen appear to violate the rights of children.  These include practices that may be considered child abuse by authorities.  This is a serious concern.

For information on issues with accreditation agencies, see www.heal-online.org/accreditation.htm.  It is HEAL's understanding that the NAAS allows self-evaluations as the primary basis for accreditation.  This is in no way effective oversight.  Also, a foreign language taught by correspondence course is not going to benefit the child in understanding the language or culture of the language's origin.  This is a serious concern.  Also, since most colleges require foreign language as a pre-requisite for acceptance, this may hamper a child's future.  Why does Aspen charge extra for providing a lame correspondence course?  Greed?!

Are children denied access to an educational curriculum/academic services at any point of the program?  What does Aspen mean by "academic progress waxes and wanes relative to therapeutic progress"?  In many programs, the right to an education is deprived during certain phases of the program.  This is a serious concern.  What does Aspen mean by "therapeutic"?

Why are parents expected to pay for minor school supplies, activities, and academic testing?  Shouldn't these costs be included in the steep tuition cost (more expensive than Harvard University)? 

Readers may notice that the program description does not describe the program, the level system used, the definitions imposed by the program in regards to privileges/disciplinary actions/etc., or any detail that would suggest the program is providing a legitimate service.  Since this is the only description included of the program, the overall contract appears to be illusory, void/voidable, unenforceable, and amounting to nothing more than a scam that defrauds families and injures children, emotionally, psychologically, and/or physically.  Aspen Education Group should be immediately shut down by regulators and/or the Department of Justice and penalties should be imposed and victims should be provided with refunds and/or compensation for any and all injuries.

Enrollment Agreement (page 2)

"Residents receiving school district/mental health assistance must provide the program with written pre-approval from the district and county mental health before enrollment.  Sponsor is responsible for payment of all tuition and fees not paid."

"The program reserves the right to discharge residents whose insurance claims become delinquent.  Upon decertification of the case by the insurance company, Sponsor shall pay the amount due.  If the non-contracted insurance provider fails to pay within 60 days of submission of a claim, Sponsor shall pay the amount due."

"The current tuition fee is subject to increases upon 60-day notice."

"If Sponsor or authorized third party withdraws Resident before treatment is completed as determined by the Island View treatment team, Sponsor understands and agrees that Sponsor shall immediately (1) pay all outstanding account balances and tuition through the end of the month in which the Resident is withdrawn and (2) forfeit the tuition deposit."

"In addition to the Program fee, Sponsor agrees to pay for the following expenses of the Resident: transportation from the Resident's current residence to Syracuse, Utah, and return transportation to the Resident's current residence; food and lodging expenses for any holding period before commencement of the Program and/or after completion of the Program; all medical, dental, hospital, prescription medication; and related expenses incurred by or for the Resident, and all required personal items specified in the resident clothing list.  Sponsors are also responsible for any additional escort fees required for transporting Resident to and/or from the Program to another location (i.e., airport, doctor's appointment or special event), outside the normal business hours."

"Sponsor agrees to accept full responsibility for (1) the repair or replacement of any property damaged, defaced, or destroyed by the Resident, whether owned, leased, or controlled by Island View or any third party, and (2) any personal injury to any Island View personnel, other residents or third parties caused, in whole or in part, by the Resident, and to promptly reimburse Island View for any costs and expenses, including legal fees, it may incur in connection therewith."

"All accounting of the expenses incurred by Island View in finding and returning the Resident will be made to the Sponsor who agrees to accept full responsibility for any and all such costs and expenses, and to pay the same within seven (7) days of the Sponsor's receipt of said accounting."

"Island View is not liable for any loss of, or damage to any of the Resident's property."

"Sponsor agrees and consents to Island View's subcontracting certain services to be rendered under this Agreement to persons or entities deemed by Island View to be properly qualified to provide said services, at no additional cost to Sponsor unless otherwise agreed to by both parties.  Island View is not responsible for the services provided by such third-party contractors and is hereby released from any liability arising from such services."

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

This program appears to receive public funds from school districts, county mental health services, and juvenile justice systems.  In doing so, it is required to honor the civil/constitutional rights of children in the program.  Since this program openly admits to violating these rights by exercise of strip searches and other such violations, it is a serious concern.  School districts, courts, and other authorities should not be paying to have children's rights violated. 

Parents should ask how often insurance companies deny claims made for "treatment" at Aspen programs.  It is likely very often and parents really shouldn't subject their child to programs that do not qualify as proper mental health facilities.

If you know the current tuition rates of this program, please let us know.  We will need evidence prior to posting.  Thank you.  It is a concern that the contract is for any minimum duration with the rates being subject to increase every 60 days. 

Island View has a financial stake in how long a child is kept in captivity and in the program.  Other programs in this industry have kept children until the children could convince a relative to place another youth in the family in the program.  And, this is a serious concern, both for the good of the family and in regards to ethical considerations.  It is an additional concern that the program, which has knowledge of its own wrongful practices, would include any form of liquidated damages clause for itself without offering anything by way of relief when they commit wrongful/negligent/illegal acts.  This is an unconscionable term and is not fairly balanced in the contract.  Again, this is not legal advice.  If you need legal advice, consult an attorney.

It is a concern that many, if not all of the "therapeutic" services of the program are optional and appear to come at an additional cost.   

The third segment is reasonable, or would be reasonable, if Island View's program did not intentionally provoke or cause violent or extreme outbursts by the very nature of their methods.  It is reasonable for Island View to demand parents accept liability for their child's actions resulting in damage to people or property.  But, only with that caveat that Island View is providing a nurturing environment and not provoking angry outbursts through humiliation or physical assault of the children.  Since it has been reported that such outbursts are intentionally provoked by Aspen staff at times, this clause may raise concern for families.  Island View should insure against such incidents through good business practice and proper insurance that would be required of any licensed childcare program or facility.  It is wrong to solely place liability with the parents who are entrusting the supervision and care of their child to the program.  And, families should require an investigation into any incidents of this nature to insure that they are not being stuck with a bill that is not their own or their child's.

Even though Island View demands full power of attorney and custody of your child, they do not accept any responsibility in the event your child escapes the program.  Programs like Anasazi Foundation at least assume 50% of the financial responsibility in such events.  Anasazi is troublesome too and this is not an endorsement, just a comparison of fact.  Anasazi's practices in regards to such responsibility seems more appropriate or fair given the circumstances.  And, Aspen's practices seem weighted primarily on financial gain with no risk for Aspen and likely nothing but debt and heartache for families.

Island View is free to steal from your child as a result of the clause freeing them of liability for lost or damaged property.  Theft of personal property at programs is fairly common.  Theft of personal property at elderly-care facilities are equally as common.  It is always a good idea to keep any items of pecuniary or sentimental value safe at home, this includes your children.

In addition, Island View demands control of what "independent contractors" will be utilized and granted the fees charged for their services.  However, Island View does not take responsibility for the care provided by the contractors they deem "properly qualified".  And, since they are asking you trust their judgment in regards to choosing said independent contractors, they would arguably be liable for faults found with their judgment in the event harm or other violations occur.  But, they demand you hold them harmless if there is a problem with the subcontractor.  And, they put full responsibility on the outside or "subcontracted" clinician for the supervision and care of your child which rights/responsibilities you likely transferred to Island View with the Power of Attorney, and, they likely give permission in your stead with your permission protecting everyone else from any liability for any and all harms done to your child while in Island View's program.  This seems to be an unconscionable contract with many unconscionable terms.

Enrollment Agreement (page 3)

"If the Resident's condition is such as to need the service of a special duty nurse, it is agreed that the Sponsors must arrange such.  Island View shall in no way be responsible for failure to provide the same and is hereby released."

"Sponsor acknowledges that Island View offers a host of sports and recreational activities which can pose serious hazards and dangers, known and unknown, including but not limited to vocational activities, emotional and physical injuries, illness or death that may arise from strenuous hiking, climbing and camping in a natural environment, exposure to the elements, plants and animals, running away from the Program, "acts of God" (nature), the ropes course, kayaking, water sports, stress, involvement with other residents, self-inflicted injuries, and transportation to and from activities.  Sponsor understands that in participating in the Program, Resident will be in locations and using facilities where many hazards exist and is aware of and appreciates the risks, which may result.  Sponsor understands that accidents occur during such activities due to the negligence of others, which may result in death or serious injury.  Sponsor and Resident are voluntarily participating in the Program with knowledge of the dangers involved and agree to accept any and all risks."

"In consideration for being permitted to participate in the Program, Sponsor agrees to not sue, to assume all risks and to release, hold harmless and indemnify Island View and any and all of its predecessors, successors, officers, directors, trustees, insurers, employees, managers, agents, volunteers, community organizations, administrators, heirs, attorneys, executors, assigns and/or related or affiliated business entities including, but not limited to, Aspen Education Group, Inc. (collectively all of the above persons and entities shall be referred to as the "Released Parties" hereafter) who, through negligence, carelessness or any other cause, might otherwise be liable to Sponsor or Resident under theories of contract or tort law."

"Sponsor intends by this Waiver and Release to release, in advance, and to waive his or her rights and discharge each and every one of the Released Parties, from any and all claims for damages for death, personal injury or property damage which Sponsor may have, or which may hereafter accrue as a result of Resident's participation in any aspect of the Program, even though that liability may arise from negligence or carelessness on the part of the persons or entities being released, from dangerous or defective property or equipment owned, maintained or controlled by them, or because of their possible liability without fault.  Additionally, Sponsor covenants not to sue any of the Released Parties based upon their breach of any duty owed to Sponsor or Resident as a result of their participation in any aspect of the Program.  Sponsor understands and agrees that this Waiver and Release is binding on his or her heirs, assigns and legal representatives and that the Released Parties shall be exempt from liability to Sponsor, his or her heirs, assigns and legal representatives."

"Sponsor acknowledges that Sponsor, and Sponsor alone, is solely responsible for Resident's personal health and safety, and the personal property Resident brings with him or her."

"Sponsor understands that it is ultimately Sponsor's responsibility to provide payment to any hospital/emergency response technicians/emergency transport company that may provide services to Resident as a result of injury/illness during the Programs."  (ends on page 4)

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

The above also states that  emotional (i.e. psychological) and physical harm are risks of the program.  However, psychological and emotional harm should not be an acceptable risk and stating that it is reveals the harmful nature of the Island View program. 

Stating that the child is voluntarily participating in the program is an open lie and contradicted by the sections on running away/recapture and restraint covered above and below in the review of page 5.  Again, we remind parents that they have the right to sign away their own rights, but, not the rights of their minor children.  This is discussed further at www.heal-online.org/legalarguments.htm.  We also reiterate that this review is independent and does not constitute legal advice.  If you need legal advice, consult an attorney.

And, repeatedly stated is that the parents waive their rights to pursue legal action even in the event of serious injury or death.  These appear to be unconscionable terms given the inherent harm in participating in the program.

In addition, in other areas of the contract, Island View limits all liability for harms up to and including death and places all risk on the side of the family.  It is a concern and seems unconscionable that a program would demand such authority over a child while taking no responsibility for the care of that child.  What are parents really getting out of this lopsided bargain?

It is reasonable for the program to request the power to obtain medical care in the event it is required.  There is nothing wrong with that portion of the agreement. 

Enrollment Agreement (page 4)

"Sponsor agrees to indemnify the Released Parties from any and all actions, causes of action, claims, demands, damages, costs (including attorneys' fees), expenses, liabilities and charges, known or unknown (the "Liabilities") arising out of or in connection with claims and/or actions relating to or brought by or on behalf of Resident, including, without limitation, claims related to or arising out of the Minor's participation in the Program."

"Island View shall handle all such protected health information (also "PHI") pursuant to the guidelines promulgated in the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act ("HIPAA") of 1996."

"Sponsor hereby authorizes Island View Personnel to search the person and personal effects of the Resident at any time.  Island View is further authorized to confiscate any and all items deemed by Island View to be contraband or counterproductive to the Resident's successful completion of the Program.  The disposition of all items confiscated by Island View shall be left to the sole discretion of Island View."

"AUTHORIZATION FOR BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION/THERAPEUTIC HOLDS:  Sponsor hereby authorizes Island View personnel to therapeutically hold, restrain, control and detain the Resident by the exercise of necessary techniques and holds when deemed necessary by Island View for purposes including but not limited to escorting the Resident to and from th Program's location, returning the Resident to the Program if the Resident runs away, or preventing the Resident from jeopardizing the Resident's own safety or the safety of others."

"Sponsor hereby acknowledges to have received a Parent/Resident Handbook, which delineates the benefits and risk associated with the treatment provided at Island View.  Throughout the stay, the sponsor may ask for further clarification with regard to the benefits and risk associated with treatment."

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

HEAL thinks it is important for families to understand the indemnity clauses placing them in the position to take full responsibility in the event of serious injury or death of their child in the program.  Many families have lost their children in programs similar to Aspen and some of these deaths occurred in Aspen programs.  At least two children died at Aspen's SageWalk program in Oregon before it "voluntarily" suspended operations as the death(s) are investigated by authorities.  These risks are very real and parents should think if the worst happens and Island View's methods are responsible, how they will feel with nowhere to turn for justice.  A child died in the care of Island View in 2004.  Be careful and always seriously consider what you are agreeing to in signing any contract.  Again, this is not legal advice.  If you would like legal help, please consult an attorney.

Strip-searching without probable cause is a violation of the civil rights of the child.  Assuming every child, with or without a history of drug use, is in need of a strip-search is unreasonable.  Searching children at "any time" suggests such searches are used as a form of humiliation as opposed to being done for any legitimate purpose.  And, this is a serious concern.

Using restraint to detain and control the child while in the program also shows that the program is not "voluntary" for the child and that the child is forced to participate in the program through physical force.  Congress is working on legislation (HR 4247, the "Keeping All Students Safe Act of 2010") to stop these misuses of restraint in programs and schools that often result in serious injury and death.

The use of physical restraint is a form of physical punishment as is using pressure points and other torture techniques to enforce compliance with scheduled activities in the program.  The program will argue that they have to get the kids from one destination to another for their own "safety" and that using restraint and other physical abuse is necessary for the "safety" of all the children in the program.  This is not the intent of laws preventing or limiting the use of physical restraint.  An immediate threat of imminent bodily harm created by an individual warrants restraint.  Any "threat" that involves a slow-down or delay in reaching destinations should be managed in a way that does not violate the rights of the child or the intent of laws regulating the use of restraint.  In addition, Island View does not limit the use of physical restraint to just the event in which a child is a danger to self or others.  This is a serious concern.

For a detailed explanation of "behavior modification", please see our free e-book.

HEAL hopes, but seriously doubts, Island View actively clarifies using direct and honest language when parents make inquiries.  The doubts are heavily supported by the program's stated grievance policy discussed below.

Enrollment Agreement (page 5)

"Sponsor hereby authorizes Island View to use data from the Resident's records, tests, and assessments for purposes of ongoing research, provided that the Resident's name and identity will be kept confidential and not used in any published materials."

"In the even that Island View elects to terminate the Resident pursuant to the terms of this paragraph, Sponsor understands and agrees that Sponsor shall immediately (1) pay all outstanding account balances and tuition through the end of the month in which the Resident is terminated and (2) forfeit the prepaid tuition deposit."

"Sponsor agrees to exercise good faith best efforts to attend any seminars for parents and guardians of the residents conducted by Island View during the Program, and to give Sponsor's full cooperation to Island View personnel throughout the Program..."

"If an escort is required to bring the Resident to Syracuse, Utah for the Program, or to return the resident from Utah or for any other transport deemed necessary by Island View, Sponsor agrees that any escort or escort service used by Sponsor, whether or not Sponsor is referred to the escort by Island View, is in all respects an independent contractor contracting directly with Sponsor.  Sponsor agrees that Island View bears no responsibility of any kind for any such escort service or the negligence or failure thereof."

"Sponsor warrants that the Resident is a minor, both by age and as a matter of law, which the Resident does not qualify under the law as an "emancipated minor," and that the laws of the Resident's state of residence permit Sponsor to place the Resident in the Program without the Resident's consent."

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

In the first segment above, Island View references the use of your child and/or your child's data in "ongoing research".  What is this research and will you be made privy to all studies in which your or your child's private information will be used?  If not, why not?  Informed consent to participate in any research includes knowing the purpose of the research and the projected risks involved in participating.  This again suggests possible violations of the Nuremberg Code (International Human Rights Laws).

And, of course, if for some reason Island View terminates the agreement and/or you decide it was a bad decision (with which HEAL would heartily agree) to place your child in Island View and remove him/her from the program, you lose all the money you paid to Island View.  Now, if Island View isn't, which they don't appear to be, open about the "environment" they create for the children which reportedly includes both physical abuse and humiliating verbal attacks, then you should be due a refund.  The comparison between the claims made in promotional materials and the "agreed to terms" of the contract may mean the difference between proving fraudulent inducement (i.e. misleading advertising and/or oral assurances of the programs safety/success rate) and assumption of risk (i.e. the terms of the enrollment agreement).  If you pulled your child from the program and believe you are due a refund, you should consult an attorney.

HEAL recommends that parents ask what Island View means by "full cooperation".  If you witness abuse and try to prevent said abuse in opposition to the protocol of Island View's program, will you be in violation of the "full cooperation" clause?  This is likely how Island View sees it.  And, anyone who demands full cooperation and/or unquestioned authority over others is not acting in the best interest of that individual or family.

Island View again refuses to take any responsibility for "independent contractors" to whom they refer or subject your child.  Since they are holding themselves out to families as being experts who can best govern the "treatment" of a child, they would be considered responsible, at least in part, for any harm resulting from those "expert" recommendations.  Also, does Island View receive any benefit whether financial or promotional by referring and subcontracting with those to whom they refer?  If so, why is it all benefits for Island View and all risks for families?  This contract seems to be an illusory contract with contrary and unconscionable terms throughout.  This is not the way honest people do business.

In the final segment above, Aspen again reiterates how the program is not voluntary for the child.  So, this directly contradicts page 3 that states the child has "voluntarily" agreed to participate in the program.  This is clearly not the case.

Enrollment Agreement (pages 6 & 7)

"Any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this contract, except at Island View's option the collection of monies owed by Sponsor to Island View, shall be settled by binding arbitration conducted in the State of California in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association."

"In addition, Sponsor agrees to compensate Island View for all reasonable attorneys' fees and costs incurred by Island View in connection with those matters concerning which Sponsor has agreed to pay or indemnify Island View hereunder."

"This Agreement, and all matters relating hereto, including any matter or dispute arising between the parties out of this Agreement, tort or otherwise, shall be interpreted, governed, and enforced according to the laws of the State of California, and the Parties consent and submit to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the California Courts in Los Angeles County, California, and any qualified (American Arbitration Association approved) arbitration service in the State of California, County of Los Angeles, to enforce this Agreement.  The parties acknowledge that this agreement constitutes a business transaction within the State of California."

"Sponsor hereby acknowledges that Sponsor has read this agreement and that Sponsor understands and consents to all of its provisions, that this Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties hereto with respect to the subject matter hereof, and that all other prior agreements, promises, expectations and conditions, oral or written, between the parties are incorporated herein.  Other than the express commitments set forth in this Agreement and the Program description, Island View gives no warranties of any kind, express or implied, to either the Sponsor or the Resident concerning the Program; and Sponsor acknowledges that Sponsor is not relying on any warranties or representations of any kind other than the express commitments of Island View set forth herein."

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

Also, why are disputes regarding a program in Utah being limited to California?  Since Island View chooses to conduct business in and enroll children from other states, including Utah, they should be able to be sued from the home-state of their dissatisfied clients.  If they do not wish to assume the risk of litigation outside of the state of their choice, then they shouldn't accept children from other states. 

Again, why is a program in Utah stating that the contract or agreement is a business transaction in California?  Why is Los Angeles the sole location for disputes to be decided? 

Island View promises nothing in this contract but exposure to extreme risks, extraordinary costs, and a referral to another Aspen program for "transitional services".  Families are asked to subject themselves to extreme risks, including death that is the fault of Island View's negligence, carelessness, or other misconduct and to pay dearly for these risks with no guarantee or warranty regarding the outcome.  This is such an unfair contract and seems to be illusory and arguably void/voidable as a result.  It may also be void as a matter of law as some of the terms seem to imply conspiracy to commit kidnapping/false imprisonment of the minor. 

Enrollment Agreement (page 9*)

"I hereby release Island View RTC from all legal responsibilities or liability that may arise from the use of disclosure of medical records and other health information in reliance on this authorization."

"Pursuant to Utah State rules, I understand that in case I am below the age of 18, my parent/legal guardian reserves the right to sign this release without my expressed verbal or written consent."

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

*The pages are now being numbered as they are page-identified in the .pdf format of the forms.  The first page was not enumerated by Island View, the second page was numbered as 1 by Island View and now as a result, the next page of the form is identified as page 9 when the enrollment agreement is opened in full

The legal age of consent in Utah is 14-years old.  HEAL was unable to find any Utah laws suggesting that a parent can override the civil rights of a child without their consent.  To what law or rule is Island View referring?  Is this just a manipulation of language to trick the child into signing the form agreeing that they don't have rights that even the state guarantees them?  And again, HEAL understands that parents can sign away their own rights, but, not the rights of their minor children.  This is discussed on our site at www.heal-online.org/legalarguments.htm.  It is a serious concern and it does not seem that Island View does anything to show it will act responsibly and/or be held accountable for mishandling of protected health information.

Enrollment Agreement (page 10)

"I understand that if my credit card declines, late fees of $50.00 may be assessed."

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

HEAL has included the above to show the discrepancy between the late fees mentioned on page 1 of $250.00 compared to the late fee mentioned here of $50.00. 

Enrollment Agreement (page 13)

"PAML Biolabs"

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

HEAL includes the above as it is the name of the company that supposedly provides lab services for Island View.  Parents should research PAML Biolabs to find out if it is above board and whether or not their child's tests have been performed as reported by Island View.

Enrollment Agreement (page 23)

"By signing this form, you consent to our use and disclosure of protected health information about the minor child for treatment, payment, and health care operations.  You have the right to revoke this consent, in writing, except where we have already made disclosures in reliance on your prior consent."

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

On page 9 above, Island View accepts no responsibility or liability for the misuse/mishandling of your or your family's protected health information.  This is a serious concern and parents should really consider whether or not it is a good idea to give permission to those who accept no liability for the misuse of the subject of that permission.

Enrollment Agreement (pages 25 & 26)

"Resident, Families or Guardian Complaint Policy"

"Those complaints may include, but are not limited to allegations of abuse, neglect, punitive interventions, sexual harassment, etc."

"Residents, Families, or Guardians shall contact either the Primary Therapist, Clinical Director, or the Executive Director and lodge an oral complaint."

"The "Resident/Family/Guardian Complaint Form" will be immediately forwarded to the Executive Director or his designee who will, within ten (10) days, conduct his/her own formal investigation of the complaint and document the findings of the investigation, determinations, and plan of correction or action plan for proper resolution of the problem in the corresponding sections of the "Resident/Family/Guardian Complaint Form."

"If the complaining party is not satisfied with the outcome and/or proposed solution(s) from the investigation, the complaining party may appeal to the Division Head of the parent company of Island View, RTC, who will, in turn conduct further investigation and provides a proposed solution to the complaint."

"If the complaining party is still not satisfied with the proposed solution, the complaint will be forwarded to the State of Utah, Department of Human Services, and Office of Licensing who will further investigate the complaint."

"As a Joint Commission accredited behavioral health care facility, Island View, RTC adheres to the requirements as defined in the "Standards for Behavioral Health Care" developed by the Joint Commission for accreditation."

HEAL's Questions/Concerns

It is a serious concern that sexual abuse, physical abuse, and other such complaints are not immediately reported to Child Protective Services and/or law enforcement.  The fact that there is an ongoing in-house complaint process that lasts a minimum of 10 days to complete and that outside investigators are not notified until the period under which an effective investigation could be launched has ended is a serious concern and points to a desire to protect the program's interests in avoiding public scrutiny over the child's interest in being safe from abuse.  Parents who witness or believe their child has been abused should immediately file a report with the Child Protective Services of Utah and document everything, including who you speak with by phone at any agency.  Get the first and last name and title of whomever you speak with when filing a report.

The Department of Licensing does not investigate abuse claims and will refer to Child Protective Services, the Joint Commission, and/or Law Enforcement.  The latter two will generally not investigate reports made beyond a specified timeframe.  For law enforcement, it is generally 48-72 hours. 

The Joint Commission refers families to the Department of Licensing, Child Protective Services, and Law Enforcement when complaints are filed.  In addition, the Joint Commission has been in repeat trouble with Congress for failure to enforce patient safety and patient rights standards.  This is a serious concern.

Based on Island View's history and the review above, we recommend against placing any child at Island View and recommend families remove children currently in the program.

Death--Unidentified Boy (July 2nd, 2004)
Survivor--Sarah Boswell (Close Provo Canyon School petition signature #257)
WE BELIEVE ELEVATIONS RTC IS A RE-BRANDING ATTEMPT BY CRC HEALTH/ASPEN EDUCATION GROUP/ISLAND VIEW BECAUSE:

1.  Elevations RTC is located at the same location as Island View RTC.

2.  Elevations RTC has the exact same leadership as Island View RTC.

3.  Elevations RTC's parent company, Family Help and Wellness, is a subsidiary of Opal Creek Capital.  Family Help and Wellness's (aka famhelp.com) websites are authored/owned by John Gordon.  Elevations RTC's website and Island View's website were/are both owned by John Gordon.  Gordon "formerly" worked for CRC Health and Aspen Education Group. 

4.  Opal Creek Capital (and all the related business names associated with it) is run by Tim Dupell, "former" CFO and Executive Vice President of Aspen Education Group/CRC Health. 

5.  Other leadership at famhelp.com/Opal Creek Capital, including John Gordon, Kristen Hayes, and Tim Dupell all "formerly" worked in leadership positions at CRC Health/Aspen Education Group before beginning this "new" venture.

6.  We have seen this industry shift ownership and re-brand hundreds of times to avoid criticism and investigation.  We have no reason to believe that Opal Creek Capital and Family Help and Wellness are not a simple attempt at re-branding by CRC Health/Aspen Education Group. 

7.  Additional concerns regarding Opal Creek Capital include that the phone number used for Opal Creek Capital is the same number used by the Pathway Academy (aka Solstice RTC).  You will see that Keone (no last name above) may be the same Keoni of Solstice.  The Keone listed above was part of the Island View RTC staff.  So, what we have with Opal Creek Capital/Family Help and Wellness is a likely re-brand and restructuring of pre-existing and "new" programs operating under the same direction and leadership as reportedly closed, closing, and/or otherwise defunct enterprises.  While Opal Creek, Elevations, and Family Help and Wellness may wish to avoid being associated with their troubled pasts, the facts speak for themselves.  These people have engaged in unethical and abusive business practices and now are attempting to continue doing so under new brand names.  This is unacceptable.

[We can provide documentation of all the claims made above.  E-mail us at info@heal-online.org and request information on Elevations/Family Help and Wellness and we will send you the documents showing why we believe it is a re-branding of a bad network of abusive facilities.
External Link: http://www.freejackandthomas.com/why/

 

 Last Updated: June 29th, 2016

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