This is a  staff list for La Amistad Behavioral Health Services in Maitland, FL

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

 

We advise current and/or former staff to report any abuses you may have witnessed while working at La Amistad.  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 La Amistad, you have the right to take action. 

 

If you were harmed (family or survivor) by La Amistad, 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 recommends you do not place your loved one in this program and that you rescue them if currently enrolled/detained at this facility.

 

Name

Unit/Position

Additional Information
Rodney Letterman CEO Letterman is not a licensed mental health professional in FL.  Source: http://ww2.doh.state.fl.us/IRM00PRAES/PRASLIST.ASP#theBottom
Karl G. Sieg Medical Director Sieg is a licensed Medical Doctor.  Source: http://ww2.doh.state.fl.us/IRM00PRAES/PRASLIST.ASP#theBottom
Robert Buchholz Staff Physician Buchholz is a licensed Medical Doctor.  Source: http://ww2.doh.state.fl.us/IRM00PRAES/PRASLIST.ASP#theBottom
Brian Sellers Dir. Of Clinical Services There is a Brian Andrew Sellers that is a licensed clinical social worker.  However, his address on record is in Apopka, not Maitland.  The licensee has been licensed since 2001.  It is unclear if this is the same individual.  Source: http://ww2.doh.state.fl.us/IRM00PRAES/PRASLIST.ASP#theBottom
Kathryn M. Porath Dir. Of Nursing Porath is a licensed registered nurse and has been since November, 2010.  Source: http://ww2.doh.state.fl.us/IRM00PRAES/PRASLIST.ASP#theBottom
Michelle Nye Education Director Nye is a licensed educator and has been since July, 2011.  Source: http://www.fldoe.org/edcert/public.asp
Stephen W. Bailey Adult Program Manager Bailey is a licensed mental health counselor and has been since 1998.  Source: http://ww2.doh.state.fl.us/IRM00PRAES/PRASLIST.ASP#theBottom
Sheryl Fisher Child/Adol. Soc. Svc. Mgr. Fisher is a licensed mental health counselor and has been since 2001.  Source: http://ww2.doh.state.fl.us/IRM00PRAES/PRASLIST.ASP#theBottom
Larry Muse Adult Addiction Specialist Muse is a licensed mental health counselor and has been since 1982.  Source: http://ww2.doh.state.fl.us/IRM00PRAES/PRASLIST.ASP#theBottom
Leslie Moore Adol. Addiction Specialist Moore is a licensed mental health counselor and has been since 2008. Source: http://ww2.doh.state.fl.us/IRM00PRAES/PRASLIST.ASP#theBottom
*(La Amistad, 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.)
HEAL received a request to investigate La Amistad on January 21st, 2012 from a parent.
Preliminary Findings:

 

This program does not appear to be licensed as a residential treatment center.  However, it advertises itself as a residential treatment center.  This is a serious concern.  It is not accredited by SACS/CASI.  But, there is another private school in Orlando, FL with a similar name that is accredited by SACS/CASI/AdvancED.  That school is La Amistad/Central Florida Behavioral Hospital Learning Center.  It has been accredited since 2006.  But, La Amistad RTC has only been accredited since 2010 by The Joint Commission.  Member of NATSAP.

DECLARATION UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY

PURSUANT TO 28 USCA 1746

I, Debra Taylor Sinclair, declare and state as follows:

1. La Amistad Behavioral Health

2. Maitland, Florida

3. March 12, 2012 to March 31, 2012

4. Statement

My daughter was in residential care at La Amistad Behavioral Health Services being treated for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Severe Depression after being raped. While being treated, she attended school at the facility. One of the teachers at the school (Mr. Alberto) accused my daughter of stealing gum on March 15. Extremely concerned about the charges, my daughter talked to a staff member who told her to tell one of the other staff members (Mr. Dwayne) and the principal (Michelle Nye). My daughter went to these adults assuming they would help her to clear up this misunderstanding. Instead, Ms. Nye, after "investigating" the incident (i.e., asking Mr. Alberto what happened), called my daughter into her office on Monday, March 19. At this time, Mr. Dwayne was also in the office. Ms. Nye told my daughter that she needed to tell the truth and apologize to Mr. Alberto. Being alone in a room with adults who were accusing her of theft and lying caused my child to go into a panic attack. She told them that she was having a panic attack and asked them to call her parents because she did not want to speak to them alone. Rather than call her parents, they called in the teacher, Mr. Alberto (her accuser). My daughter proceeded to tell them that she couldn't breathe; however, rather than end this bullying, they continued calling her a liar and telling her to admit it and apologize. When their "meeting" was interrupted by another staff member (Mr. John), Mr. John took my daughter to the psychiatrist, Dr. Sieg, who immediately recognized that my daughter was experiencing a panic attack and summoned medical help. The staff continued to harass my daughter until she felt unsafe, and we were forced to terminate her (much needed) treatment by picking her up and bringing her home.

My husband and I tried for over a week to bring this issue to the attention of senior management. Immediately following the incident, Rodney Letterman, the CEO, was out of town. My daughter’s counselor, Kristen, put us in touch with Brian Sellers, Director of Clinical Services, who was supposedly in charge while Mr. Letterman was away. Brian essentially told us that he stood by his staff and their actions and that, if we didn’t like it, we should come and get our daughter. Given Mr. Sellers attitude and the fact that our daughter felt unsafe there, we removed her from treatment on March 31, even though we felt like the counseling side of the program was wonderful and really helping our

daughter. On Monday, April 2, upon Mr. Letterman’s return, we contacted him and explained the situation. He concurred with Brian Sellers and "supported his staff".

I explained to Mr. Letterman that bringing a child into a room with three adults, shutting the door, and then accusing her of stealing and lying and demanding an apology is tantamount to intimidation and bullying. Mr. Letterman defended the actions of his staff by explaining to my husband and I that this was a common medical treatment called an "intervention". Given that not one of the staff members involved is a counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist—and considering that my daughter had a counselor on staff who had been working with her but was not involved in this "meeting"—I find their attempt to justify this treatment as proof that they are all covering their own rear ends rather than worrying about the welfare of a sick child. That they also endangered my daughter’s health by ignoring the fact that she was having a panic attack during their interrogation further illustrates the facility’s careless disregard for the health of their patients. In fact, when my daughter told them she was having a panic attack, Ms. Nye’s response was, "You wouldn’t be having a panic attack if you weren’t guilty."

To make matters worse, Mr. Letterman will not acknowledged that there was any wrongdoing on the part of his staff. I am sickened by the fact that my child’s mental health treatment was compromised and subsequently ended because of an incident with the school staff and administrators. My daughter’s only issues upon entering treatment at La Amistad were PTSD and depression. We were assured that her individual needs would be considered as part of both her treatment and her schooling. In fact, her records show that her PTSD was caused as much by the reaction of her peers to the rape (people who called her a liar and threatened to kill her) as the rape itself. We urged La Amistad staff to consider this fact before continuing to pursue this as a theft (of gum!) and lie. We explained that we had never had any behavioral problems with our daughter (and no reason to believe that she had stolen and lied about it), and asked them to treat this as a misunderstanding and concentrate on her PTSD and depression. Instead, of acknowledging that the situation was mishandled and moving on, they continue to act like this entire incident was about the theft of gum. In fact, Mr. Letterman told me that they did make a mistake in all of this. The mistake, however, was attributed to the teacher who allowed my daughter access to the gum. Not one member of the staff or administration will acknowledge that shutting a child in a room with three adults is intimidating and should never be allowed.

It is a shame that such excellent medical treatment has been marred by such a petty incident created by petty people who seem to feel that it was so important to stand their ground and save face with a child that they were willing to jeopardize her mental health treatment. My fear is that other children, children with more severe problems who may not defend themselves against an abusive staff, are being and will continue to be mistreated by these people if I don’t speak up.

I give HEAL permission to use this statement. I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on April 12, 2012.

________________________________

Debra T. Sinclair, PhD, AVA, CMA

 

 

 Last Updated: April 13th, 2012

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