Transparency … So Elusive … So Needed.

In writing of transparency, truth and integrity, I believe those traits must be demonstrated by all … even those who write of perceived inequities. And when mistakes or misinterpretations are made they should be owned and addressed.

After this article was published, a few trusted persons approached me and stated that the article contained facts which were incorrect. They pointed out the flaws and the manner in which the information in the article was incorrect and focused upon Jaffe Management’s innocent involvement. As a result, I conducted a deeper dive into the subjects of the article and discovered their viewpoints had merit. To the extent that any nefarious intent may have been directed toward Jaffe Management, that was not the intent of the article and should not be attributed to them. 

As a result, I believe that this clarification is necessary with apologies to those who were slighted in the article, believe they were being slighted in the article, or believe that nefarious motives were being assigned to them as a result.

In order that there is full disclosure, I will leave the article below in its entirety unedited.. But, the views expressed should be tempered by this clarification.

“PR is premised on truth, trust and transparency.”

            Richard Edelman, CEO Edelman Public Relations

“Disclosure and transparency are the currency of the Internet, and they are at odds with authoritarianism.”

            Evan Osnos, Journalist, New Yorker Magazine

I want to believe.

I want to trust.

I want to hope that the spirit of collaboration amongst treatment professionals who can save the lives of our loved ones exists.

I want to believe that groups like the Residential Eating Disorder Consortium (“Consortium”) and the Eating Disorder Coalition embrace at their core, the best interests of families and those who suffer from this insidious disease.

I want to believe that there is no conflict of interest and that the financial demands of private equity owners do not predominate over the needs of those who are suffering and dying from this disease.

And yet, the Consortium continues to make it so incredibly difficult … and yet, so incredibly easy to distrust, to draw obvious conclusions based upon the facts and their subterfuge and silence.

The Consortium’s underestimation of families, and their collective power and strength has become legion. In St. Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, he states, “For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourself are wise.”

The most recent example of the hubris defining the Consortium’s nature was subtly disclosed in November 2018 when the Consortium released its Standards of Excellence Project (“STEP”). As previously noted, the first analysis of this STEP program will be published on Tuesday, January 15, 2019. But, in reviewing the STEP program, an understated, seemingly small issue jumped to light. Whereas 99% of people reviewing the substance of the STEP program would be solely focused on the substance of the document, one tiny detail would escape any notice or attention. At the bottom of the STEP document on certain pages, an address is listed. That address is 555 8th Avenue, Suite 1902, New York, New York 10018.

And what entity conducts business from that address? Jaffe Management, Inc. Jaffe represents that it is a New York City based company providing full and partial management services to associations and organizations. Jaffe also represents that it provides full management services.

In most every law firm’s portfolio, we list that we provide services to our clients ranging from litigation services to counseling to management. And yet, to always maintain the appearance of impartiality and propriety, we never list our addresses on our client’s public releases or documents.

And so the initial question must first be asked, how significant and all encompassing is the work being performed by Jaffe which merits its address being included on the very document that is meant to define the REDC/Consortium for years to come? Yes, the REDC’s name is included at the top of the document. But the address at the bottom is not the REDC/Consortium’s address. Was the Jaffe Management’s involvement in this document so significant that it merited its address being included as the address for the REDC/Consortium? Why does the telephone number listed for the REDC/Consortium have a Brooklyn area code of 646? No REDC members have offices or treatment centers in Brooklyn.

Standing by itself these issues may not seem particularly pertinent. But, when one investigates additional clients represented by Jaffe Management we find … the Eating Disorder Coalition. The ED Coalition allegedly represents families whose loved ones are suffering from eating disorders. When you go to the ED Coalition website, one can discover that in terms of fundraising, a Gofundme page was set up and links to an entity known as the EDManager on behalf of David Jaffe. David Jaffe is the principal and owner of Jaffe Management. And so, both the ED Coalition and the Consortium are listed as clients of Jaffe Management. The Consortium uses the address of Jaffe as its home address. The ED Coalition utilized Jaffe as the public face of its fundraising arm.

In previous articles, we disclosed that for the last two years, both the Consortium and the ED Coalition have utilized the same lobbyist. Their current lobbyist, Center Road Solutions lists as its managing principal, Katrina Velasquez. Ms. Velasquez is also listed on the Staff of the ED Coalition employed in the capacity of Policy Director.

The Coalition was instituted for the purpose of being the liaison with state and federal agencies, administrators, lobbyists and legislators on behalf of the eating disorder industry as a whole. And yet, many of the same people are employed as officers of both entities. Their lobbyist is the same. The money being paid to the lobbyist is to pursue the agenda dictated by the private equity firms. Both the Consortium and ED Coalition are being managed by the same management company located in Manhattan.

When one considers the underlying facts, there is but one inescapable conclusion … the needs of the eating disorder industry and community are subservient to and are being controlled and dictated by the private equity firms which control both the Consortium and the ED Coalition. These firms wield the financial power to dictate the course and direction of the eating disorder profession. The employment and utilization of the management company, the lobbyists, the financial resources, the focus of the treatment centers are based upon increasing the wealth of private investors and of meeting the financial dictates of future debt requirements.

And for those families who are suffering, and whose loved ones are dying, ask yourself one question … has the death rate caused by this disease, that is, one person every 62 minutes … has this death rate improved at all in the last 11 years? 11 years since the Mental Health Parity Act was passed. 11 years in which the Affordable Care Act was passed. 11 years since private equity firms came into the eating disorder industry and essentially bought out the treatment centers. What has been wrought since the Wild West became the norm for the industry?

Our loved ones continue to die. They are the precious sacrifices we mournfully lay on the altar of profit at the expense of enlightenment.

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