We entrust the lives of our loved ones to eating disorder treatment centers. Sometimes children as young as 7 years old. Parents living with their greatest fear … that their child will be taken. And so, we entrust those treatment centers with our heart, our soul, our reason for living. Accordingly, we are certainly entitled to demand complete transparency from them.
We are entitled to demand that our loved ones will always be protected.
We are entitled to demand that our loved ones will receive the best medical and mental health care possible.
We are entitled to demand that treatment centers will thoroughly vet prospective employees and conduct exhaustive due diligence investigating their background.
We are entitled to demand that treatment centers will thoroughly train their employees to provide evidence-based treatment with a level of care that is equal to or exceeds the generally accepted standards of care.
We are entitled to demand that treatment centers will thoroughly oversee and supervise their employees.
We are entitled to demand that treatment centers will provide a professional, safe environment where our loved ones will be free from unscrupulous, dishonest, unethical employees.
In fact, courts have held that treatment centers and their employees have the highest fiduciary duty to those entrusted to their care. They must exercise the highest degree of care for the safety of their patients. Therapists employed by treatment centers occupy a special place of trust and confidence and owe to their patients and their families, the highest fiduciary duty and a place of trust and confidence.
We are entitled to demand transparency from treatment centers in every possible way, from something as simple as their name to the complexities of their treatment protocols.
But what if that trust is betrayed? What should the consequences be? What should the ramifications be when a treatment center fails us? When a treatment center betrays us?
Last week, Gayle Devin, the Chief Executive Officer of “Alsana” issued a press release which disclosed alarming information. The release stated in part, “We recently learned that Alsana direct care employees might have been involved in inappropriate conduct involving a client receiving outpatient care at our St. Louis program. [emphasis added] Based on our initial review, the allegations involve significant violations of company policy, and we have taken immediate action, including terminating employees and removing employees who remain under investigation from any client setting.”
Later, Ms. Devin states, “As part of that commitment, we are temporarily halting new client admissions to two of our residential and outpatient programs in St. Louis as we continue to investigate these allegations.”
And yet, when the press release is carefully read, additional concerns appear. First, Ms. Devin states, “… inappropriate conduct involving a client receiving outpatient care at our St. Louis program …” [emphasis added]. The singular word, “client” is used implying that only one patient was involved.
However, we know for a fact, that that statement is inaccurate. There are a number of patients who were impacted. There are a number of employees who were involved. So, why attempt to make us believe that only one patient was involved? And since when did a person suffering from the mental illness with the second highest mortality rate change from being a patient … to becoming a “client?”
In addition, Ms. Devin’s statement would have us believe that only the outpatient care program was involved. So, if that was the case, why would it be necessary to halt new admissions into the residential programs? If the inappropriate conduct was limited to one patient in the IOP program, why were multiple employees involved and why are two of their programs temporarily not accepting new admissions. For that matter, can we believe that “Alsana” discovered and effectively dealt with all questionable employees? Can we believe that the patients who are left are truly safe?
Further, where is the next press release disclosing what other steps they have taken since last week? Have the families of all of the remaining patients been informed? What safety measures have been taken to insure the safety of the remaining patients?
Even still, why should we believe anything at this point? Especially since “Alsana” cannot even be transparent about their own name and existence.
Many people believe that “Alsana” grew out of the demise of the disgraced, Castlewood Treatment Center. A demise precipitated by lawsuits and horrific allegations alleged against Castlewood. In fact, on “Alsana’s” website, if you click on the “blog section,” you will see articles written about “Alsana” going as far back as 2012. “Alsana” makes additional representations that its existence goes back as far as 2002.
“Alsana” has attempted to position itself as a separate entity going back as far as 2002 and that it has nothing to do with the issues and problems which previously plagued Castlewood.
And yet, nothing could be further from the truth.
“Alsana” is not a corporation at all.
“Alsana” is not a limited liability company.
“Alsana” is not a partnership or professional partnership.
“Alsana” does not have its own separate existence.
“Alsana” did not take over or acquire Castlewood.
So, what exactly is “Alsana?”
A search of the Missouri Secretary of State’s records gives us the answer. A fictitious name certificate was filed on March 28, 2019. Quite simply, “Alsana” is merely a fictitious name.
Under Missouri law, the owner of a Fictitious Name Certificate must be disclosed. “Alsana’s” Fictitious Name Certificate certainly identifies its owner, the entity which totally controls its overall operations. The entity which is in existence and only wears the Fictitious Name as a public, pasteboard mask. In this case, it should come as no surprise that the owner of Alsana, the owner of the Fictitious Name “Alsana” is …
Castlewood Treatment Center, LLC
Castlewood never went away. Castlewood has always been there, lurking in the shadows. Still profiting and sharing those proceeds with its private equity owner. Castlewood is the modern-day version of Keyser Soze, the quintessential antagonist in the 1995 movie, The Usual Suspects.
As for those “Alsana” Blog Articles going back as far as 2012 and the past employees who claim to have been employed at “Alsana” as far back as 2002? How can those articles be remotely accurate since Castlewood did not start the fictitious name “Alsana” until March 2019? Before that date, It did not exist at all.
Which raises the question, if “Alsana” cannot even be transparent about its name and existence, what can it be transparent about ? Especially since other patients are beginning to step forward.
Well, litigation may tell. On January 31, 2022, as attorney of record, I filed a lawsuit against Castlewood in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
Time may tell as to what this case ultimately reveals. It may result in closure that so many people so desperately need. However, it may also result in disappointment to those who seek justice.
What we do know is that the courtroom is a crucible in which all irrelevancies and subterfuge are burned away. What we are left with is the truth.
Truth that families can rely upon.
Truth that can sustain those who suffer from eating disorders.
Truth that can bring peace and comfort to some.
And Truth that can also bring something else …
Retribution, consequences and accountability to others.