Author Topic: Who Is Dr. Ted Zunini?  (Read 3204 times)

Offline Miss Fortune

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Who Is Dr. Ted Zunini?
« on: August 24, 2015, 08:56 »
Who is Dr. Ted Zunini, described by a Per Wickstrom employee as a "consulting psychiatrist"?  I've searched and cannot locate anyone with that name. Here's the whole story:


Back on March 4, 2015, Amber Howe (listed as the COO of Per Wickstrom's Serenity Recovery Incorporated in Marne, Michigan), appeared at a meeting of the Substance Abuse Oversight Policy Board of Lakeshore Regional Partners in Michigan.

Lakeshore Regional Partners is the "public behavioral health plan for people with mental illness, developmental disability, and substance use disorders in Allegan, Kent, Lake, Mason, Muskegon, Oceana and Ottawa counties" in Michigan.

The organization manages the services provided under a contract with the State of Michigan’s Department of Community Health (MDCH) to residents  in the region who have Medicaid or are under insured and who are eligible for services as defined by the Michigan Mental Health Code.  Lakeshore is one of 10 Prepaid Inpatient Health Plans (PIHP) in Michigan.

Back to the story:

The official approved minutes from that March meeting indicate Howe was there to pitch the board to send a letter of approval to LARA (Michigan's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs) regarding Serenity/Marne's pending application.

Application from Serenity Recovery

Amber Howe is the COO of Serenity Recovery Incorporated, a residential rehabilitation center, located in Marne MI.

(This is clearly bilge provided to Lakeshore by Howe, which they gleefully spit back in the minutes.)

"Serenity is a private facility that offers person centered treatment plans with multiple approaches for an individual’s treatment plan. Serenity offers the 12 Step Program, Smart Recovery, Evidence Base Therapies and MRT (Moral Reconation Therapy) programs.

They also offer spiritual components, such as a Secular version, Native American, Catholic, and Christian with New Life Recovery Bible. Serenity believes that nutrition and health are important aspects to recovery and offer personal trainers and a full gym with yoga or martial arts training. They have a relationship with programs like habitat for humanity and local animal shelters, which are available for clients to participate in.

Serenity would like to be licensed for 172 individuals; 150 residential and 22 individuals in the detox wing. There will be no more than 2 patients per room.

They track their clients for one year after they graduate the program and leave the facility, with consent of the client. They help with the after care of clients, such as, sober living homes in the client’s home base area.

Ms. Howe discusses that most of their marketing consists of the internet. She states that there are 3 facilities altogether throughout the United States. (That's a lie!)

Dr. Kerry Simon is the medical director and addictionologist. Dr. Ted Zunini is the consulting psychiatrist. There are 3 case managers and 4 nurses hired as of now and the goal is to have a ratio of 2:1. Another of their objectives is to be designated as a CARF provider.

Members of the board have concerns about sending a letter of approval to LARA regarding the Serenity application. The concern is, not enough staff with a clinical background and/or experience in SUD. (NOTE: "Substance Abuse Disorders".) The members also discuss that the program is being set up to quickly with too much of a business mindset and not enough SUD knowledge.

Ms. Howe explains that as the number of clients grow so will the amount of clinical staff. She also explains that there is a medical and clinical director.

Stan Stek asks Mark what qualifies the board members to make a decision about potential applicants and what standards should be used by the board members in the decision to send a letter of approval to LARA.

Mark discloses that the law is not specific and there is no criteria to apply other than local review and comment. There is no guidance or a detailed standard for making the recommendation.

James Storey asks how much influence the OPB has regarding the decision of licensing prospective providers. Charles Nash also states that he does not feel comfortable sending a letter of approval.

Mark discusses that an approval letter to LARA is a recommendation and according to law, LARA is required to take into serious consideration the comments of SUD advisory councils, now the OPB.

The only opportunity to make comments is at the initiation of a license. LARA does make the final decision for licensure. Mark would like a record of the current board consistently sending in recommendations.

He would like to make sure that the new employees at LARA are oriented towards listening to the community input including waiting on giving a license to a prospective provider until the OPB has given feedback.

The board members discuss sending an approval letter to LARA with no comment or not sending in a letter at all. The board members decide to make a motion with a roll call vote.

MOTION – To send a letter to LARA in support of licensure for Serenity Recovery, Inc, but without comment.

Yes: 10
No: 5

MOTION CARRIED"

So who is Dr. Ted Zunini, the so-called "consulting psychiatrist"?

Unless the name is spelled incorrectly, he appears not to exist. There's no "Zunini" listed in any Michigan medical professional database, and the only reference I can locate in a Google search goes right back to the meeting minutes.

Anyone have a clue?


Offline Alcie

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Re: Who Is Dr. Ted Zunini?
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2015, 10:42 »
Hi, Miss Fortune.

I zeroed in on those two doctors too when I first read the minutes of that meeting. Found Dr. Simon in Ludington but could find absolutely nothing on Zunini. I tried variations of the spelling and still came up with nothing.

Offline BigBeard

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Re: Who Is Dr. Ted Zunini?
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2015, 13:20 »
The only Zunini's I could find that are doctors are an orthadontist, plastic surgeon, and on an emergency room staff. All of them in Peru.
BigBeard

Offline mefree

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Re: Who Is Dr. Ted Zunini?
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2015, 16:50 »
I can't find a psychiatrist with the last name Zunini searching a variety of online resources.
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
-Dalai Lama

Offline BigBeard

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Re: Who Is Dr. Ted Zunini?
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2015, 22:04 »
Did a LARA "Verify a license" check on the last name "Zunini" for any profession, any type of license, and got a "No resuls found" response.

So either the last name is spelled wrong, it's an out of state doctor, or it's a name pulled out of a hat to be able to say there was a "consulting psychiatrist" on staff.

The LARA folks should be notified, and they should demand an explanation of who this person is. If he actually exists.
BigBeard

Offline BigBeard

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Re: Who Is Dr. Ted Zunini?
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2015, 22:21 »
Okay, just to be sure I went through the LARA search with the name fields blank, "Profession: Psychology", and searched using each of the "License Type's" available on the pulldown. None of the name lists returned by the search contained a last name that could even remotely be turned into something like "Zunini".

My gut says "scam", but it could be an out of state doctor. But if it is an out of state doctor, wouldn't some kind of special licensing arrangement be needed for him to practice in Michigan???
BigBeard

Offline Miss Fortune

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Re: Who Is Dr. Ted Zunini?
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2015, 07:42 »
I've also checked the AMA database, and other general search function sites like Intelius, etc.

Nothing.

I'll check with the Lakeshore people...maybe they'll know.

Offline DeathHamster

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Re: Who Is Dr. Ted Zunini?
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2015, 13:49 »
Amber Howe is the COO of Serenity Recovery Incorporated, a residential rehabilitation center, located in Marne MI.
Typical random assignment of "president" for various companies, while the same people sit in the same chairs in the same office for all of them.

Amber Howie is listed by Nevada as president of Best Drug Rehabilitation, Inc., Best Drug Rehabilitation Holdings, Inc., but Eddie Rodriguez is listed as president of Serenity Point Recovery, Inc.

Offline DeathHamster

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Re: Who Is Dr. Ted Zunini?
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2015, 13:56 »
Dr. Kerry Simon is the medical director and addictionologist. Dr. Ted Zunini is the consulting psychiatrist.
Dr Simon appears to be a family doctor who's transitioning for retirement. When did he get to be an "addictionologist"?

http://www.spectrumhealth.org/body.cfm?id=677&action=detail&ref=960
http://doctor.webmd.com/doctor/kerry-simon-md-f54ecd51-2f1a-4021-bb1c-4bd9a218e15d-overview

His practice is 85 miles away from Marne by road, so maybe he'll be one of those medical directors by remote control that are so common in Narconons.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2015, 14:03 by DeathHamster »

Offline BigBeard

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Re: Who Is Dr. Ted Zunini?
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2015, 16:05 »
Or maybe he's planning to move. Note the Marne address on some of his licenses. It's kind of weird he got a Pharmacy/CS-3 license for Marne, considering narCONon's official stance on prescription drugs for "students":

The 'Pharmacy CS-3' license is required if he will be prescibing controlled substances. CS-3 = Unrestricted Controlled Substance Registration. Required to prescribe DEA schedule 2, 2N, 3, 3N, 4 & 5 drugs. A seperate DEA license is required to have such drugs on site, such as the doctors office.

Name: KERRY MARK SIMON
Address: Ludington, MI 49431
Profession and License/Registration Information
Profession: Medicine
Type: Medical Doctor
Permanent ID #4301075257
Status Active
Issue Date 09/10/1999
Expiration Date 01/31/2018
Complaints and Disciplinary Action
Open Formal Complaints: None
Disciplinary Action: None

Name: KERRY MARK SIMON
Address: Manistee, MI 49660
Profession and License/Registration Information
Profession: Pharmacy
Type: Drug Treatment Program Prescriber
Permanent ID #5304001159
Status Active
Issue Date 01/06/2015
Expiration Date 06/30/2015 [Not sure why it's still showing 'Active' when it's past the expiration date]
Complaints and Disciplinary Action
Open Formal Complaints: None
Disciplinary Action: None

Name: KERRY MARK SIMON
Address: Marne, MI 49435
Profession and License/Registration Information
Profession: Pharmacy
Type: Drug Treatment Program Prescriber [Strange for a narCONon doc, since, "No drugs allowed". Bwahahaha!]
Permanent ID #5304001160
Status Active
Issue Date 01/06/2015
Expiration Date 06/30/2015 [Again showing 'Active past the expiration date]
Complaints and Disciplinary Action
Open Formal Complaints: None
Disciplinary Action: None

Name: KERRY MARK SIMON
Address: Ludington, MI 49431
Profession and License/Registration Information
Profession: Pharmacy
Type: Drug Control - Location [Means he actually dispences drugs at one of his locations]
Permanent ID #5315043742
Status Active
Issue Date 12/04/2009
Expiration Date 01/31/2018
Complaints and Disciplinary Action
Open Formal Complaints: None
Disciplinary Action: None

Name: KERRY MARK SIMON
Address: Manistee, MI 49660
Profession and License/Registration Information
Profession: Pharmacy
Type: CS - 3
Permanent ID #5315068649
Status Active
Issue Date 01/30/2015
Expiration Date 01/31/2018
Complaints and Disciplinary Action
Open Formal Complaints: None
Disciplinary Action: None

Name: KERRY MARK SIMON
Address: Marne, MI 49435
Profession and License/Registration Information
Profession: Pharmacy
Type: CS - 3
Permanent ID #5315068648
Status Active
Issue Date 01/30/2015
Expiration Date 01/31/2018
Complaints and Disciplinary Action
Open Formal Complaints: None
Disciplinary Action: None

Name: KERRY MARK SIMON
Address: Ludington, MI 49431
Profession and License/Registration Information
Profession: Pharmacy
Type: CS - 3
Permanent ID #4301075257
Status Active
Issue Date (Blank in LARA record)
Expiration Date 01/31/2018
Complaints and Disciplinary Action
Open Formal Complaints: None
Disciplinary Action: None
BigBeard

Offline Alcie

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Re: Who Is Dr. Ted Zunini?
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2015, 16:49 »
Dr. Simon was mentioned in the 3/24/15 Best Drug complaint investigation report by the MI Dept of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs:

"Dr. Simon, the medical director/physician, is onsite only Tuesday mornings. Dr. Simon provides a brief admission history, physical note and may provide an order when first seeing a patient. He does not see patients again unless the staff or client requests an exam. No medical care plans are being developed." 

Offline Miss Fortune

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  • Posts: 67
Re: Who Is Dr. Ted Zunini?
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2015, 17:28 »
An update from a staffer at Lakeshore Regional Partners regarding Amber Howe's reference to "Dr. Ted Zunini". I'd asked whether additional information about the "consulting psychiatrist" was available or provided to Lakeshore's Oversight Policy Board, or if Howe had provided any documents backing up her claims:

"Unfortunately, I have no additional information to share with you.  The Lakeshore Regional Partners Oversight Policy Board does not investigate the information it receives during presentations by potential licensees.  The presentations are provided for information only and the minutes from the meeting merely reflect a synopsis of the presentation.  The OPB will then vote on the recommendation that will be made to the state licensing division."

So, in other words, we believe what we're told, and send a letter in support of the license.

It appears the only way to unearth information about the mysterious Dr. Zunini is to FOIA Serenity Point's LARA application.

By the way, a reader of my blog left a comment alleging Amber Howe was fired by Per Wickstrom within the last month.

Anyone heard that rumor?


Offline BigBeard

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Re: Who Is Dr. Ted Zunini?
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2015, 17:48 »
Wait a minute. The Lakeshore Regional Partners Oversight Policy Board is responsible for forwarding recommendations to LARA based on representations made by a presenter. But they have no process in place to verify facility staff are actually licensed to do what it is claimed they will do, or that they even actually exist??

Sounds like a process ripe to be taken advantage of by, lets just say, less than scrupulous people. Such as those who don't have a problem bilking desperate people out of major money for drug rehab services that don't get delivered.
BigBeard

Offline mefree

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Re: Who Is Dr. Ted Zunini?
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2015, 17:56 »
Wait a minute. The Lakeshore Regional Partners Oversight Policy Board is responsible for forwarding recommendations to LARA based on representations made by a presenter. But they have no process in place to verify facility staff are actually licensed to do what it is claimed they will do, or that they even actually exist??

Sounds like a process ripe to be taken advantage of by, lets just say, less than scrupulous people. Such as those who don't have a problem bilking desperate people out of major money for drug rehab services that don't get delivered.

Yeah. It's truly disheartening. There are just not enough protections in place for the vulnerable clientele seeking treatment.
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
-Dalai Lama