Archive for the ‘The People Involved’ Category

“…doctor and entrepreneur Richard Kresch has announced he will launch his third company to acquire or start up short-stay mental-health facilities that take a different approach to treating acute mental problems. 

“Kresch’s last company, Ascend Health, grew to be the country’s largest private psychiatric hospital company before it was acquired last year by Universal Health Services for more than $500 million. He spoke with VentureWire about his newest company, US HealthVest, which has launched with $36 million from Polaris PartnersFidelity Biosciences and other investors.”
More here…..

My favorite quotes from this piece:

“Through our past work, we have developed a strong reputation for working closely with local communities to meet unmet needs by creating important and impactful patient-focused facilities.”

“Polaris Partners is excited to back Richard and his strong team again as they make important contributions in this area of great need.”



NY Psychiatrist Creates Empire

Dr. Richard Kresch, a former New York-Presbyterian/Columbia psychiatrist, has created a national behavioral health company. Ascend Health, a privately held company with executive offices in Manhattan, was launched in 2005. It has since acquired eight psychiatric hospitals—five of them in Texas—and is a major provider of care for TriCare. Still in growth mode, Ascend is in negotiations to buy a ninth facility. Despite the company’s success in owning and operating behavioral health facilities, Dr. Kresch said there is little chance of opening a facility in New York, because of the difficulty of operating as a for-profit company in the state. “The regulatory climate’s a lot better for us in the Southwest,” he said. Dr. Kresch previously ran a chain of skilled nursing facilities and another psychiatric hospital company called Heartland Health Developments.

Read more:

Check out all the good news going on over at Ascend Health…

Today I also stumbled upon this little gem of a website that you really must read about another Ascend health facility that I have not focused on much since it’s unfamiliar to me.  In particular, look at the comments section and note the similarities between the things said on my blog and what these people say about this facility:

In particular, note this doctor’s comment (reprinted in its entirety, and without any editing, but I’m putting certain parts in RED for emphasis).

“I’m a doc that has worked for companies like this one. First: don’t believe *everything* you read above, BUT believe a lot of it. Second: When you hear “It’s all about the money,” you can be sure that is correct when you are talking about administration. If the staff wanted to make money, they would have picked different careers. The trick is figuring out if the company has a balance between profit to stay open/relevant and providing high quality care. When you hear how miserable the staff is at a place like this (search the net for staff satisfaction scores), you can be sure that the place doesn’t have a decent balance. If they treat the staff like rubbish, they will have rubbish for staff…So Third: look at the history of the corporate leadership. They’ve built several low-quality profit machines and sold them quickly. Do you want those guys directing your program?”

Sing it Nelly…. “Haaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyy… it MUST da Money!”

So you’re a company that can get $500 million for your hospitals…. what can my little measly $6 million (which I don’t have, as you know) contribute to the kitty?

A mother whose 15 year old was admitted to UBH a couple of weeks ago told me that someone at UBH threatened to take her to court if she did not enroll her child at Legends Academy.  That made me suspicious.  So I decided to see what the relationship is between Legends Academy and UBH Denton and its parent company, Ascend Health.  And guess what?  They’re basically being controlled by the same people.

Legends Academy is a charter school in Texas, conveniently located near UBH.  According to the Texas Secretary of State, it assumed the name Legends Academy in 2008, and was previously known as NorthPointe Academy.

According to the IRS (see the picture to the left), NorthPointe is a public charity.  A tax-exempt charity.  That means it pays NO INCOME TAXES.

And, according to UBH’s own website:

“To allow young patients to continue their education without interruption, we have partnered with Legends Academy, a certified Texas Charter School. Students attend school at Legends Academy and receive full academic credits as well as therapeutic groups. For more information on Legends Academy, please visit”

A “partnership???”  Not really.  Look at who is on the board of directors of this charity:

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Richard Kresch, President & CEO of Ascend Health

Neal Cury, Chief Operating Officer of Ascend Health.

Cathi Ledet, Vice President of Financial Operations of Ascend Health,

That is not a partnership–that is three out of eight board of director slots controlled by the for-profit hospital!

Also, as a charter school, Legends gets funding from the State of Texas based on enrollment.  So, every time the hospital can strong arm a parent into enrolling their child at Legends?  They get funding for the school.   What a RACKET.

As a U.S. taxpayer I am OUTRAGED that this is considered a “non-profit” entity when it is in “partnership” with a for-profit hospital, yet both entities are under the direction of the same people!   Maybe this is legal, but in my mind it’s unethical.  And, I have a feeling I’m only scratching the surface.

Lovely. Unless something has changed at UBH, this guy is still their Chief of Staff. The head dog. The big chieftain.

What a great example of medical competence he presents. I hope Richard Kresch is proud of who is heading up his hospital.

Wow, just imagine…. a former nurse at UBH Denton was fired from a hospital ….

“After Schierding left Correctional Medical Services, according to her Parkland job application, she worked briefly as a nursing administrator at two private psychiatric facilities in the Dallas area — five months at Millwood Hospital in Arlington, then seven months at University Behavioral Health in Denton.

“Federal regulators found serious problems during Schierding’s tenure at University Behavioral, some similar to issues that have since come to light at Parkland.”

Well, perhaps “save” is too strong of a word. But read this comment posted a few days ago from a woman who almost went to work at UBH Denton:

“I am so disappointed right now. I am searching for a job in the mental health field in the metroplex and was thrilled to discover UBH’s website and the many job opportunities. The website makes it look like a perfect place with such special programs. Then I couldn’t help but be suspicious when looking more closely at the job listings. Why are there so many jobs in every aspect of the hospital? I feared the worst and a google search has confirmed my fears. My heart breaks reading the stories of you and the others posting here. Mental health and families are my passion and I mourn the traumatic experiences of people that are supposed to be cared for in places like UBH.”

You can see the original post here.

It never occurred to me when I started this blog that I might be saving someone from a career mistake.  I guess I always try to see the positive in everything, in spite of what happened to me at this place.  I recall two years ago a lot of things were going wrong with a closing on my house.  I arrived in my new town to find that the stupid mortgage broker didn’t get a mortgage for me.  With three U-Hauls loaded slap full, I discovered I had no place to live.  My poor mother doesn’t deal well with stuff like that, and she was kind of freaked out, but didn’t say anything at the time.  Later, after I was moved in and the house had closed and it was all mine, she confessed to me her anxiety over my situation:

“I just knew you shouldn’t have bought that house… you should have rented something first and then bought something later…”

I told her (from my new home, which was and still is FAB-U-LOUS!) and this was absolutely true:

“I never worried for a minute, and I didn’t let it bother me.  Mom, after you’ve been locked up in a mental hospital and threatened with a commitment hearing, and not really knowing if you’d ever get out, or when you’d get out?  You just don’t sweat the small stuff anymore.  I always know, no matter how bad things are in my life at the moment, they could be worse–I could still be in UBH.”  

She laughed and said, “I never looked at it that way.”

So, I guess I should thank Dr. Khan and Drunk Randy for my new outlook on life?  Maybe that was part of their so-called “treatment plan” all along?  “Hey, let’s just make our patients so damned miserable they vow to never come back here again!”

Nah… they’re not that smart.


I was just sniffing around their website and I found this list of career opportunities they are hiring for:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I thought we were in a recession and that there were no jobs out there.  Yet this place ALWAYS has positions that need filling?   I went and checked out Mayhill hospital, and their job postings are here:

I don’t know… I’m just thinking it’s kind of strange that there are two hospitals in Denton, and one of them always has LOTS of job openings.    That means they are either growing larger and need more staff, or, they have a pretty high rate of staff turnover.  I’m betting on the latter.

This article appeared in the Denton paper this week.

I could not let it go without a response.  I posted this blog’s address in the article’s comments section and got quite a few click-thrus, plus some of the highest traffic ever for this site.   Thanks to all who read and shared with others.

This morning I wrote the reporter who wrote the story and told her the following.  I thought you might like to see what I said:

Dear Ms. Mehlhaff,

I read your article on the merger of UBH and Mayhill hospitals with great interest. I have posted a comment to the article that shares a link to my blog, If you have not already seen it, I hope you will review it.

I have talked to or had e-mail correspondence with probably 20 people in less than a year who all report one or more of the following things that I also experienced while a VOLUNTARY patient at UBH:

1. Overmedication
2. Lack of proper basic medical care.
3. “Cookie cutter treatment”: ie., diagnose everyone as bipolar and/or a substance abuser.
4. Poor security
5. Unclean quarters and food service areas
6. No outdoor recreation.
7. A tendency towards holding patients for commitment even if they signed themselves in voluntarily
8. Attending physicians spending little time with patients, and/or not reading their charts, and/or not paying attention to the patient’s requests and wishes.
9. Retention vs. discharge decisions based primarily on insurance coverage rather than the welfare of the patient.

I understand why you wrote the story that you did, but I really do believe there is a story to be told about what happens at UBH Denton that no reporter has been willing to touch. My Denton friends in psychology and psychiatry tell me that UBH is well-known in town for all the things I mentioned above, so they only use Mayhill when inpatient treatment is required. I have lawyer friends in town who have told me that “everyone in the legal system knows how bad it is at UBH….” Yet for whatever reason they are allowed to continue. UBH seems to be the dirty little secret that no one in Denton will acknowledge or discuss. My mission—my purpose in maintaining my blog and reaching out to people like yourself—is to make sure that the problem is finally acknowledged and dealt with.

The day I asked someone to drive me to the emergency room and then readily signed myself in to the hospital is probably the #1 day in my entire life that I wish I could have a complete “do-over” for. Neither I nor my close friends and family had any clue how I would be treated at the hospital, or how things would work while I stayed there.

I heard this week from a former student of mine (I was a professor at UNT for 17 years) that he fully intends to sue UBH because of something they did to a family member. When he asked to speak to the CEO, Susan Young, he had to wait 3 weeks to get the answer from them that she was “just too busy” to talk to him. This is pretty much the same reaction I got when I sent them my letter describing the horrid conditions I found during my stay.

All I am asking of you is to review all the posts and comments on my blog, and ask yourself how there can be so many people who come out of there feeling and saying the same things. I realize it’s easy to dismiss the comments of any one person who has been in a psychiatric hospital because they/we are, in most people’s eyes, at least a little bit “crazy.” But as many of us as there are who have shared our stories, I would think that someone who start to smell something really rotten at UBH.

My phone number is xxx-xxx-xxxx  if you want to visit further about this, or, you can write me back here.

Dear Dr. Kresch,

I hope you have seen the latest comment on my blog.  In case you haven’t, here it is:

Row this woman has posted her name for you to see, but I’m taking it off the website for her protection.   My suggestion to her when we spoke on the phone today  was to try to talk to you about her son.  To go in assuming you would do the right thing and to save the threat of going public with what your hospital has done as a last resort.  Just remember, she has a place right here where her story can be told, right down to the most painful of details.

<SENTENCE DELETED>   I had on my witness list for trial a former nurse <PHRASE DELETED>.  That was the subject of discussion, rather than what the patient needed or wanted.  I also had on my witness list the testimony of a woman named Lisa, who was admitted the same time I was, only she came in involuntarily with slit wrists.  Your hospital let her go as soon as she asked to leave, and the only difference in us was that she was a self-paying patient and I was insured.

What’s funny (and I don’t mean “hahahaha, I’m having trouble breathing because I’m laughing so hard” kind of funny) is that when I told my fellow patients I was leaving, they told me, “NO, you are not.  You have insurance.  They will hold you for commitment.”  I thought to myself these people had to be crazy to even suggest such a thing.  And that’s exactly what you did.

<SENTENCE DELETED>   You could still make a decent profit without doing this, couldn’t you?

Now the least that could happen is you could acknowledge the pain of this woman and what happened with her son.  You and your attorneys didn’t care about me enough to be fair, I hope you’ll do better by her.

At one time there were two psychiatric and behavioral health hospitals in Denton, Texas: Mayhill Hospital and UBH Denton.  After my experience at UBH I knew several doctors and therapists who said they would never use UBH again (at least not unless some things changed there). 

And now, guess who owns Mayhill? The same Quack Shack company that owns UBH Denton! I got this little nugget of joy from here:

January 5, 2011
Ascend Health Opens New Hospitals in Arizona and Utah and Expands Operations in Texas

NEW YORK, NY — Ascend Health Corporation announced the opening of two new freestanding psychiatric hospitals as well as the acquisition of two freestanding psychiatric hospitals. All hospitals offer a full range of inpatient, day hospital and chemical dependency services.

…. In late 2010, Ascend acquired…Mayhill Hospital, a 60-bed psychiatric hospital, in Denton, TX.

How tragic for the people of that area.  I wonder if they’ll use the same “innovative approaches” that UBH Denton uses for patient care?

Hello everyone and Happy New Year!  I’m approaching my 3 year anniversary of this incident and although it’s one I’d rather not have experienced, I am quite pleased that I’ve managed to get the word out about this questionable hospital and its administration.  I was surprised to see that in just a few short months I’ve had about 2,000 visits to the site!  Wanted to share that good news with you (see below).

It was very hard to put this out there.  But having heard from people who went there and were treated as badly as I was, and realizing that they felt better knowing they weren’t alone in their experiences, made me feel like the effort and the pain of reliving it all a few more times might have been worthwhile.  I could not sit back and pretend that my experience was unique when I knew that it wasn’t.

SO, hope you find these stats interesting (especially YOU, Dr. Khan)….

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,000 times in 2010. That’s about 5 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 16 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 4 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 114kb.

The busiest day of the year was October 29th with 116 views. The most popular post that day was It’s hard to believe, I know…..

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for ubh denton, richard kresch, md, ubh in denton, ubh of denton, and ubh dr khan.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


It’s hard to believe, I know…. September 2010


Post traumatic stress? Yep! September 2010


The Letter I Sent Them September 2010
1 comment and 1 Like on,


Dr. Richard Kresch: The Mastermind of this Quack Shack September 2010


Why Did I Agree to Go in the First Place? September 2010

…I figure most any day now I’m going to get a letter from either Khan’s lawyer, or the hospital’s, telling me I have to take this site down.  I’m sure they don’t like it that I’m putting the truth out there for everyone to see.  But how do you come back from what is otherwise a traumatic event and make sense of it?  Some people I guess just block it out, and I wish i could.  But I had to do something to make sense of it…. I had to do what I could to make sure the next person who dealt with this joke of a hospital didn’t feel as alone as I did when I got out of there.  I’ve heard from entirely too many people who feel that their loved ones were signed into this hospital wrongly, or, who got held there longer than they should have, to at this point give up on sharing the information that I have.

Anyway, I’m gonna’ toss this one out there, in case they find some legal loophole to shut me down….

I don’t know if you can understand how it feels to be held against your will, have your family told that you have a drug problem you don’t have, and be misdiagnosed as bipolar… but trust me, it screws with your head.  I used to lie awake at night after I got out of the hospital, remembering the sheer terror of thinking I could NEVER leave.   Have you ever been somewhere like that, being told you’re suddenly bipolar after 39 years of NOT being bipolar?  You have two major fears… one is that you are, and you’ll always have major problems to deal with.  The other is that you’re not, and no one will believe you.  Neither is particularly fun to deal with.

Being there was… well, it’d be different if I’d tried to hurt myself, or someone else, and been put there against my own wishes, but I WALKED IN on MY OWN TWO FEET. Signed myself in.  So they were saying I was sane enough to sign in, but not sign out?  It was the most illogical situation I’d ever been in.  Ever.  And I had my friends and  family hearing things about me that weren’t true.  Do you know how people look at you when you walk out of a place like that?

I guess maybe if you’re a psychiatrist, it’s no big deal to be “inpatient” for 6 days and confused with another patient.  But, for the rest of us…. it screws up your medical history, it makes you uninsurable and it generally marks you much like one big ass scarlet letter (not sure which letter it is… maybe “P” for “Psycho” or perhaps “N” for nut case?  Or possibly just “D” for “Defective.”)

I’m not suggesting that people who go into hospitals have anything to be ashamed of.  I just know that people look at me a little sideways when I tell them I walked in on my own but couldn’t walk the hell out.  It’s kind of hard to believe.

I don’t think I’d feel bad at all about going in there if I’d gotten a simple clean bill of health along the way.  If they’d have said, “Okay, you’re stable now, it was the Chantix… now you need to go get plenty of rest, etc., and then you’ll be okay.”  Nope… they “stand by” their diagnosis of me as bipolar.  I also don’t think I’d feel bad if I’d gotten an apology.  I’d have signed a confidentiality agreement, and whatever it took, to just simply hear “I’m sorry.”   I’ve served as an expert witness before in contract law cases, so I understand the need for confidentiality and all that.  I’d have played along.

Well I’ve got news for those people who “stand by” their diagnosis.  I have not had ONE “episode” like the one that caused me to ASK to be taken to the emergency room since that date.  Ever.  Never before, never since.   The Chantix did some damage, so did your quackery.  But I’ve seen two VERY reputable doctors who have cleared me of any “bipolar” diagnosis so just kiss my fat ass over that one because YOU WERE WRONG and you KNOW YOU WERE WRONG.  It’s just that your lawyer in Texas (the WORST place to have a malpractice case, ever) told you to deny, deny deny and so far, you’ve gotten away with doing so.

But maybe I’m just slightly more tenacious than you are?

BINGO!   I’m not going away anytime soon.   These are FACTS and I have every right to post them.  These are real events from my medical record and I realize they embarrass you, but you only have yourself to thank because YOU CREATED THEM.

Yes, YOU made this website happen.   I’m sure it doesn’t seem fair that.  But damn if I don’t know THAT feeling, too.

So who is the UBH Denton Medical Director?  Dr. Atique Khan, who I affectionally call “Dr. Con.”   Here is some information on how other patients view him.

There are several other sites that only have one rating on them, but those are also negative.  But this one… there are reputable doctors noted so if you need a psychiatrist in Denton, Texas, do NOT go to this guy!

Drunk Randy

Posted: September 3, 2010 in The People Involved

The night I checked myself into the hospital, I started having regrets.  A male nurse with a very thick African accent kept grilling me on my alcohol use.

“Sooo what eeez tha longest tiyam you have remeened sobah?”


He repeated himself.  I said, “I cannot understand you.”

He was asking me what was the longest time I had ever been sober.

I said  “I’m not here for that.  Drinking is not my problem.  I took Chantix, I had a bad reaction to it, and I haven’t slept in days.”

“Let meeee seeee you hands,”  he said.  I held them out.  They were trembling a little.  Hell, I was nervous, I was in a mental hospital for the first (and hopefully last) time in my life.  I hadn’t slept in days.  Your hands would tremble, too, but he concluded I had the d-t’s.  Alcohol withdrawal.  “The shakes.”

The next morning, a psychiatrist named Dr. Khan visited with me for 15 minutes.  He wrote in my chart that I was  bipolar.  No family history, no personal history of ever anything remotely like that.  But suddenly, after one episode of “mania” when I was still quite lucid enough to know that something was wrong and I insisted that someone take me to the hospital for help, I’m bipolar?

That was just the start of the fun, though.  After that, I met with the guy I call “Drunk Randy.”   Our first meeting was memorable.

“Hi I’m Randy.  I’m the chemical dependency coordinator here.  Looks like you have been abusing alcohol and drugs.  I actually think you’re addicted, but they diagnosed you as abusive so we’ll go with that.  HEY… it’s nothing to be ashamed of, I’ve been sober 25 years and 6 months.”  DRUNK RANDY!   And, in true reformed alcoholic fashion, he just knew that everyone else was an alcoholic right along with him.

So, Randy gives me this big thick packet of Alcoholics Anonymous paperwork and leaves me to enjoy the squalor… er… ambiance of the day room where we had been meeting.   He assigned me to the substance abuse group.  All therapy in that place was based on either being a substance abuser or having depression.  Who’s the lucky girl… ME, of course!

So I go every day for three days to these sessions with people who are all extremely pompous and downright proud of their alcoholism.  “Well I’m in the military and I have post traumatic stress syndrome.  They found me on the job with a .29 blood alcohol level one day.”

“Oh yeah, well mine was a .35…”  another guy would chime in.

“Hey what are you in for?” people would ask me.  I’d say “Well, I think I had a bad reaction to  Chantix, but they keep saying I”m a bipolar alcoholic.  I hope they’re wrong.”

These drunk people would just look at me like, ‘Poor pathetic loser doesn’t even know what she is….”

So, on Tuesday night, after I had asked to be discharged and they held me for “commitment,” I decided to play along and make drunk Randy happy.  I filled out all my AA paperwork.  Leading questions that, when answered the way Randy wanted them answered, would lead me at the end to say “Oh wow… I AM an alcoholic.  Thanks, Randy!  Let’s go to an AA meeting together right now, okay?  Pass the coffee, cigarettes and donuts, dude!”

But I didn’t.  What I concluded was that due to all the stress and trauma of the Chantix, I had been drinking to excess in the last week or so.  He was clearly not happy with my answers on the paperwork and I finally had enough so I said, “So, just what makes you think I’m an alcoholic?”  After asking him a couple more times, this is what he said:

“Well, your legal problems for one.  You were arrested in a Wal-mart parking lot, drunk and high on phenobarbitol.”  (Apologies to the medical folk out there, I don’t know how to spell that word).

I said, “I have never been arrested in my life.  Ever.  For anything.  Not once.” Which was absolutely true (and thankfully still is).

I’d give my left boob to have a picture of his face when he finally realized he had me confused with someone else, a gal named Cassandra M., who was in there at the same time.  I can show you her mugshot online but that’s not fair to her–she didn’t do anything to me.  She just apparently had a few issues that Randy mistook for mine, which is easy to understand since she was a dead ringer for me.  Brunette, petite, and 120 pounds.  Me, I’m 5’6″, 160 pounds, and blonde.  Easy mistake to make mistaking me for her, I suppose.

Welcome to UBH Denton, folks… home of the mistaken and confused Drunk Randy!!!!

Dr. “Con”

Posted: September 3, 2010 in The People Involved
“Board Certified?”  Give me a break.    

check out my next post with all his health grades from various websites.

Atique A. Khan, M.D. UBH Medical Director
Board Certified: Diplomat American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
Education: Dow Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan; continued education at Medical College of Pennsylvania; Southwestern Medical School; and Civil Hospital University of Karachi, Pakistan. As well as the Medical Director of UBH he has served as Medical Director of: Huguley Hospital, Ft. Worth, TX; Charter Hospital, Grapevine, TX; and Medical Center, Grand Prairie, TX.
Professional Memberships: American Psychiatric Association, Texas Medical Association, and Tarrant County Medical Society.