What to know about what you don’t know you know. #1: Intuition is very efficient—if you don't overthink it.
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If all this seems a bit complex, do not be dismayed. It seemed this way to me at first as well. When I first encountered the PHP problem, I confused PHPs with PHP-preferred treatment centers. My confusion can be seen in the investigative work I did on the (Colorado) Center for Personalized Education for Physicians (CPEP). Google “HARBR declares CPEP Unaccredited.” The confusion can be seen again in the article I wrote on Acumen of Lawrence, Kansas. Google “HARBR Declares Another PHP Unaccredited ACUMEN.” These would turn out to be state PHP-preferred “treatment” and re-education centers. When I became somewhat clearer on what a PHP was, I continued my investigative work. I first sought to find the OFFICIAL state PHP for each state and found them listed on a webpage managed by the Federation of State Physician Health Programs (FSPHP). Google “FSPHP by state.” I decided to start with my own state of Indiana first. As an Executive Co-Director and the person-who-answers-the-phone at the Healthcare Alliance for Regulatory Board Reform (HARBR-USA), I thought that Indiana might be different. HARBR has members representing approximately 20 different states and we had never received a call from any beleaguered Hoosier healthcare professionals. My report, yet to be written up is that the “official” Indiana PHP (Indiana State Medical Association Physician Assistance Program) was no different than the PHP-preferred treatment and re-education centers I’d investigated. Via email, I had a series of unproductive exchanges with Candace Backer, LCSW, LCAC, Physician Assistance Program Coordinator, COPA. My query began:
May 31, 2019
Dear Ms. Backer,
I am doing some research on Physician Health Programs. On the FSPHP site [ ] I found the Indiana State Medical Association Physician Assistance Program listed as the PHP for Indiana.
I am trying to find out which state PHPs have their creation supported in state statute and which do not.
Would you do me the kindness of providing me with statutory reference numbers, some sort of document (or other meaningful response) which would help me with this research?
Because I might not be as clear as I'd like, allow me to restate the question. How is the creation of the Indiana State Medical Association Physician Assistance Program supported by Indiana statute?
Thank you so much for your assistance. Please let me know if you would like the results of our findings.
My question was simple and my tone polite. It was deserving of a simple answer. Instead, Ms. Backer asked me about the nature of my research and did not answer my question. I repeated my self. She repeated herself and we went three rounds before I wrote:
I am not sure what it is you are asking.
Please, I would very much appreciate it if you would just send me the information without further ado.
That was the last I heard from Ms. Backer. My simple question was never answered. One month later, I wrote her a final email. I wrote:
July 4, 2019
Dear Ms. Backer,
Thirty-four days ago, I wrote you requesting information.
Twenty-four days ago is the last I heard from you.
Instead of providing the information I requested, you turned the tables and asked me for information. Your correspondence style is perplexing. It seems that you were making your compliance with my request conditional upon my answers to your questions.
For your convenience, *I* have taken the time to assemble our correspondence. It is attached to this email as a PDF.
Is there something especially sensitive about the information I initially requested? Is the information protected, confidential or proprietary?
Ms. Backer, I am a busy person. I really don't have time for this amount of work. I have simply requested simple information. I am sure you are a busy person as well and I am sure you understand. Please just provide me the information and be done with it.
I hope you are not a person who intentionally practices "stonewalling" or "ball-dropping" but your correspondence style resembles these evasive behaviors.
Please provide me the name and contact information for your direct supervisor and/or the name and contact information for a supervisor who supports your communicative stylings.
I am keeping a record of your resistance to my initial request.
If knowledge is power, I was left powerless. It is little wonder I was confused when I first became aware of PHPs. I can only imagine with all the compassion I can muster what it must be like for a physician or other healthcare provider who, under the duress of possible loss of license, is sent, via a “state” PHP to one of these mysterious treatment centers for mysterious “treatment,” for unclear reasons, with non-explicit or odd parameters, at great expense, far away from home.
Are my investigative findings replicable? I have replicated it three times.
If anyone would like to join me in more attempts at replication, I would welcome it. Contact me at HARBR-USA. We would either get some answers or more evasion. Either would be useful in discerning the nature of what seems to me to be an operation of organized crime.
Christian Wolff, MA
Psychologist Associate (Oregon) Inactive
Healthcare Alliance for Regulatory Board Reform (HARBR)
Executive Co-Director & Co-Founder
5726 Coventry Lane | Fort Wayne, Indiana 46804
Contact: Google “HARBR-USA,” use contact form
*Make sure you spell the acronym “HARBR” correctly
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