This is the History of and Reporting Guide for North Spring Behavioral Healthcare in Leesburg, VA


On this page you will find incomplete staff and complaint histories with sources cited (i.e. Progress Report), the general advisory against segregated congregate care with sources cited, and a reporting guide for those unlawfully harmed or firsthand witnesses to unlawful harm by or at this location to report violations of the law to the proper authorities/law enforcement.  The staff list itself will not be updated with additional names out of a sense of fairness where those providing the names ask for anonymity or confidentiality.  And, this program will remain eligible for merciful release if all criteria are met and no guest sermon is provided by a qualifying sponsor by that time.  In the meantime, it can graduate the COPE Conversion Program by meeting the Honesty In Marketing Standards (HIMS) or permanently close to be removed from the watch-list/released from the COPE Conversion Program.  If permanently closed prior to graduation or merciful release, it will be buried in the virtual graveyard




Additional Information
David Winters CEO Winters is not a licensed mental health professional, counselor, psychologist, nor social worker in Virginia.  Source:   Education: Unknown
Jack Apsche Clinical Consultant Apsche is not a licensed mental health professional, counselor, psychologist, nor social worker in Virginia.  Apsche is a licensed clinical psychologist in West Virginia.  Source:  He is the "father" of "Mode Deactivation Therapy".  Education: Temple University
Robia Fields Medical Director Fields is a licensed psychiatrist in Virginia and has been since March, 1998.    Source:  Parents may wish to ask whether or not Fields does more than prescribe and "manage" psychotropic drug use. Education: University of Missouri--Columbia Medical School (1989) and University of Kentucky--Lexington (1994).
Steve Seeger Dir. of Human Resources Seeger is not a licensed mental health professional, counselor, psychologist, nor social worker in Virginia.  Source: 
Rob Fouche Nurse Manager/RN Fouche is not a licensed nurse in Virginia.  Source: 
Bill Gitzen CFO Education: George Mason University, Marymount University (Finance)
Sara Brunetti Admissions Director Brunetti is not a licensed mental health professional, counselor, psychologist, nor social worker in Virginia.  Source: 
Diane Creech Marketing/Business Dev. Creech holds no professional licenses in VA.  Source:
Kelly Neverson Dir. of Risk Management Neverson is not a licensed mental health professional, counselor, psychologist, nor social worker in Virginia.  Source:  Education: University of Maryland, Argosy University

HEAL requires information on which Argosy University campus Neverson attended to verify proper accreditation for degree claimed.  Source:

Evert Lammers Dir. of Plant Operations Formerly worked at Copper Hills Youth Center in Utah.  Lammers is not a licensed mental health professional, counselor, psychologist, nor social worker in Virginia.  Source:
Michael Johnson Asst. Dir. of Res. Svcs. There are too many Michael Johnson's in Virginia to verify this Michael Johnson without middle name/middle initial.  Source:  Education: Virginia State University
Julie Lewerenz Psychiatrist Lewerenz is not a licensed doctor, mental health professional, counselor, psychologist nor social worker in Virginia.  Lewerenz does appear to be licensed as a medical doctor in New Jersey and Tennessee.  Source:  Education: Vassar College, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (1995-NJ)  Robert Wood Johnson Medical School is not a nationally accredited school.  And, it is not accredited as a proper medical school.  Source:   Robert Wood Johnson Medical School is solely accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.  And, this is not a nationally recognized/accepted accreditation agency for degree granting institutions.

Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc., Accreditation



1969/2006/Fall 2011

Scope of recognition: the accreditation of both clinical pastoral education (CPE) centers and

CPE and Supervisory CPE programs located within the United States and territories. Title IV

Note: Accreditation by this agency does not enable the entities it accredits to establish

eligibility to participate in Title IV programs.

Teresa E. Snorton, Executive Director

1549 Claremont Road, Suite 103

Decatur, GA 30033-4611

Tel. (404) 320-1472

Fax. (404) 320-0849

E-mail address:

Web address:

(CPE) - Clinical pastoral education (CPE) centers offering CPE programs

(SCPE) - Clinical pastoral education (CPE) centers offering CPE and supervisory CPE programs

ACPE describes itself as: "The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. (ACPE) is a multicultural, multifaith organization devoted to providing education and improving the quality of ministry and pastoral care offered by spiritual caregivers of all faiths through the clinical educational methods of Clinical Pastoral Education."  Source:  As a ministry, it is not an approved scientific/medical accreditation agency.

Jacquelynn Hollman Program Director Hollman is a licensed clinical psychologist in Virginia.  But, she has only been licensed since January, 2010.  Source:  Education: Ohio State University, Biola University
Laurie Slavit Program Dir. for Mode Deactivation Slavit is not a licensed doctor, mental health professional, counselor, psychologist nor social worker in Virginia.  Source:   Education: University of Maryland
Jonathan Johnson Clinical Coordinator Jonathan A. Johnson (may be a different person) is a licensed sex offender treatment provider only.  And,  he has only been licensed since April, 2011.  Source:  Education: West Virginia University
Dan Towery Therapist Towery is not a licensed doctor, mental health professional, counselor, psychologist nor social worker in Virginia.  Source:  Education: Liberty University
Elaine Johnson Animal Assisted Therapist Johnson is not a licensed doctor, mental health professional, counselor, psychologist nor social worker in Virginia.  Source:
Meredith Graham Therapist Graham is not a licensed doctor, mental health professional, counselor, psychologist nor social worker in Virginia.  Source:  Education: Texas A & M University (2003), Nova Southeastern University (2010) 
Darryl Funk Therapist Funk is licensed solely as a certified substance abuse counselor in VA.  Source: Washington Center for Consciousness Studies is not an accredited degree program.  This information is confirmed at  Here is their website:  They are not properly licensed nor accredited.  According to the Navy Certification Board, "Mr. Funk graduated from our school as you indicated and was appropriately certified with the U.S. Navy Certification Board during the time he was on active duty.  The certification he held at that time was a  Navy specific credential and does not carry reciprocity.  I have no information on who he may be certified by since he left the Navy."  It appears his Naval certification does not translate to appropriate training for working with civilians. 
Rachel Helft Therapist Helft is not a licensed doctor, mental health professional, counselor, psychologist nor social worker in Virginia.  Source:  Education: George Mason University
Katharine Ryan Therapist Ryan is not a licensed doctor, mental health professional, counselor, psychologist nor social worker in Virginia.  Source:  Education: Marymount University, Argosy University
Marc Linovitz Therapist Linovitz is a licensed clinical social worker in VA and has been since 1993.  Source:  Education: Michigan State University, Wayne State University
Rachael Murphy Ryan Therapist Ryan is not a licensed doctor, mental health professional, counselor, psychologist nor social worker in Virginia.  Source:   (HEAL searched for Rachael Ryan, Rachael Murphy-Ryan, and Rachael Murphy)  Education: University of Maryland
Hilary Peterson Therapist Peterson is not a licensed doctor, mental health professional, counselor, psychologist nor social worker in Virginia.  Source:  Education: University of Jonesboro, John Brown University
Cindy S. Austin Recreation Specialist Austin is not a licensed doctor, mental health professional, counselor, psychologist nor social worker in Virginia.  Austin holds no professional licenses in VA.  Source:   Education: Edinboro University, Slippery Rock University, University of Pittsburgh
Miceala Brown Asst. Dir. of Admissions Brown is not a licensed doctor, mental health professional, counselor, psychologist nor social worker in Virginia.  Source: Education: Liberty University
Susie Kim Case Manager There are too many Susan Kim's licensed in various fields to determine whether this person holds any professional licenses without additional information.  There are no "Susie Kim's" with any professional licenses in Virginia.  Source:   Education: Virginia Tech
Owen Allie Case Manager Allie is not a licensed doctor, mental health professional, counselor, psychologist nor social worker in Virginia.  Source: 

Education: Argosy University (Arlington, VA), Castleta State College, University of Phoenix

Kate Jagoe Case Manager Jagoe is not a licensed doctor, mental health professional, counselor, psychologist nor social worker in Virginia.  Source:  Education: Eastern Kentucky University
Nancy Merriman Education Coordinator Nancy Ann Merriman (may be a different person) is a licensed collegiate professional in Virginia.  Source:  Virginia reports Merriman's highest degree earned as a Bachelor's Degree. 
George Frimpong Special Ed Teacher Frimpong is a licensed collegiate professional in Virginia.  Source:
Kelly Bungard Special Ed Teacher Bungard is a licensed collegiate professional and holds a provisional special education license in VA.  Source:
Sheila Hershey English Teacher Hershey holds a provisional special education license only in VA.  Source:
Fredricka Harris Social Studies Teacher Harris is not a licensed educator/teacher in Virginia.  Source:
Cat Thompson Testing Coordinator There are multiple Catherine Thompson's that hold various educator licenses in Virginia.  HEAL would need "Cat" to specify her full name and middle name to verify whether or not this individual is licensed.  Source:
Amy Vassar Special Ed Teacher Vassar is a licensed collegiate professional in VA.  Source:
Joshua Russell Phys. Ed. Teacher Russell holds a provisional license only in VA.  Source:
David Cole Science Teacher There are too many David Cole's holding educator licenses in VA to determine whether or not this "David Cole" is licensed without additional information.  Source:
Alyssa Cross Music Teacher Cross is a licensed collegiate professional in VA.  Source:
Kelsey Struder Art Teacher Struder is a licensed collegiate professional in VA.  Source:
In Virginia, the statutes of limitation do not apply to any felonies including rape, kidnapping, human trafficking, and murder. Misdemeanors in the state have a 1-5 year time limit. For civil suits in Virginia, the statute of limitations is 2 years depending on cause of action. 

Options for you to take action and/or seek redress/justice today are listed below:

1.  Report crimes such as assault, fraud, battery, labor trafficking, and child abuse to law enforcement in Virginia. You can call the Leesburg Police at 703-771-4500 to inquire about filing an official complaint which may provide the probable cause needed to get a warrant for investigation and/or prosecution. 

2.  File a consumer complaint with your home state's attorney general against North Spring Behavioral Healthcare and include your request for compensation for any harm done to you.  If you live in Virginia and/or would like to file consumer complaint as a non-resident with the Attorney General of Virginia, visit: .

3.  If you do not wish to file a consumer complaint, you can contact a private personal injury attorney and look into suing in tort/civil court.  However, if you can't afford the retainer, you should expect to settle out of court with a non-disclosure agreement which may bar you from speaking publicly about the incident because you've agreed (even if with a grumbling assent) to the terms of the settlement. 
4.  You may send a new e-mail to with subject "Post My Feedback" and we will post your feedback (e-mail printed to .pdf disclosing your name and e-mail address and any information in your e-mail with that subject) to  and add a direct link to those .pdf files to this page . 

 5. You may also wish to provide a guest sermon.  Guest sermons are posted at , under Progress Reports/Guest Sermons at where appropriate, and on program info pages when applicable.  So, one provided by you on your program would also be placed on this page .  Guest sermons should be written into the body of an e-mail and sent to . Your first and last name will be disclosed (contact info will not be unless you expressly request disclosure).  For sermons available on our site see  (and sermon archives linked on that page).  If you have questions about this option, please contact Please see  to get an idea what your sermon may be worth.

All segregated congregate care providers, including those on our watch-list, are welcome to contact us to correct any information or provide additional data that may assist with delivering the whole truth to the public.  The HEAL Mission of COPE (HEAL) found in many cases where this offer has been abused or resulted in revealing additional basis for our concerns. For some examples see feedback.  Now, we are willing to look at the facts and may have questions or require documentation backing up any claims.  We do verify licensing, academic backgrounds, and other qualifications when investigating and researching programs on our watch-lis/enrolled in the Conversion Program to assist consumers seeking additional information on such programs or victims requiring assistance with getting corroborating evidence of their claims.  We do that in order to make sure the information we provide is accurate and verified and cite our sources.  In the event any information we've posted is in error, we're happy to make a correction. 

HEAL does not support segregated congregate care for many reasons which include that many such facilities are abusive, exploitative, fraudulent, and lack effective oversight often as a result of fraudulent misrepresentation coupled with the ignorance of those seeking to enroll loved ones in such facilities, programs, schools, or centers without a valid court order and involuntarily.  In the United States such involuntary placements done without a court order are apparently illegal as they either violate the Americans with Disabilities Act community integration requirement or due process rights of those involuntarily placed.  Now, in regards to parents, in the United States parents have the right to waive their own rights, but, not the rights of their minor children.  See for more information.  Now, most facilities on our watch list include waivers, indemnity clauses, and sworn statements legal guardians must sign assuring the program that the parents/legal guardians have the right to make the placement involuntarily and without due process in a segregated congregate care environment, however, California and federal prosecutors as well as settled law appears to suggest that is not the case.  In fact, in the David Taylor case found at , Taylor sued Provo Canyon School and his mother as co-defendants.  His mother was found liable for 75% of the damages awarded to Taylor as a result of multiple complaints including false imprisonment, while the program was found only 25% liable because the mother owed a duty of due diligence to investigate anyone to which she would entrust care of her child and she failed to do so. 

Now, HEAL opposes segregated congregate care and we find most placements are happening illegally in the USA which if the youth understood their rights would result in unfortunate outcomes for the parents, particularly when they don't exercise good judgment and support the fraud and abuse rather than their own children when they need remedy and justice.  And, HEAL supports all victims of fraud and abuse in seeking remedies at law for any crimes or torts committed against them.  And, that's true whether or not the program or victims are in the USA. 

HEAL has a 5 point argument against segregated congregate care we'd like you to consider:

a.  Segregated care is unconstitutional and a civil rights violation.  It is only permissible if a person is unable to survive independent of an institutional environment.  For more on this, watch the HEAL Report at  Or, see:  which includes in part:    "United States v. Florida – 1:12-cv-60460 – (S.D. Fla.) – On April 7, 2016, the United States filed an Opposition to the State of Florida’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment.  In the Motion, the State had asked the Court to rule, on a variety of grounds, that the United States could not recover damages for unnecessarily institutionalized children to whom the State had been deliberately indifferent."

b.  Institutionalization is always dehumanizing and coercive.  Institutionalization always harms the institutionalized and deprives them of protected civil rights.  Dr. David Straker, Psychiatry Professor at Columbia University's School of Medicine (Ivy League) explains this in detail at  "Many institutions, from prisons to monasteries to asylums, deliberately want to control and manage their inmates such that they conform and do not cause problems. Even in less harsh environments, many of the institutionalization methods may be found, albeit in more moderated form (although the psychological effect can be equally devastating)."  (See website linked in this paragraph for more info.)

c.  Institutionalization is not in the best interest of children.  Institutions are not ever better for a child than living with a loving family.  Source:       

d.  Reform schools, residential treatment programs, and other segregated congregate care settings have been shown to be ineffective and harmful.  Best source on this currently is:

e. Boarding Schools, even the "good ones", result in a form of social death, isolation, and cause both anxiety and depression.  Therefore, it is clearly not in the best interest of the youth subjected to those environments.  Sources: and

Beyond the above arguments against segregated congregate care, we have reports from the NIH, Surgeon General, Yale University Studies, and much more showing the methodologies of behavior modification are damaging, harmful, and ineffective.  You can request these documents via e-mail.  In addition, for such programs offering academic services or claiming to offer diplomas, certifications, or the like, it is important to check to see if it is a diploma mill with no accredited academic services.  Please see article: "Avoiding Scams: What You Need To Know"  for important information on how to avoid education/training scams.

If you'd like to see what HEAL suggests rather than segregated congregate care (i.e. committing a crime or tort against your child if done against their will without a court order), please see articles: "Fix Your Family, Help Your Teen" and "Emancipation Guide".
Article: Violations and Problems at UHS, Inc. Owned Facilities
North Spring Behavioral Healthcare is licensed as one of four programs operating under Psychiatric Solutions of Virginia, Inc.  The other three programs operating under Psychiatric Solutions of Virginia, Inc. are: Jefferson Trail Treatment Center in Charlottesville, Liberty Point Behavioral in Staunton, and The Hughes Center in Danville.
Inspection Report [Facility Location: The Hughes Center in Danville, VA]
Select Provider Name Begin Date Purpose
630-14-004-460 Psychiatric Solutions of Virginia, Inc. 02-01-2012 Unannounced Complaint Visit
630-14-004-458 Psychiatric Solutions of Virginia, Inc. 01-27-2012 Unannounced Complaint Visit
630-14-004-457 Psychiatric Solutions of Virginia, Inc. 01-27-2012 Unannounced Complaint Visit



Ongoing/Current Investigation Report: VA Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (March, 2012)
Loudoun sheriff’s office continues investigation into teen’s death at North Spring health facility 3Share Monday, Nov. 27, 2017 by Chantalle Edmunds | 0 comments | Email this story Courtesy Photo/ Investigations are continuing into the death of a teenager who was found not breathing at a mental health treatment center in Leesburg Nov. 19. Loudoun County Sheriff's Office spokesman Kraig Troxell told the Times-Mirror the incident is a "death investigation which is treated as a homicide until proved otherwise." Troxell said the office is working with the medical examiner to determine the circumstances and the medical cause of death. The youth's age and identity have not been released. According to Troxell, the LCSO is awaiting toxicology reports to determine the cause of death. In a prepared statement, David Winters, CEO of North Spring Behavioral Healthcare, said he could confirm that an adolescent patient in residential treatment at North Spring Behavioral Healthcare “sadly and unfortunately passed away while being transported to our local community hospital’s Emergency Department.” “North Spring Behavioral Healthcare is deeply saddened by the loss of one of its patients and extends its heartfelt sympathy and condolences to family members and loved ones,” Winters said. "We have notified the appropriate authorities and we are providing our full cooperation as they investigate the incident. The care and safety of our patients, including their privacy, is North Spring’s top priority." “Due to stringent patient confidentiality and privacy laws, the facility is precluded from discussing any details regarding the care and treatment of any patient. North Spring Behavioral Healthcare remains fully committed to its mission of providing high quality treatment programs and services to patients with special, and sometimes complex, mental health needs,” he said. According to its website, North Spring offers residential programs "for emotionally disturbed youth struggling and in need of a structured residential setting."  Source:
Parent Complaint Submitted to Authorities, UHS, Inc. Representatives, and HEAL on 12/1/17 posted with the author's permission to help warn the public against placing any youth in this facility: [FEEDBACK]

"On 12/1/2017 7:38 AM, Mohamed, Monique C CIV DHA COD FC (US) wrote:

Good Morning,

I am writing to file a complaint on behalf of my minor child (15) who is a current resident at North Springs Behavioral Health in Leesburg, VA. The complaint is regarding the following:

1. My son was punched in the chest by a staff member named "Ms. Gwen" in early October 2017. He reported this to me by telephone and I immediately asked to speak to a staff member. I initially spoke to "Ms. Amy" and eventually spoke to "Ms. Gwen" bout punching him in the chest. I reported the incident in writing to my son's assigned Case Manager. The written report, dated October 11, 2017, is attached to this email.

2. Following my report submission, my son shared with me that he was being made fun of by North Springs staff members. He reported receiving "dirty looks" from Ms. Gwen and sarcastic comments from another staff member such as "Oh, I can't play with you, you'll tell your Mom.

3. In the Treatment Team meeting held 10/30/2017 I mentioned the report and asked why I hadn't received any confirmation of receipt nor any follow up. I was told by the Unit Coordinator, Harry Fosque, that it had been handled. Some sort of communication would have been nice, especially since I am a parent making a written complaint about my child being physically punched by a staff member. I mentioned my son's report about retaliation from staff and my concerns that behaviors from staff members, such as those described by my son, could potentially deter a resident from reporting mistreatment or abuse by staff to their parents. I've never heard anything else about how the behaviors would be remedied. Instead, they have increased.

4. During a family therapy session with my son and his therapist, Paula Marcolin, on 11/20/2017 Paula shared with me that Torian complained of being "targeted" by one staff member in particular. He had received several consequences for minor infractions consistently for a period of time. Paula said she spoke to another staff member on my son's unit regarding his allegation and the other staff member, Mr. Corey, confirmed that it did indeed appear that "she had it out for him." I addressed this with the Treatment Team during a Treatment Team meeting held 11/27/2017. No one had anything to say. Matter of fact, Harry Fosque made a statement "It is what it is." This to me is an example of the staff's lackadaisical approach to Parent and Resident concerns and complaints.

5. My son has filed SEVERAL written grievances and complaints. He has told me of at least 5, one of which he wrote while we were on the phone together. He complained to me last night that he "just can't take anymore." He says his grievances and complaints have NEVER been addressed. No one has ever come to speak with him about his complaints. As his parent, no one has ever mentioned his written complaints to me, nor how they intend to address them. It appears that his grievances have been ignored. I know personally that he filed a complaint regarding his feeling disrespected by staff. In response, my son reported once staff member continually calling him "Sir" in a sarcastic tone, emphasizing the word "Sir". "How are you today SIR?" "Oh, I'm sorry, I don't want to disrespect you SIR," etc. Unacceptable behavior from an adult staff member. Where are all of his grievances? What's the procedure for responding to a resident's complaint?

6. I can attest to the staff's non-responsiveness from my own experiences. I received no response to my written incident report of my child being punched. I sent an email (attached) to the Treatment Team regarding Therapist concerns, among other things. Several weeks passed before Abdus Samad sent me an email wondering if anyone ever responded to me. I replied that I had not. Following that email, I still had received no information or communication of any sort. I questioned that status of my written concern during the Treatment Team meeting held on 11/27/2017. Initially, no one even knew what I was talking about. After I spent some time refreshing their memories everyone began to play hot potato about whose responsibility it was to respond to me. In my opinion, how much effort does it take to respond to a parent's concern with a response as simple as "Hey, got your email. We're working on responding and will get back to you." Simple. But to entirely ignore for nearly a month, and then shift the blame/responsibility isn't the best idea.

7. My son's Day Pass, which would allow him to come home and eat Thanksgiving Dinner and return in the evening was granted and then disapproved by Harry Fosque the week of Thanksgiving. I received a phone call from Paula Marcolin on Monday 11/20/2017 notifying me that he wouldn't be allowed to come home because his pass had been pulled for "kissing a boy in the hallway." She said that she'd spoken to my son, who was very upset because the boy kissed him and it was NOT consensual. Please also know that my son had made previous complaints about this same young man exposing himself to my son in their room. My son slept in the "quiet room" on the Unit in order to avoid sleeping in the room with the young man because the young man was masturbating and my son didn't want to be in the same room.

I told her that he had been behaving safely in the previous weeks, and doubted that this constituted his pass being pulled, whether it was consensual or not, and I was requesting that he still be able to come eat dinner. No staff member witnessed the incident, but several of the other boys on the unit did witness it. The other boys said the young man DID kiss my son without his permission and it was not consensual. Staff, however, namely Harry Fosque, Mr. Tom, and an additional nurse told Paula that they saw the video and it appeared to be consensual. I requested to see the tape and was denied. I asked why they wouldn't take the eyewitness accounts of the other boys into consideration and was told by Harry Fosque, "well, they're kids..." Dr. Pope said that she'd review the tape, and at that time Harry shared that there is no tape anymore. How did it conveniently disappear? Or, did staff's retaliation lead them to be willing to ruin a child's Thanksgiving because of their own bitter feelings? This disappearance of evidence is concerning to me, especially since a young child has allegedly died at the hands of two North Springs staff members while being placed in a "hold" and unable to breathe just last month. I pushed until I received approval for my son to come and have dinner with his family for the Holiday.

8. An additional complaint I personally have regarding responsiveness would be the delay in scheduling my son's Neuro Psychological evaluation. My son's stay at North Springs is funded partially by the Prince William County Community Services Board (PWCCSB). PWCCSB approved funding for the evaluation two months ago. I've requested status on the appointment scheduling at both of the previous Treatment Team Meetings. I was met with the same response: confusion about what I'm talking about, followed by the blame game. I attended the Treatment team meeting held on 11/27/2017 by telephone. When I spoke to my son that evening, he shared with me that members of the team were "making faces and comments to each other" about me and their obvious irritation with me pressing for responses. This is highly unprofessional. What message does that send to my child, in my absence?

Mr. Caponi, I am not a parent who takes my child's life, well being, feelings, or safety lightly. I keep detailed records and I keep an open repoire with my son. I did not admit him into this facility because I'm looking for a daycare center or somewhere to stash him away. I'm looking for HELP, and not just any help, I want the BEST help UHS and North Springs has to offer. I'm willing to ruffle as many feathers as need be in order to get him exactly what he deserves. And, if the staff wants to make faces because I'm pushing them to do their jobs, then by all means. But, make the faces while you get it done and it would be preferable that they did so outside of my son's presence. It appears that staff may forget that these are children with issues. This facility serves as a safe haven, but in the case of my son as well as the child who died at the hands of North Springs staff members, it has not been so. I want my son's grievances addressed. Retaliation and unethical treatment are both things that are contrary to UHS' Mission Statement. Please notify me of how and when the issues detailed above will be addressed. Thank you.

Monique Mohamed
Contract Specialist Component Acquisition Executive (J-4)
DoD-Defense Health Agency Headquarters
Contracting Operations -FC
‘He didn’t deserve the way he died’: Mother of teen restrained at behavioral health facility speaks out - The Washington Post ‘He didn’t deserve the way he died’: Mother of teen restrained at behavioral health facility speaks out Kinnisha Flemming with her son, Jeremiah Flemming, 15, who police said died after being restrained by an employee at North Spring Behavioral Healthcare in Leesburg. (Kinnisha Flemming) By Ellie Silverman By Ellie Silverman Public Safety January 27 at 7:40 PM Follow @esilverman11 A 15-year-old patient at a Northern Virginia mental health facility who died after police say he was restrained had been agitated by bullying and was punching walls before staff stepped in, according to details in an internal facility report. “It’s heartbreaking because he didn’t have to, he didn’t deserve that . . . he didn’t deserve the way he died,” said Kinnisha Flemming, 35, of her son, Jeremiah. “Jeremiah, he’s an easy kid. All you had to do was talk him down. It didn’t need to go that far,’ ” she said of her son’s death in November while he was a resident at North Spring Behavioral Healthcare in Leesburg. William P. Herndon, a mental health technician at North Spring at the time, was arrested Jan. 16 on charges of involuntary manslaughter after the state medical examiner concluded that the teenage patient he allegedly restrained died of positional asphyxiation. The center and police have not publicly named the teen, but Flemming confirmed it was her son and provided a copy of an internal incident report that also names Jeremiah. In the report, it is not clear exactly how Jeremiah was restrained or how many employees were involved. Jeremiah was “an easy kid,” his mother said. “All you had to do was talk him down. It didn’t need to go that far.” ( Kinnisha Flemming) His mother said she agreed to speak out because she wants people to know what happened to the boy from Norfolk who liked playing basketball and dancing, wanted to play football and wrote a few songs because he hoped to be a rapper. Jeremiah was part of a North Spring program for children with serious emotional issues. The center remains open, but admissions for children’s residential services were halted the day after the incident that led to Jeremiah’s death amid an ongoing investigation of the 87-bed program by state regulators. North Spring is one of 10 Universal Health Services facilities licensed in Virginia, according to Dev Nair, the assistant commissioner for the Quality Management and Development unit of the state Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. Herndon’s attorney, Todd Sanders, declined to comment because the case is pending. Herndon, 47, of Martinsburg, W.Va., was released on bond from the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center. [Behavioral health care worker charged in teen patient’s death] In a prepared statement, North Spring CEO David Winters called the teen’s death a “sad, unexpected event” and said the facility is cooperating with the investigation. Winters’s statement said the employee, whom he did not name, had been placed on administrative leave after the incident. “North Spring prides itself on providing high quality behavioral health and residential treatment to patients facing serious psychiatric illnesses who come to our facility during some of the most difficult periods of their lives,” according to the facility’s statements. Winters declined to answer specific questions about Herndon’s employment or Jeremiah’s stay. [Teenager dies after being found unresponsive at center in Virginia] Almost all of the children accepted into North Spring’s residential program are referred from state and county agencies or school systems, Winters said in an email. A children’s residential facility offers 24-hour supervised care for issues with mental health or substance abuse, and academic studies, Nair said. During 2017, state records show, North Spring said it terminated employees involved in three physical run-ins with patients, all confirmed by video. Staffers pushed a patient into a wall in one incident, stepped on a patient’s head in another and used restraints unnecessarily in the third, according to facility reports to state regulators between January and early December 2017. A fourth event — in which a patient with a severe nut allergy was given cookies with nuts and had to be taken to an emergency room — also was reported to state regulators. State records show no other death at the facility in records that go back to 2010, Nair said. Jeremiah had been at North Spring for less than a week, according to his mother, who said he had been at another facility for about a year and a half. Her son, she said, “had aggression” and called her the week he was admitted at North Spring to say he was being bullied and ready to leave. Before his transfer, Flemming said, Jeremiah’s grades had been improving, he was calling home more often, and his relationship with his now-14-year-old sister had improved. On the afternoon of his death, the internal facility report states that a peer was bullying and trying to provoke Jeremiah, who threatened to “fight and kill the peer” and tried to “attack” the person. Jeremiah was sent to a “cool down room,” but once there, he began punching walls and would not stop, according to the incident account. The report refers to “staff” and at least three nurses responding but does not name individuals or clearly state how many were present or how much time elapsed during the encounter in the room. A total of four are listed as witnesses by job title: nursing staff, mental health specialist, shift lead and nurse practitioner. “After receiving multiple redirections, Jeremiah did not stop and staff initiated a physical restraint,” and nurses responded, the report says. Jeremiah and the staff were struggling while he was in a hold because he was “fighting and sliding on the floor in the doorway,” according to the report. The report states, “About 2 minutes into the hold nurse observed that Jeremiah dropped his head down and sounded like he was snoring.” He was released from the hold and was breathing and had a pulse, the report states. “The nurse went to get the smelling salts, but Jeremiah did not respond to it,” the report continues. A nurse “saw scant blood on the end of his nose” as the nurse wiped his face with a cold cloth and Jeremiah’s breathing and heart rate continued to be checked, the report states. A nurse called 911 — the report does not say at what time the call was made — and emergency crews responded, put Jeremiah on a stretcher and took him to a hospital, where he died. The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, in a statement announcing the arrest of Herndon, said sheriff’s personnel responded at about 3:37 p.m. Nov. 19 to assist on a rescue call. After Herndon’s arrest, the sheriff’s office alleged that the “victim lost his life after being restrained by the employee, a Mental Health Technician at the facility.” Nair said the department’s “general principle” is that employees should work to de-escalate situations so restraint will not be necessary. “That obviously won’t always be done,” he said, “but I think the goal is always to try to manage behavior to avoid having to initiate a restraint in the first place.” To become a mental health technician at North Spring, an individual must complete requirements including 75 hours of training and multiple written tests, Winters wrote in an email. The state records on previous incidents at North Spring show that in August, a staff member was terminated after a shift supervisor reviewed a video of the employee physically restraining a patient and “questioned the need for the restraint feeling the restraint should have been avoided.” In March, a staffer “tried to intimidate” a patient “by putting his foot on the patient’s head while he lay on the floor of the timeout room.” The act was confirmed in a video and the staffer was terminated, state records show. Another staffer roughly pushed a patient into a wall in March, which also was confirmed by video and resulted in the employee’s termination, according to state records. Winters did not respond to specific questions about those three previous incidents. He said in a statement that “over the course of treating thousands of patients annually, isolated and regrettable incidents invariably occur.” The statement said the facility demands “accountability from all staff for any actions which may deviate from our policies and values. local public-safety Dallas shooting updates News and analysis on the deadliest day for police since 9/11. post_newsletter353 follow-dallas true endOfArticle false Please provide a valid email address. You’re all set! See all newsletters Such issues are not unique to North Spring and are commonly experienced by nearly all behavioral health providers treating similar patient populations.” The last time Flemming saw her son was when she dropped him off at North Spring, she said. It’s been two months since his death, and she keeps thinking: “It should have never happened. “I want my son back.” Source:
9/7/22: COPE Conversion Program Progress Report: North Spring Behavioral Healthcare:


 Last Updated: February 28th, 2023

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