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North Tampa Behavioral Health CEO Steps Down, Facility Under Scrutiny (UPDATED)

December 05, 2019

[Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout to include responses from Acadia Healthcare. A previous version indicated that Acadia did not respond to a request for comment.]

Bryon Coleman Jr. is no longer CEO of North Tampa Behavioral Health, and the facility is facing intense scrutiny after an inspection uncovered additional violations of patients’ rights and safety codes, according to a report published Tuesday by the Tampa Bay Times. Acadia representatives, however, dispute certain characterizations in the report.

Coleman, formerly a quarterback on the practice squad of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers, became CEO of North Tampa in 2018. A Times investigation found he had no experience in healthcare prior to taking the job. The newspaper’s investigation also found that North Tampa patients were being kept longer than allowed, a violation of their rights under the Baker Act, Florida’s mental health law, in order to boost profits.

The investigative report by the Times prompted federal and state lawmakers to initiate reviews of the facility, an Acadia Healthcare property. Among the violations discovered by inspectors:

  • Coleman, whose professional experience outside of football includes working in sales for a trucking company and managing employee benefits for an insurer, did not have the requisite education or experience for North Tampa’s CEO position
  • All but four of 96 employees who performed urine tests and other lab work did not have proper training
  • Meals were not properly prepared for patients with special dietary needs
  • Multiple cleanliness issues

In a statement emailed to Behavioral Healthcare Executive, however, Acadia spokeswoman Gretchen Hommich said that Coleman “participated in a comprehensive training program, working closely with an experienced CEO at another Acadia hospital,” and that an Acadia group president supervised Coleman to ensure proper operation and maintenance of the hospital.

“Further, the state regulators did not determine that Mr. Coleman lacked the proper qualifications,” Hommich said in the email. “The state regulators cited the facility because the facility’s governing board failed to evidence that Mr. Coleman met the facility’s internal job description requirements.”

Coleman has since taken a different position within Acadia "for reasons unrelated to the regulatory findings," Hommich said. Industry veteran Clint Hauger has been named CEO/managing director of North Tampa. Hauger previously served as CEO of Palmetto Lowcountry Behavioral Health, a psychiatric hospital.

North Tampa was required to submit a plan to address its most serious problems or risk losing funding from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid on Feb. 19, 2020, according to the Times. Hommich told BHE that the facility has addressed all deficiencies cited in the plan it submitted and that all steps have since been fully implemented. The facility is accredited by the Joint Commission and “fully licensed by Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration,” she said in her email.

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