Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news from Florida for working families since 2007

Lake Shore Hospital Authority

LSHA Pt-II, Gov’s Board Sitting on $21 Million: Undated Documents – No Background Checks

The Bumpy Run-Up to Thurs. June 23 Board Meeting

Dale Williams: N Florida legend and Executive Director of the Lake Shore Hospital Authority
Columbia County Observer photo

More LSHA stories are here.

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Sitting on $21 million of public funds, the Governor’s Lake Shore Hospital Board, after dragging its feet for almost two years, has thrown due diligence to the wind.

Link to Dale Williams memoSometime during the week of June 13, the Lake Shore Hospital Authority part-time Executive Director, Dale Williams, wrote a memo to the Governor’s Board. He wrote: "Last week, I called all Group 1 proposers [Group 1: Dale Williams classification of those who would use the entire vacated hospital] and asked if there was a scenario that would allow for them to use the hospital building without any subsidy from the Authority."

Manager Williams did not send a group email or text message to the Group 1s:  Hope Bridges, FGC, or Meridian with his question(s). Instead, he used the phone, calling each one separately, ensuring no written record of his communication.

There was no explanation in Director Williams' memo explaining how the idea of using the "hospital building without any subsidy from the Authority" came about.

Hope Bridges - Mike Peacock expression of interestA response was received from Hope Bridges' Mike Peacock, dated June 17. How the Hope Bridges response was transmitted to the Authority is unclear. Unlike the other Hope Bridges correspondence received without a letterhead, date, or signature line, the June 17 Hope Bridges response was on a dated letterhead, titled "Expression of Interest."

The Hope Bridges document has no time-stamp or anything indicating when the Authority received it. It is unknown when Dale Williams contacted Hope Bridges or who he contacted regarding Hope Bridges.

Mr. Peacock came up with something new, writing that he wanted to use the hospital “as a transitional housing facility for veterans.”

Hope Bridges has provided no information demonstrating any experience with the VA. Hope Bridges has not provided an audit or financial statement.

Hope Bridges has not provided information regarding any alliances. However, on June 3, 2022, Director Williams asked for a slew of information from Mr. Peacock; as of June 24, the Authority had received nothing.

Late Information 101: Manipulating Facts & Misinformation

On June 20, 2022, Director Williams provided the Gov's Board with an information package with what he (Williams) thought important for the Board to know.

Director Williams wrote: "Responses to the "RFP … were received on Tuesday, February 22, 2022," adding, "Haven Health d/b/a Hope Bridges, Florida Gateway College, and Meridian Behavioral Healthcare provided responses."

There are issues with Director Williams' characterization of events. The Authority had not time stamped or dated the February 14 Haven Health Management proposal. The Haven "Statement of Interest" said it came via email, yet Director Williams did not provide the email.

Only Meridian responded by the deadline. FGC did not respond. Haven Health emailed its response, disregarding the Statement of Interest (SOI) instructions to return responses in sealed envelopes "clearly marked 'Statement of Interest Response.'"

Haven Health's interest in establishing in-house residential drug treatment in the vacated hospital was clear from the attached letter in its email:

“Our proposal for the Main Hospital Building would be to utilize it for substance use disorder treatment at the residential and detox levels of care. These levels of care are for patients who require medically-assisted detoxification services, along with transitional services. Patients' typical stay will be from 5-30 days, at which point patients will be transferred to lower levels of care at facilities of the patients' choosing.”
                                                        (the Haven letter is here)

Director Williams' June 20 memo stated Haven Health was doing business as Hope Bridges. On February 22, Hope Bridges, aka Willie Peacock, was nowhere to be found and was not mentioned anywhere in public documentation at the Authority or in documentation that this reporter was able to obtain.

On March 14, the Governor's Board rubber-stamped Dir. Williams' suggestion to accept the late Hope Bridges and FGC proposals.

At the March 14 meeting, 'what is hope bridges', Mr. Peacock appeared before the Authority with his supporter Sylvester Warren sitting right behind him.

Mr. Peacock provided a Haven Health brochure and said about Haven Health, "That's one of our other companies. That's one of our for-profit companies." After the meeting, the brochure went missing.

Haven Health Management was registered with Sunbiz in October 2020. An internet search revealed no relationship between Hope Bridges and Haven Health Management. Haven Health Management operates out of Palm Springs, FL, where its registered agent is also located. Willie Peacock is not the registered agent.

Mr. Peacock’s (Hope Bridges) undated proposal for its use of the hospital was essentially the same as the February Haven Health proposal.

Haven’s proposed use for the hospital had not changed, but over time, Mr. Peacock’s use did.

No Discoverable Relationship Between Haven Health and Hope Bridges

Part-time Executive Director Dale Williams has not been able to produce any documentation showing even a casual relationship between Haven Health, Willie Peacock, and Willie Peacock's Hope Bridges LLC.

Hope Bridges was established as a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) on February 3, 2021. A Google search for Hope Bridges LLC comes up empty, other than info about the LLC.

At a previous Board meeting, Board member Don Kennedy moved that the Board give Director Williams the ability to do background checks on Hope Bridges, etc. Director Williams didn’t background check anybody, or at least didn’t admit to doing any background checks.

The Hope Bridges undated proposal states the following: "Hope Bridges is a healthcare management company specializing primarily in management and operation of substance use disorder ("SUD") and mental health treatment facilities. Hope Bridges has recently partnered - contracted with a diverse team of experts (many of which are veterans, women or other underrepresented minorities)."

No contracts or anything else has been provided. The Governor’s Board didn’t seem to mind. It didn’t ask for any.

Part III coming soon

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