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As NAATP conference approaches, no word on suspended association director

April 26, 2010
by Gary A. Enos, Contributing Editor
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NAATP board members have issued no comments on their investigation

Less than a month before the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers’ (NAATP’s) annual conference in San Antonio, members of the association do not know whether their chief executive will be actively serving in that position when the meeting convenes.

There has been no further word on the NAATP board of directors’ investigation announced to members March 31 in the wake of a review of NAATP by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office. The board that day suspended Ronald J. Hunsicker, DMin, from his position as president and CEO and told members that the association’s everyday work would continue while it sought to learn more about the substance of the state’s review. NAATP’s staff offices are based in Lancaster, Pa.

Over the past several weeks, NAATP board members have deferred all questions about the matter to board chair Cathy Palm, executive director of Tully Hill Corporation in New York. Palm has not replied to questions from Behavioral Healthcare about the investigation or the ongoing activities of NAATP in Hunsicker’s absence.

Likewise, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office has issued no public comments in regard to the matter. It will not confirm that any ongoing investigation is even under way.

NAATP has continued to send out regular communications to members and the field at large about subjects not related to the suspension of its chief executive. In recent days, it has extended to April 30 the group-rate deadline for room reservations at its May 22-25 annual Addiction Treatment Leadership Conference. It also has extended to May 15 its deadline for members to complete the 2010 NAATP Benchmark Survey, which offers an annual snapshot of treatment center programs and practices.

The ongoing investigation at NAATP also has not had an effect on planning for the inaugural National Conference on Addiction Disorders (NCAD) in September, an event founded by Vendome Group (publisher of Behavioral Healthcare) and co-hosted by NAATP and NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals.

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