Laurie Flynn was the Executive Director of NAMI but left in December of 2000 after a no-confidence vote from the board. She was then hired by Columbia to co-direct its Carmel Hill Center and eventually to direct the TeenScreen Program. She had been with Columbia University for just over a year when the NFC was formed. Flynn, well connected to pharmaceutical companies through NAMI, now works diligently to expand TeenScreen through every possible avenue. But she has even more connections.
Hogan and Flynn
Hogan and Flynn have known each other for some time. Prior to Hogan 's appointment to the NFC and Flynn 's hiring by Columbia, they collaborated on at least one other project, the "Expert Consensus Guideline Series: Treatment of Schizophrenia 1999 ". And the purpose of this project? To establish uniform medication guidelines for schizophrenia. Sound familiar?
The "Expert Consensus Guideline " is explained by Allen Jones: "Essentially, TMAP opted to "establish " new drugs as the best drugs for various illnesses by surveying the opinions of doctors and psychiatrists of TMAP 's own choosing. No hard science, no patients, no study review, and no clinical trials just the "Expert Opinions " of persons TMAP elected to survey. "
Hogan, Flynn and several members from the TMAP Project in Texas took part in this "Schizophrenia Consensus. " In agreement with TMAP protocols the newer, expensive, atypical, antipsychotic drugs ended up as the drugs of choice in the "consensus. "
NAMI was not only given credit for their collaboration on the overall TMAP project, but 51 representatives from chapters of NAMI are listed as "Policy Experts" in the "Expert Consensus Guideline Series for Schizophrenia ".
This consensus was generously supported exclusively by 6 pharmaceutical companies: Eli Lilly and Co., Janssen Pharmaceutica, Inc., Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Pfizer, Inc. and Zeneca Pharmaceuticals.
The NFC is Born
By 2002, Flynn, Hogan, TMAP, TeenScreen, big pharma and NAMI, were allied in their plan to implement widespread screening. The next step? Bush 's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health (NFC).
While Hogan is chiefly known for his appointment as head of Bush 's NFC, other factors have not been widely known. How he gained that important appointment and the key role he played in getting both TeenScreen and TMAP listed in the recommendations as "model programs " can all be explained by Laurie Flynn.
At the 2004 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 's (AACAP) annual meeting, Laurie Flynn made an eye-opening statement while giving a presentation on TeenScreen. She admitted her own covert role in creating the NFC by inserting a few words into Bush 's campaign speech prior to his election. Once Bush was "on the record" that he would form a commission, Flynn and others coerced President Bush into keeping that "promise. " In the same presentation, she said that Hogan 's appointment as the chair of the NFC was "not entirely by accident. "
Flynn stated: "...one of the things that we did here was to build on President Bush, not a major promoter of these kinds of initiatives, but to build on actually an opportunity that came to me while I was still at NAMI. I had worked for many years with Senator Pete Domenici and Paul Wellstone around the parity issue. And Senator Domenici hosted Candidate Bush, in New Mexico, where Candidate Bush declared his support for parity. This was as far as we could tell the last time that he has supported parity, - [laughter] - but he supported it that day in Albuquerque in front of the media, and I was one of a couple of people invited to add some remarks to his speech. And I was able, with a colleague, whose idea it was, it wasn't even my idea, in fact, I tried to talk him out of it, I'll confess, I said to him, 'What the heck good is a Commission?" He was, at that time, Commissioner of Mental Health in Virginia and said, 'Listen, they have, ya know, beat me up with Commissions in Virginia, this could be good! '. So, we put into this speech, and it survived the edit process, a line that Candidate Bush spoke, 'And if I'm elected, I will convene a Commission, to look at why our public sector and our mental health system are not able to do the job our citizens deserve, ' or some such....anyways, he said 'I'm havin' a Commission '. We had him on the record, once he was elected it took awhile, alot of r-e-m-i-n-d-e-r-s had to come to him that he had said this, we had to keep pushing this message and ultimately Senator Dominici had to r-e-m-i-n-d him that he had promised this. But indeed, a Commission was convened..."
Flynn went on to say, "...and not entirely by accident, uhmm, Mike Hogan from Ohio, the Commissioner of Mental Health in Ohio and one of our most distinguished Commissioners, was appointed as Chair."
Hogan was now in an ideal position to get TeenScreen and TMAP inserted into the New Freedom Commission recommendations. In December of 2002, Flynn plugged the TeenScreen program in a presentation to Hogan and members of the NFC. The result of their collaboration is that TeenScreen and TMAP both received prominent mention as "model programs " in the NFC recommendations to the president. This gave the TeenScreen Program the highly desirable "third party credibility " that their PR firms were looking for.
TeenScreen 's public relations firm seized upon this as a marketing ploy and to this day crows that "TeenScreen has been recommended by the NFC. "