Originally published: July 9, 2012 7:15 PM EST
Updated: September 28, 2012 6:51 PM EST
By Ken Kramer
One question has now been answered. The new employer of Leslie McGuire is Americares. According to their website AmeriCares is a nonprofit disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization which provides immediate response to emergency medical needs – and supports long-term humanitarian assistance programs – for all people around the world, irrespective of race, creed or political persuasion. So it appears that McGuire has taken a giant leap up in the world from the controversial and unscientific TeenScreen. McGuire did not return email messages seeking comment on what happened with TeenScreen and Flynn.
McGuire, in an audio recorded presentation recorded during her time at TeenScreen, revealed that TeenScreen bypassed parents and enticed children with video coupons. In the audio recording, McGuire voiced her concerns about “uprisings” against screening and urged TeenScreen’s marketing arm, the folks at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), to write letters to editors and attend school board meetings to squelch the protests.
Flynn’s career move after TeenScreen is still unknown. We here at PsychSearch.net are not the only ones in the dark about what happened at TeenScreen.Psychiatrist Joe English, a member of TeenScreen’s National Advisory Council and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers told us: “Your e-mail is the first information I have on what may have happened here. I’m sorry that I cannot provide you with any information and would appreciate your were sending me anything you might learn about this if it has really occurred.” The interim director of TeenScreen, psychiatrist Olfson only shows up once a week “on Wednesdays between 3 & 4″ according to Patricia Samuel, Olfson’s Executive Assistant at TeenScreen’s New York headquarters.
When PsychSearch.net asked about Flynn and McGuire, Doug Levy, at Columbia’s Office of Communications & Public Affairs said, “I’ve checked into this and cannot provide any information because it is a personnel matter.” Robert V. Sideli, MD, Chief Information Officer for Columbia University Medical Center said via email, “I am privy to the full details of what happened to TeenScreen, but I suggest you contact the dept. chair, Jeffrey Lieberman”. Lieberman who is chairman of psychiatry at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute did not return three calls seeking comment.Both Olfson and Lieberman are no strangers to pharma funding.
Just a casual google search reveals that Olfson has received “research support” from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Ortho-McNeil Janssen Scientific Affairs, and AstraZeneca. He has also worked as a consultant to Pfizer, Ortho-McNeil Janssen Scientific Affairs, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Eli Lilly.
Lieberman has had financial relationships as an advisor or consultant for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP; Bioline; Cephalon, Inc.; Eli Lilly and Company; Forest Laboratories, Inc.; GlaxoSmithKline; Intra-Cellular Therapies, Inc.; Janssen PharmaceuticaProducts, L.P. (US); Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.; Pfizer Inc.; Psychogenics; Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc. and received grants from Allon; AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP; Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; Forest Laboratories, Inc.; GlaxoSmithKline; Janssen Pharmaceutica Products, L.P. (US); Merck & Co. Inc; Pfizer Inc and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc.
TeenScreen “is just a way to put more people on prescription drugs”, says Marcia Angell, a medical ethics lecturer at Harvard Medical School and author of The Truth About Drug Companies. She said such programs will boost the sale of antidepressants even after the FDA in September ordered a “black box” label warning that the pills might spur suicidal thoughts or actions in minors.
It is unclear what Flynn’s next career move will be. She served as head of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) which receives millions of dollars from pharmaceutical companies. Flynn left in December of 2000 after a no-confidence vote from the board and was then hired to direct the TeenScreen Program by Columbia University, known in some circles as the “psychiatric mafia”.TeenScreen was originally investigated and exposed by PsychSearch.net when very little was known about the program, after Sylvia DeWall, a Clearwater event promoter contacted us about an alarming TV news report she saw of the Florida Mental Health Institute attempting to implement TeenScreen in Pinellas County schools. DeWall’s observations were astute as the pharma-connected-Flynn had her sights set on Pinellas’ kids. This was revealed in one of Flynn’s emails to a Florida official, which PsychSearch.net obtained in a public records request: “I’m looking for a horse to ride here!” and “I need to get some kids screened”.
PsychSearch.net’s resulting expose’ led to a firestorm of emails to Pinellas County school district officials from concerned citizens protesting TeenScreen. This resulted in Tampa Tribune and St. Petersburg Times stories and the Pinellas County school board booting TeenScreen out. See video here:
The controversy was then off to the races as it exploded on the world wide web and spread across the country spawning national attention as school after school rejected TeenScreen. A website by Sue Weibert was even created to show the schools where TeenScreen “bites the dust”. Weibert, a google-fu master and TeenScreen investigator, said “its tough when you’re up against the secret world of TeenScreen sites… Flynn and McGuire resigning is an interesting development and brings up a lot of questions”.