Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
Jimmy: I’ve spent my life in the addiction treatment field. When I was 15, my mom and dad started treating alcoholics in our home. At that time, there were very few treatment programs available. In 1971, they built Willingway Hospital, one of the first treatment centers in the Southeast. My career in the treatment field began in 1980, when I went to work at Willingway. Over the years, I worked in various capacities. I served 20 years as CEO and many years as Director of Business Development. I have been in long-term recovery since 1985 and am still active in the recovery community.
Christopher: I’ve been in long-term recovery since my early 20’s. I worked in the film industry for about 10 years. After 9/11, I made a choice to examine my life and became involved with the US military. I spent the next 5 years of my life working in Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries. In 2008, I began working with veterans and causes dealing with mental health services in the New York City area. I was also a partner in a commercial construction company in New York. I’ve been honored to be apart of several charities for mental health locally and nationally.
How did you guys come up with the idea for TPN?
Christopher: Truth was Felicia Kleinpeter was helping a family find a program for a loved one. After she spent a few hours working to find the right program for their loved one, she gave them the recommendations. About 4 hours later we headed out to dinner and she stopped the car and said, “I just remembered a program that would have been the perfect fit for that family”. Because I deeply care about Felicia it started the idea of having a search tool at your disposal that would have presented that info for her.
Jimmy: The idea of TPN was born during a phone call with my partner, Christopher O’Shea. This was January of 2016 and we were discussing the difficulty that mental health professionals have in identifying the right facility for clients. On that phone call, we both said, “Let’s come up with a solution”. We recognized that there was a real need for a tool to help place clients and decided, at that time, that we would create such a tool. We had no clue where how this idea would evolve. Having a background in information management, I knew that a database concept could be the right foundation to build on.
Can you tell us more about coming up with that solution?
Jimmy: The addiction treatment field is facing tremendous challenges. It seems that every day we read about unethical or illegal players who take advantage of vulnerable clients. My inspiration comes from a drive to help solve this problem. From my leadership experience, I know that in order to solve a problem we must begin to focus on the solution and not the problem. Our tendency is to complain about problems. But, until we begin to focus our energy on the solution, we will never solve the problem. TPN is designed to be a real solution to many of the issues we are facing as an industry. My question to those of us in the industry is “Do you want to focus on the problem or focus on the solution?” I choose to live in the solution.
Christopher: Jimmy Mooney and I had a conversation at the CORE Conference that we both wanted to focus on a solution. We both had spent time around some good industry people and felt it was becoming more and more a normal dialog to talk about what was wrong, broken or just plain deceitful about an industry we both had a lot of passion and love for.
Why did you feel TPN is a necessary tool? Most people already have a network of people and facilities they refer to.
Christopher: It provides a clinical starting point for referring people. It also allows programs to have less favoritism when making a referral because a program or person refers to them. TPN is a pool of programs and people that all have agreed to refer out of there programs based on the clinical needs first and foremost.
Jimmy: I believe that it is necessary that we find a solution to the issues we are facing today. In order for a client to have the best chance at success, a proper clinical match is critical. This includes an up-front clinical assessment and appropriate level(s) of care and quality providers. TPN is designed for a clinician to quickly and easily clinically match a client to an appropriate provider with appropriate level(s) of care.
What surprised you the most about the creation process?
Jimmy: What has surprised me most has been to watch TPN evolve from a basic idea into a multi-faceted tool that connects providers and clinicians on all levels. TPN began with the idea of creating something to help clinicians identify the right program for their clients. It has evolved into a tool that truly fosters connections on all levels and in all directions. With the addition of the “Reverse Engineering” of our subscriber database, we can now connect our facilities and interventionists to licensed clinicians.
Christopher: Mine and Jimmy’s process is one of the best I’ve had in my life with a business partner. His strong points are my weak points and I believe feels the same way. I’m a stream of consciousness and idea person with a lot of passion and some concepts. Jimmy is a the detail and business idea man with a good working knowledge of computers.
What are some misconceptions about TPN?
Jimmy: The main misconception that I see is that people don’t understand that TPN is a true clinical search tool. TPN searches are based on true clinical criteria and TPN providers are required to go through a detailed vetting process. Being a private network, we are able to invite only those providers that meet the membership criteria. Our network includes chemical dependency programs, interventionists, and we are now adding mental health programs as providers.
What are your hopes for TPN?
Christopher: To grow to be a respected tool for great client placement and clinical collaboration. Because in the end, what Jimmy and I deeply believe is that the majority of the mental health care field and advocacy movement are in it to help their fellow man.
Jimmy: My hope is that the mental health field will recognize how TPN can help in making client placement decisions. We can make that process simpler, easier, and less time-consuming. I also envision that Trusted Provider Network can be the “one-stop-shop” for a clinician who needs to place a client, whether the need is for chemical dependency treatment, mental health treatment, or the services of an interventionist.