Preferred Family Healthcare of Springdale, Mo., the nonprofit at the center of a kickback scheme involving lobbyists and former lawmakers, announced today that it is “turning a page” and has hired former Arkansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Betty Dickey as “special assistant” to CEO Michael Schwend. From the press release:
“Betty Dickey has had a distinguished career serving the people of Arkansas,” said Michael Schwend, President and CEO of Preferred Family Healthcare. “She is an important addition to our leadership team and we look forward to drawing on her significant experience and expertise in the service to our patients. We are turning a page, and Betty will play key role in that effort.”
The former Chief Justice’s hiring is part of the company’s comprehensive efforts to bring additional oversight and controls to its operations, under Mr. Schwend’s leadership. In her role, she will provide guidance and leadership on operations, compliance and standards adherence. In addition, she will serve as a liaison to communities PFH serves and work with government officials to provide information and accountability.
A plea agreement by Republican state Rep. Micah Neal, who pleaded guilty to taking kickbacks from state surplus funds from Ecclesia College, also guided $150,000 from the Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District to Decision Point, a behavioral health care provider, an affiliate of Preferred Family Health Care.