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Monday, August 24, 2015

WHO IS DR. TED ZUNINI? Amber Howe, Chief Operations Officer at Per Wickstrom's Marne, Michigan Serenity Recovery Says Ted Zunini Is Serenity's "Consulting Psychiatrist"... But He May Really Be A Ghost!


CHECK: No "Zunini"


Where in the world is Dr. Ted Zunini, described by a Per Wickstrom employee during a March 4, 2015 meeting of Lakeshore Regional Partners' Substance Abuse Oversight Policy Board as the "consulting psychiatrist" for Wickstrom's Marne, Michigan's Serenity Point Rehab center?

After an exhaustive search, Miss Fortune has not been able to locate the elusive shrink and needs your help.


Back on March 4, 2015, Amber Howe (listed as the COO of Per Wickstrom's Serenity Recovery Incorporated in Marne, Michigan), appeared at a meeting of the Substance Abuse Oversight Policy Board of Lakeshore Regional Partners in Michigan.

Lakeshore Regional Partners is the "public behavioral health plan for people with mental illness, developmental disability, and substance use disorders in Allegan, Kent, Lake, Mason, Muskegon, Oceana and Ottawa counties" in Michigan.

The organization manages the services provided under a contract with the State of Michigan’s Department of Community Health (MDCH) to residents  in the region who have Medicaid or are under insured and who are eligible for services as defined by the Michigan Mental Health Code.  Lakeshore is one of 10 so-called "Prepaid Inpatient Health Plans" (PIHP) in Michigan

The official minutes from that March meeting indicate Howe was there to pitch the board on sending a letter of approval to LARA (Michigan's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs) regarding Serenity/Marne's then-pending application.

Application from Serenity Recovery
Amber Howe is the COO of Serenity Recovery Incorporated, a residential rehabilitation center, located in Marne MI.

(The following is clearly bilge provided to Lakeshore by Howe, which they gleefully spit back in the minutes.)

"Serenity is a private facility that offers person centered treatment plans with multiple approaches for an individual’s treatment plan. Serenity offers the 12 Step Program, Smart Recovery, Evidence Base Therapies and MRT (Moral Reconation Therapy) programs.

They also offer spiritual components, such as a Secular version, Native American, Catholic, and Christian with New Life Recovery Bible. Serenity believes that nutrition and health are important aspects to recovery and offer personal trainers and a full gym with yoga or martial arts training. They have a relationship with programs like habitat for humanity (sic) and local animal shelters, which are available for clients to participate in.

Serenity would like to be licensed for 172 individuals; 150 residential and 22 individuals in the detox wing. There will be no more than 2 patients per room.

They track their clients for one year after they graduate the program and leave the facility, with consent of the client. They help with the after care of clients, such as, sober living homes in the client’s home base area.

Ms. Howe discusses that most of their marketing consists of the internet. She states that there are 3 facilities altogether throughout the United States.

Dr. Kerry Simon is the medical director and addictionologist. Dr. Ted Zunini is the consulting psychiatrist. There are 3 case managers and 4 nurses hired as of now and the goal is to have a ratio of 2:1. Another of their objectives is to be designated as a CARF provider.

Members of the board have concerns about sending a letter of approval to LARA regarding the Serenity application. The concern is, not enough staff with a clinical background and/or experience in SUD. (NOTE: "Substance Abuse Disorders".) The members also discussed that the program is being set up too quickly with too much of a business mindset and not enough SUD knowledge.

Ms. Howe explained that as the number of clients grow so will the amount of clinical staff. She also explains that there is a medical and clinical director.

Stan Stek asks Mark what qualifies the board members to make a decision about potential applicants and what standards should be used by the board members in the decision to send a letter of approval to LARA.

Mark discloses that the law is not specific and there is no criteria to apply other than local review and comment. There is no guidance or a detailed standard for making the recommendation.

James Storey asks how much influence the OPB has regarding the decision of licensing prospective providers. Charles Nash also states that he does not feel comfortable sending a letter of approval.

Mark discusses that an approval letter to LARA is a recommendation and according to law, LARA is required to take into serious consideration the comments of SUD advisory councils, now the OPB.

The only opportunity to make comments is at the initiation of a license. LARA does make the final decision for licensure. Mark would like a record of the current board consistently sending in recommendations.

He would like to make sure that the new employees at LARA are oriented towards listening to the community input including waiting on giving a license to a prospective provider until the OPB has given feedback.

The board members discuss sending an approval letter to LARA with no comment or not sending in a letter at all. The board members decide to make a motion with a roll call vote.

MOTION – To send a letter to LARA in support of licensure for Serenity Recovery, Inc, but without comment.

Yes: 10
No: 5


So who is Dr. Ted Zunini, the so-called "consulting psychiatrist"?

Unless the name is spelled incorrectly, he appears not to exist. There's no "Zunini" listed in the official State of Michigan licensed medical professional database, and the only reference I can locate in a Google search goes right back to those Lakeshore meeting minutes.

Anyone have a clue?



  1. Amber was fired about a Month ago, everyhting is going to all better now.

  2. The Nevada incorporation lists her as Amber Howie rather than Howe.

  3. WHO IS DR. TED ZUNINI? In my opinion he is a ghost? From the comments on Serenity Point Reviews, This Per Wickstrom rehab is just another
    scam. http://www.yellowpages.com/marne-mi/mip/serenity-point-505000984#reviews

    Jane L.
    Horribly understaffed from kitchen staff to security to classroom facilitators! Inconsistent treatment of clients by the Ethic's Dept and administration. Program lengths are determined by insurance NOT by the client's needs. Counseling is limited to 30 minutes per week with little or no family counseling. The majority population is extremely young and juvenile who treat the program more as a summer camp than a safe place to concentrate on recovery. High emphasis on Scientology curriculum. Be forewarned!!

  4. Checked here: https://w2.lara.state.mi.us/VAL/License/Search
    and while Kerry Mark Simon is licensed in the state of Michigan, no Ted or Theodore Zunini is licensed.