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'A SLIPPERY SLIDE': What happened during the final days at Retreat Behavioral Health?

A nurse and an executive describe the unraveling of an addiction and mental health treatment company
Posted at 5:33 PM, Jun 27, 2024

PALM SPRINGS, Fla. — We are learning more about what happened during the final days of Retreat Behavioral Health, as the business unraveled before abruptly closing.

Workers were supposed to be paid Friday when they learned Retreat CEO Peter Schorr had died suddenly, and that all patients at the addiction and mental health treatment center would be discharged. The workers still have not gotten their paychecks.

Employees were sent letters of termination Thursday evening. WPTV received a copy of the letter, which says the termination date is June 21. It also states the facility is permanently closing June 27.

“I don’t know what days I was scheduled for. I just decided to show up,” said a nurse who worked at Retreat’s Palm Springs facility. “I just wanted to be there. Because when they said everybody was going to be discharged it just sounded like such a huge task.”

The nurse spoke to WPTV on the condition of anonymity in order to candidly describe what she saw Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Retreat.

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“The fire alarm, I think, had gone off. So there were fire trucks there,” the nurse said, recalling when she arrived at Retreat on Friday. “The gates were open, everybody was outside, I saw patients with trash bags walking on the property. Saw people in panic, people crying, people hugging each other.”

There was no fire, but once inside “patients were getting into (fights) with other patients, staff members weren't able to deescalate dozens of patients at the same time,” the nurse said.

“Patients (were) breaking into nursing stations to get narcotics, to get help.”

Amid the chaos, the nurse also described desperate, last-ditch acts of compassion, like what she saw in the kitchen.

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"(Workers) just emptied the fridge for patients that were going places and they didn't know where they were going and said, ‘Hey, take this food.’”

But what played out over the weekend, may just be the culmination of what Retreat’s Chief Financial Officer, Alexander Hoinsky, called “a slippery slide, continuously going downhill.”

“Here’s the facts: the company ran out of cash,” Hoinsky said during a phone conversation with WPTV.

He said despite numerous attempts to speak with Schorr and Chief Administrative Officer Scott Korogodsky, he had not heard from either of them in roughly a month.

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“I left messages and emails, laid out what was going to go forward, basically they did not want to hear it,” Hoinsky said.

Despite his CFO title, Hoinsky tells us he never had access to the company’s cash.

Employees still have not been paid for their final three weeks of work, though Hoinsky believes they will eventually get that money. He too is hoping he’ll get his final paycheck.

"I have not heard from anybody. I assume I will have nothing at all to do with the company moving forward,” he said.

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Police confirmed Schorr died by suicide Friday, and that Korogodsky died Wednesday, also by suicide.

They also owned Retreat Behavioral Health facilities in Pennsylvania and Connecticut, which closed along with the Florida location. Both executives lived in Palm Beach County.

“Peter and Scott were a lot higher up the pyramid, but they would serve lunch every single day,” the nurse said. “Scott was always smiling. He was always laughing. He was always positive. And he made a note to know your name the very first day he met you and would not forget it. And he would check in with absolutely everybody, which is what makes this so heartbreaking for everybody.”

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