Charlotte Talks: NC's Largest Mental Health Provider Under Scrutiny / Nonvisual Artists in Charlotte

Oct 25, 2017

Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions has been criticized in a pair of state audits for executive salaries and severance packages.
Credit Mark Hames / The Charlotte Observer

North Carolina's largest mental health care provider has been accused of misuse of public funds. Mike Collins looks into the controversy, then talks with visually-impaired artists making art.


Charlotte-based Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions, North Carolina's largest mental health care provider, has been accused of “abuse of public dollars” after state audits highlighted executive compensation that was more than what’s allowed by state law, and spending that the state auditor called “unreasonable.”

Cardinal, which took over as Mecklenburg County’s health provider in 2014, has contended its practices are proper, and that the spending in question makes up a small slice of its overall costs. But the scrutiny led to last week’s slashing of the CEO’s salary by two-thirds.

Cardinal’s severance packages have also been criticized and could prompt legislative action in Raleigh.

WFAE’s Tom Bullock and Alex Olgin have been following the investigations and join Mike Collins to sort through the findings.

Producer's note: Cardinal declined our invitation to join the program


Tom Bullock (@TomWFAE) and Alex Olgen (@alexolgin), WFAE reporters


UNC Charlotte Dance Student Davian Robinson working on choreography for an upcoming peformance
Credit UNC Charlotte


Artist Carmen Papalia lost his sight in college, but prefers not to be labeled as “blind,” instead referring to himself as a nonvisual learner. His art is called Social Practice, providing experiences to groups of people- particularly experiences that do not involve using sight.

He’s the artist in residence at the McColl Center for  Art + Innovation and has been doing some of this work around Charlotte.

At UNC Charlotte, student Davian Robinson is also visually impaired but is majoring in dance. He’s currently working in and choreographing student dance productions. We’ll meet artists who are nonvisual to discuss  their  art. See a video of Davian dancing.



Carmen Papalia, artist in residence at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation

Davian Robinson, dance student at UNC Charlotte

Dr. Karen Hubbard, associate professor of dance at UNC Charlotte



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