The president of The Cherry Foundation, a nonprofit charity affiliated with a state mental hospital in Goldsboro, sent out letters this week countering what she said were "misconceptions" created by a story in last Sunday's News & Observer.
The article detailed more than 100 trips taken by Cherry employees to medical conferences, as well as an annual symposium the hospital puts on at a Wrightsville Beach resort, Michael Biesecker reports.
Some of the expenses for employee travel and the beach retreat were paid by The Cherry Foundation, using more than $88,000 in grants from pharmaceutical companies who make psychiatric drugs commonly prescribed by the hospital's doctors.
In an e-mail to the newspaper, foundation President Stefanie Bostic challenged the assertion that money from the nonprofit paid for travel costs. A similar memorandum from Bostic was e-mailed to all Cherry employees from the office of hospital director Jack St. Clair.
Checks, federal tax returns, bank statements and audits show the travel expenses were drawn from foundation funds, however.