AJack, I can empathize with your situation and have been there. The way I have managed is being upfront to squelch gossip, keep working agency, and when I want facility jobs, try to make use of friends in high places to go over HR whenever possible. Hang in there...and don't be afraid to call on old friends!
It is hard to prove this type of blackballing goes on as unscrupulous types fabricate and twist stories, and you may not even find out what they 'have' on you or be able to defend yourself. But a pattern emerges when you apply to 10 facilities and none call you back.....
Being vocal and strong willed, I was asked to be a union organizer (which failed) and then I got hurt on the job. Kisses of death...LOL... but I'm hangin' in there out of sheer stubborness.
Patricia you are so right....thanks for saying this 'out loud'.