For immediate release: December 4, 2017 (17-167)
Contact: Sharon Moysiuk, Strategic Communications Office 360-549-6471
Public inquiries: Health Systems Customer Service 360-236-4700
State disciplines health care providers
OLYMPIA -- The Washington State Department of Health has taken disciplinary actions or withdrawn charges against health care providers in our state.
The department’s Health Systems Quality Assurance Division works with boards, commissions, and advisory committees to set licensing standards for more than 80 health care professions (e.g., medical doctors, nurses, counselors).
Information about health care providers is on the agency website. Click on “Look up a health care provider license” in the “How Do I?” section of the Department of Health website (doh.wa.gov). The site includes information about a health care provider’s license status, the expiration and renewal date of their credential, disciplinary actions and copies of legal documents issued after July 1998. This information is also available by calling 360-236-4700. Consumers who think a health care provider acted unprofessionally are encouraged to call and report their complaint.
In November 2017 the Dental Hygienist Program charged dental hygienist Beverly Michael Carbis (DH00002796) with unprofessional conduct. Carbis allegedly didn’t fulfill requirements to reimburse the program for $250 in costs, and to complete continuing education in law and ethics.
In November 2017 the Medical Commission ended probation for physician Patrick K. Chau (MD00030053).
In November 2017 the secretary of health withdrew a statement of charges against massage therapist Patricia Josephine Harris (MA60114815).
In November 2017 the Mental Health Counselor Program charged mental health counselor associate Cynthia Carol Barrett (MC60458123) with unprofessional conduct. Barrett allegedly didn’t fulfill requirements to reimburse the program for $1,537.76 in costs, and to complete continuing education in ethics and boundaries.
In November 2017 the Unlicensed Practice Program notified Anthony McClanahan of its intent to issue a cease-and-desist order. McClanahan allegedly practiced physical therapy without a license.
In November 2017 the Medical Assistant Program charged medical assistant-phlebotomist Uma Mae Stensen (PC60378788) with unprofessional conduct. Stensen allegedly provided false information on license and job applications.
In November 2017 the In-Home Services Program filed charges against in-home services agency Home Care Masters LLC (FS60658930), and operators Mulenga Makungu, also known as Sabbath Makungu, and Gideon Simukonda. Charges say an inspection revealed a variety of employee-related deficiencies, and that the company didn’t submit a correction plan in a timely manner.
In November 2017 the Nursing Commission reinstated the registered nurse credential of Marilee Joann Mellon (RN00110431) and placed her on probation for at least two years. Mellon’s license was suspended in 2016 in connection with failing to identify and effectively intervene in potentially abusive behavior at the convalescent center where she worked.
In November 2017 the secretary of health conditionally granted a certified nursing assistant credential to Lannette Marie Collins (NC60778552), who must continue to abide by conditions on her registered nursing assistant license.
In November 2017 the Nursing Assistant Program charged certified nursing assistant Elizabeth Nakitto Kalungi (NC60496053) with unprofessional conduct. While her license was expired, charges say, Kalungi used her sister’s name and license to get employment as a nursing assistant.
In November 2017 the Medical Commission charged physician Ifesinachi Sylvia Oguakwa (MD60138693) with unprofessional conduct. The physician allegedly wrote prescriptions for a patient without speaking to the patient, conducting an exam, getting informed consent, or documenting medical records.
In October 2017 the secretary of health denied a home care aide credential to Michelle Greer Jones (HM60623899). On her application, Jones asserted the state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) had never disqualified her from working with vulnerable people. A background check revealed DSHS had disqualified Jones from having unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults.
In November 2017 the Medical Commission charged physician assistant John B. O’Brien (PA10003178) with unprofessional conduct. O’Brien allegedly violated the standard of care in treating 10 patients. Charges say he focused on prescribing controlled substances for pain without appropriate attention to the underlying cause, without adequate documentation, and without ensuring the controlled substances were taken as prescribed even when evidence of possible diversion or misuse emerged. O’Brien’s care allegedly created a substantial risk of patient harm.
In November 2017 the Agency-Affiliated Counselor Program charged agency-affiliated counselor Thomas E. Brown (CG60500645) with unprofessional conduct. Brown allegedly developed a romantic and sexual relationship with a client.
Out of State
Texas: In November 2017 the Nursing Commission ended probation for registered nurse Betty Louise Taylor (RN60255167).
Note to Editors: Health care providers charged with unprofessional conduct have 20 days to respond to the Department of Health in writing. The case then enters the settlement process. If no disciplinary agreement can be reached, the case will go to a hearing.