For immediate release: October 9, 2017 (17-144)
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OLYMPIA -- The Washington State Department of Health has taken disciplinary actions or withdrawn charges against health care providers in our state.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 September 2017 the Medical Commission charged physician Jerry J. Fisher (MD00010276) with unprofessional conduct. Charges say Fisher’s management of eight chronic pain patients “violated the standard of care by failure to adequately monitor treatment, failure to appropriately evaluate and respond to risk factors and signs of addiction, abuse or other medical complications, and failure to adequately evaluate the efficacy of opioid therapy and failure to maintain adequate treatment records.”
In September 2017 the secretary of health conditionally granted a radiologic technologist credential to Vitautas Lapinskas (RT60736439) and ordered him to participate in a substance abuse monitoring program. In 2010 Lapinskas was convicted of negligent driving. In 2015 he received deferred prosecution on a driving under the influence charge.
In September 2017 the Nursing Assistant Program charged certified nursing assistant Abraham Berhe Merutse (NC60407785) with being unable to practice with reasonable skill and safety. Charges say Merutse was involved in a series of incidents, including one at his workplace, in which he exhibited threatening behavior.
In September 2017 the secretary of health ended conditions on the certified medical assistant phlebotomist credential of Ally Koba Pili (PC60343569).
In September 2017 the Nursing Commission ended probation for registered nurse Suzette H. Marengo (RN00113821).
In September 2017 the Denturists Board withdrew a statement of charges against denturist Patrick Courtney Grant (DN00000196).
In August 2017 the secretary of health denied a massage therapist credential to Paisley Anne Marks (NA60772768). In 2014 Marks was convicted in Georgia of prostitution, and of keeping a place of prostitution.
In September 2017 the Agency-Affiliated Counselor and Nursing Assistant programs charged agency-affiliated counselor and registered nursing assistant Julianna Teresa Jackson (CG60504867, NA60485618) with unprofessional conduct. While working at Western State Hospital, charges say, Jackson engaged in behaviors outside the boundaries of a professional patient-counselor relationship with a patient she treated. She allegedly informed the patient’s mother that she loved the patient, and “cannot wait until the day he gets out.” Jackson had sexual contact with the patient, charges say.
In September 2017 the Agency-Affiliated Counselor denied an agency-affiliated counselor credential to James Bruce Dillard (CG60699684). Between 1985 and 2014, Dillard was convicted of four felonies and six gross misdemeanors.
In August 2017 the secretary of health denied a provisional home care aide credential to Nancy Ngeunhahak (PV60743417). In 2008 Ngeunhahak was convicted in Alaska of first-degree vehicle theft. In 2010 Ngeunhahak was convicted in Alaska of second-degree theft. Ngeunhahak didn’t abide by a requirement to undergo a substance use evaluation.
In September 2017 the Nursing Assistant Program charged registered nursing assistant Ashlyn A. Gray (NA00193396) with unprofessional conduct. Charges say Gray was arrested twice in 2016 on suspicion of theft. She allegedly told a Department of Health investigator she planned to undergo chemical dependency treatment, and cited heroin use as a factor in her arrest.
In September 2017 the Nursing Assistant Program charged registered nursing assistant Maria C. Ramirez (NA00152064) with unprofessional conduct. While she worked at an assisted living facility, charges say, Ramirez deposited, cashed, or attempted to deposit at least seven checks totaling about $5,867 made out to her from an elderly resident’s bank account. Ramirez allegedly told police she stole and forged at least five of the checks.
In September 2017 the Pharmacy Commission ended probation for pharmacist Kevin L. Faris (PH00019349).
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.