Psych Crime Reporter

December 27, 2011

Psychologist Lisette Wright suspended for sex with former client

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 2:02 pm

On May 13, 2011, the Minnesota Board of Psychology suspended the license of Lisette Wright, M.A., L.P. for unprofessional conduct and sexual contact with a former client.

According to the Board’s Stipulation and Consent Order, Wright providing psychological services to “Client #1,” conducting 84 in-person therapy sessions.

The client had come to Wright with feelings of stress and anxiety. The sessions evolved to focus on the client’s sexuality and marital conflict. Immediately after officially terminating the professional relationship in writing, Wright engaged in a sexual relationship with the client, including sexual intercourse and/or other physical intimacies.

On January 19, 2011, the Board issued Wright a Stipulation to Cease Practice. With the issuance of the current Stipulation and Consent Order, the January 19th order is rescinded and the current Stipulation, which calls for indefinite suspension, is given full force and effect.

Wright is additionally required to obtain additional continuing education in boundaries, among other things, and must petition to get her license back, at which time she would be subject to practice monitoring.

Source: Stipulation and Consent Order in the Matter of Lisette Wright, M.A., L.P., License No. LP3759, Before the Minnesota Board of Psychology.

Minnesota psychologist Nancy Oleson reprimanded

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 2:01 pm

On April 15, 2011, the Minnesota Psychology Board reprimanded Nancy Oleson, M.A., L.P.P. and ordered her to pay a civil penalty of $500 for violation of Minnesota statute governing the conduct of psychologist.

Specifically, Oleson, who is a licensed psychological practitioner, is required to practice only under qualified supervision. However, between December 21, 2010 and February 14, 2011, she failed to receive qualified supervision.

Source: Stipulation and Consent Order in the Matter of the License of Nancy A. Oleson, M.A., L.P.P., License No. LPP0154, Before the Minnesota Board of Psychology.

Second time psychologist William W. Duffy has been disciplined by state for sexual conduct with supervisee

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 2:00 pm

On April 15, 2011, the Minnesota Psychology Board place the license of William W. Duffy on condition and restricted status.

According to the Board’s document, between July 14 and July 31, 2009, Duffy directly supervised a graduate student (supervisee).

Duffy engaged in unprofessional conduct and in verbal or physical behavioral which was sexually seductive or sexual demeaning to the supervisee, to whom Duffy was providing face-to-face supervision.

The Board has restricted Duffy from supervising psychology interns and/or applicants for licensure in psychology.

This is not the first time Duffy has been discipline relative to his conduct with supervisees. In December 2004, the state Board of Psychology suspended Duffy for having a sexual relationship with a graduate student he was supervising, which he admitted to in a settlement with the Board.

He also admitted he’d make inappropriate comments to another trainee regarding her appearance and asking about her boyfriends.  That trainee sued him for sexual harassment. Duffy was also assessed a $5,900 penalty in the 2004 action.

Source: Stipulation and Consent Order in the Matter of the License of William W. Duffy, Ph.D., License No. LP0153, Before the Minnesota Board of Psychology.

Kentucky board issues, restricts psychologist license of Johnny B. Brock

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 1:59 pm

On October 3, 2011, the Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychology issued and Order granting Johnny Brock a conditional license as a psychological associate.

According to the Order, Brock’s license shall be permanently restricted in that he may not apply for a license as a License Psychological Practitioner (LPP) or Licensed Psychologist (LP) or any other license which allows the independent practice of psychology without supervision. This restriction will be in effect for ten years.

Additionally, the Board reprimanded the conditional license and required Brock to pay a $250 fine and a $500 reimbursement to the Board for its legal and investigation costs.

The Board’s Order states that Brock pleaded guilty to theft in 1995, involving customer credit cards he ha access to while employed in a retail department store.

Additionally, Brock  practiced psychology without a license from approximately January 5, 2011 to approximately April 1, 2011 and otherwise practiced without a license after his temporary license had expired and while further review of his conviction was still pending.

Source: Order, Commonwealth of Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychology v. Johnny Brian Brock, M.S., Agency Case No. 11-06, Administrative Action No. 11-KGBEP-____.

Kentucky reprimands psychologist Larissa Roark for practicing without a license

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 1:58 pm

On November 10, 2011, the Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychology issued and Order reprimanding Larissa D. Roark, M.A, Additionally, the Board required Roark to pay a $250 fine and a $500 reimbursement to the Board for its legal and investigation costs, as well as requiring her to obtain additional continuing education in the area of code of conduct and state mental health law, among other things. The Board’s Order states that Roark practiced psychology without a license in that she provided mental health services to residents of Appalachian Children’s Home before applying for her license from the Board.

Source: Order, Commonwealth of Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychology v. Larissa D. Roark, M.A., Agency Case No. 10-27, Administrative Action No. 11-KGBEP-0049.

Connecticut cites mental health group home for failures

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 11:48 am

A Waterbury group home for people with severe psychiatric disabilities has been cited by the state for failing to provide proper care for two residents with past suicide attempts who injured themselves while in the facility.

Glenlulan, a six-bed residential facility for adults with prolonged mental illness and addiction problems, was fined $2,500 in December by the Department of Public Health (DPH)  for violations found in inspections earlier in the year.  In a consent order, the home’s administrator agreed to improve resident-care oversight, train staff in new procedures and retain a consultant to monitor and improve practices.

The DPH inspections cited two cases in which the facility failed to take adequate steps to prevent residents from harming themselves. In one case, a resident with a history of alcohol abuse, bipolar disorder and other psychiatric problems was rushed to Waterbury Hospital in February with self-inflicted wounds caused by a razor. The resident had been hospitalized for years, beginning at age 12 because of “a suicide attempt or gesture,” the DPH report says. Yet facility staff had failed to check on the resident because of a policy that required staff to “make sure everything is quiet and safe (but) don’t go into resident rooms,” the report says.

A month after the resident returned to Glenlulan from the hospital, she was found bleeding from self-inflicted gashes to the legs that required 65 staples. In the weeks leading up to that incident, the resident had conveyed to staff “thoughts about drinking, cutting his/her legs, and chopping off (a) doll’s head,” but adequate measures to ensure her safety were not taken, according to the report.

In the second case, the facility was cited for failing to properly supervise and care for a resident with psychotic disorder and a history of suicide attempts who was reported to be “withdrawn.” The resident slashed his or her wrist with a knife taken from the kitchen, and also told staff that he or she had been “drinking bug spray.”  The resident’s care plan had “failed to include interventions addressing suicidal thoughts,” the DPH report says.

Glenlulan is run by Central Naugatuck Valley HELP, Inc. with operates several behavioral health and substance abuse programs.

Source: Lisa Chedekel, “Mental Health Facility Cited for Inadequate Care,” New Haven Independent, December 27, 2011.

Dr. Suess complained of Medicaid cuts one week; the next he was charged with Medicaid fraud. It’s almost poetic.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 11:47 am

An out-spoken doctor, who complained last week about how the state is handling Medicaid, has been indicted on Medicaid fraud charges.  Dr. Larry Suess, 55, Hanson, KY, was indicted Thursday by the Hopkins County Grand Jury on 14 counts of Medicaid fraud.

Suess, a child psychiatrist, is accused of fraudulently billing Medicaid for therapy sessions involving 12 patients.  He allegedly up charged for therapy from January 2005 to September 2007. The fraud case was investigated by the Attorney General’s Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control.

ABC 36 News had its camera rolling last Thursday when Suess railed against managed care of Medicaid by three private companies, a new, cost cutting approach in Kentucky.  Suess complained about lapses in patient medication coverage and more restrictive Medicaid programs during his appearance before the state’s Advisory Council on Medical Assistance.

“I am not one that believes in adding medication to problems already there,” Suess testified while talking about medication lapses.  “I’m more likely to take kids off medication.”

He told a gripping story of a patient, a 12 year old boy, who tried to hang himself after going without a drug which helped stabilize him.

Phone call and email messages left for Dr. Suess Friday morning were not returned by publication time.

Suess is President of the Kentucky Osteopathic Medical Association.  On the group’s web site there’s an open letter from Suess about the state’s switch to managed care.

Now in hot water for allegedly bilking the system, Suess will be arraigned on 14 felony counts on January 10 in Hopkins Circuit Court.  A person in the booking office at the Hopkins County Jail said Suess was released from jail Thursday, the day a warrant for his arrest was issued.

He faces up to five years in prison on each count if convicted.

On a side note, Suess ran for state representative in 2010, losing to current lawmaker, Jim Gooch, in the Democratic primary.

Source: Greg Stotelmyer, “Child psychiatrist indicted,” ABC-TV 36 (Lexington, KY), December 23, 2011.

UK Commission finds violations, abuses at women’s psych facility

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 11:47 am

A psychiatric hospital in Sheffield has been ordered to improve after inspectors raised ‘major concerns’ about the safety of vulnerable patients.

The Care Quality Commission found private women’s facility Alpha Hospital, on East Bank Road, Norfolk Park, had failed to comply with seven of the Government’s standards for quality and safety.

Inspectors found one woman was going without her medication because the hospital did not have the right drugs, and staff had failed to notify the council over allegations patients were mistreated.

But Alpha Hospitals, which has run its Sheffield branch since 2001, said it has already made improvements based on the inspection report.

Jo Dent, regional director of the CQC, said: “We have particular concerns about the hospital’s arrangements for dealing with safeguarding concerns.

“None of the staff we spoke with understood the procedure for referring safeguarding concerns to the local authority.

“When we checked records relating to incidents of restraint, we were told of two occasions where the patient had been administered rapid tranquillisation, but a doctor had not been called in. No-one could explain why. Patients’ complaints were investigated by the provider but were not referred to the local authority as they should have been.”

Inspectors also discovered staff were imposing ‘unnecessarily restrictive’ rules at the hospital.

There were not enough staff to deliver proper care.

The hospital also failed to provide facilities for patients to practise their faiths, failed to provide effective assessment and monitoring of care, failed to adequately listen to or address patients’ complaints, and did not properly keep patient records.

A hospital spokeswoman said the company ‘immediately developed’ an action plan after the CQC raised concerns in November. When inspectors visited again they were ‘pleased with the improvements made’, she said.

She added: “We take the care and safety of patients extremely seriously.”

Source: “‘Failings’ at psychiatric hospital raise concerns,” The Star, December 27, 2011.

Connecticut school psychologist David Pino facing sex assault charges

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 11:45 am

A psychologist in the Vernon Public School system is facing sex assault charges after his arrest in Enfield on Wednesday, law enforcement and school officials said.

David Pino, 42, of 1 Keen Court, Enfield, is charged with second-degree sexual assault and voyeurism, according to a clerk at the Enfield Superior Court. He is scheduled to appear at the courthouse on Dec. 27 and was able to post a $50,000 bond, the clerk said. The warrant for the case is sealed, she said.

Enfield Police Chief Carl Sferrazza said Pino turned himself in to authorities around 9:45 a.m. Wednesday. He said Pino has no prior criminal record in Enfield.

Vernon school officials said that no crimes were committed in Vernon.

Vernon Superintendent of Schools Mary Conway issued the following statement Thursday about Pino’s arrest:

“The school district has been informed of the arrest of school psychologist David Pino. The district has been assured that the charges are in no way related to employees within the Vernon Public Schools nor do the charges relate in any way to children. Mr. Pino has been reassigned from his position at Center Road School to work in the Central Administration office. The district has no further comment.”

Officials at Center Road School confirmed that Pino worked there. The school serves students in pre-kindergarten through the fifth grade. Center Road School officials declined further verbal comment.

In a letter to parents, Principal Jocelyn Poglitsch said Pino, who holds a doctorate degree, has been reassigned to central office detail and that she is “taking every step necessary to assure your child’s needs will be handled within our school through our Resource Department, social workers and myself.”

Despite the news, it was a busy day at Center Road on Thursday where students had a half-day of classes and parent-teacher conferences took place in the afternoon.

Source: Chris Dehnel, “Vernon School Psychologist Facing Sex Charges in Enfield,” Enfield Patch, December 15, 2011.

Texas psych hospital loses Medicaid certification over patient restraint and seclusion

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 11:44 am

One of Harris County’s major inpatient psychiatric hospitals has lost its Medicaid/Medicare certification in the wake of inspections that found “an immediate and serious threat to patient health and safety.”

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has notified IntraCare Medical Center, a 148-bed acute-crisis care facility, that it is terminating its contract Dec. 23 because of the threat. The potential closing of the hospital represents a huge blow to the area’s overburdened mental health-care system.

“This could be a devastating loss,” said Andrea Usanga, director of policy and governmental relations for Mental Health America of Greater Houston. “We already have only about half the number of psychiatric beds recommended for our population.”

Leaders of other Houston-area psychiatric hospitals said they have been contacted by physicians interested in admitting patients there and have told their emergency departments to brace for additional patients.

The IntraCare deficiencies, not corrected over a series of CMS inspections from July to November, mostly involved the improper use of restraints and seclusion, used to secure the safety of patients or staff. They also included a suicide attempt that was not investigated.

IntraCare CEO Terry Scovill said there are no plans to close the hospital, but he acknowledged it likely couldn’t survive longer than 90 days without Medicaid/Medicare funding. He said IntraCare receives about 80 percent of its funding from Medicaid/Medicare.

State inspection

Because of the CMS action, the state health department will conduct its own unannounced inspection of IntraCare, said spokeswoman Carrie Williams. The department, which licenses IntraCare, this year fined it $6,000 after an investigation into a complaint about improper patient care and transfers in 2009.

IntraCare, near the Astrodome, is certified for the second most psychiatric inpatient beds in Harris County – behind only the Harris County Psychiatric Center – though it only has about 55 patients. Its patients – young children, adolescents and adults – are psychotic or pose a danger to themselves or others.

They include four foster care children taken from abusive or dangerous homes and placed there by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. DFPS Spokesman Patrick Crimmins said enough beds are available in the area to move those children to another psychiatric facility. “If we lose IntraCare we will be OK,” said Crimmins.

Scovill said IntraCare plans to transfer staff to its North Houston facility, which is separately certified and not part of the termination action. The North Houston facility is licensed for 90 beds but only has about 35 in-patients and could accommodate another 30, said Scovill.

Bob Moos, a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said IntraCare will need to plan discharges in accordance with CMS regulations and ensure patients’ rights are protected.

CMS summaries of three inspections at IntraCare Medical Center make frequent references to patients being secluded or restrained, physically and chemically, without doctor’s orders. The two practices have become an increasing focus of debate in the psychiatric community.

The last CMS report, dated Nov. 17, notes that child and adolescent patients were restricted to the quiet room of their bedrooms with no physician orders, seclusion documentation or face-to-face evaluation thereafter. The report notes that an “IMMEDIATE JEOPARDY” was declared as a result of the “unsafe environment with potential for harm.”

Scovill said IntraCare used the restraints and seclusion appropriately but failed to document doctor’s orders properly. He said the person responsible for such documentation was fired. That the problems were still evident at CMS’s third inspection was “a legitimate concern,” Scovill said.

Problems fixed

Scovill said that the problems are corrected and that IntraCare is applying for re-certification. But he said didn’t know if the process would occur fast enough.

Moos said a decertified facility would have to pass an unannounced inspection and “a period of reasonable assurance, which usually lasts a few months.”

Although injuries and deaths have been associated with seclusion and restraint, these practices remain loosely and erratically regulated. Since 2008, the Texas foster care system has required residential treatment centers to document each time restraints are used.

A year ago the Houston Chronicle found that many don’t do it diligently and some don’t do it at all.

Source: Todd Ackerman, Terri Langford, “Psychiatric hospital loses Medicaid/Medicare contract,” Houston Chronicle, December 15, 2011.

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