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Medical board executive director to resign - California Watch

HEALTH & WELFARE | DAILY REPORT

Medical board executive director to resign
January 15, 2010 | Christina Jewett, California Watch Update : The California Medical Board released a statement today about the departure of its executive director, Barbara Johnston: After achieving many of her goals, including implementing the Telemedicine pilot in partnership with the UC Davis Health system and integrating technological upgrades at the Board, Ms. Johnston accepted a senior position in the private sector in her primary area of expertise, health information technology. An intriguing news flash, not announced as such, landed in my inbox this morning: The executive director of the California Medical Board is scheduled to resign in a matter of weeks. The announcement comes as item four on an agenda [1] for a Jan. 28 medical board meeting. I made a quick call to the board, but it’s furlough Friday. No one is in the office. Hopefully an explanation is forthcoming. In the meantime, here’s a round-up of recent news that may shed some light: The nursing board has come under incredible scrutiny [2] by ProPublica’s dynamic and Pulitzer-winning reporters, Charles Ornstein and Tracy Weber, whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times. Their reporting exposed that the California nursing board takes more than three years to investigate and discipline errant nurses. Their strong reporting resulted in the resignation [3] of the nursing board's director, Ruth Ann Terry, and a strong and rapid response by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The medical board may not be insulated from similar criticism if you consider one case that I wrote about in June of 2006 – more than three years ago – for the Sacramento Bee (with Carrie Peyton Dahlberg): A Carmichael plastic surgeon was being held on sex and weapons charges Wednesday after police found an armor-penetrating rocket launcher, machine guns and dozens of other weapons in his sprawling ranch home. Dr. Scott Takasugi, known by neighbors for his lavish Halloween parties, dapper clothes and luxury car collection, was being investigated for sexual exploitation of patients when the cache was found. In that case, more than three years passed before the medical board announced in October 2009 that Takasugi was giving up his medical license. Another clue seems to lie on page five of a recent newsletter [4] from the board. Check it out: The Medical Board is undergoing an independent, comprehensive review of its organization. Generally, when such reviews or audits are performed, they are at the request of the Legislature or governor. This review, however, is at the request of the members of the medical board. That report is expected to be delivered to board members by the September meeting and reported publicly in October. Finally, the board has made headlines [5] in the Orange County Register and beyond for a case of an Anaheim doctor losing his license in 2002 after the death of a newborn, only to stand see his license reinstated. He was accused in recent weeks of causing the death of a patient during an abortion. More on that case from California Watch [6] and a strong call [7] for accountability from William Heisel, a former investigative reporter who worked on that story nearly a decade ago.

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Original URL: http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/medical-board-executive-director-resign-863 Links: [1] http://www.mbc.ca.gov/board/meetings/agenda_2010_01-28_fullboard.pdf [2] http://www.propublica.org/feature/when-caregivers-harm-california-problem-nurses-stay-on-job-710 [3] http://www.propublica.org/feature/california-nursing-board-executive-officer-ruth-ann-terry-resigns-714 [4] http:// http://www.mbc.ca.gov/publications/newsletter_2010_01.pdf

Medical board executive director to resign - California Watch

[5] http://www.ocregister.com/articles/rutland-227209-board-documents.html [6] http://californiawatch.org/watchblog/doctor-who-lost-license-accused-killing-another-patient [7] http://www.reportingonhealth.org/blogs/california-governor-and-medical-board-should-stand-accused-patient%E2%80%99sdeath

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