WHEELING - The West Virginia Board of Osteopathc Medicine is waiting to hear from Dr. Roland Chalifoux, the physician accused of reusing syringes to enter vials and saline bags used for more than one patient at Valley Pain Management in McMechen.
Photo by Shelley Hanson
A sign sits near the Valley Pain Management clnic in McMechen.
The board on July 25 suspended Chalifoux's medical license because of the allegations made by the West Virginia Bureau of Public Health, which conducted an investigation into Chalifoux's practices.
"We have not heard a word from him. He has a right to a hearing in 15 days. His license will continue to be suspended. The ball is now in his court," said Diana Shepard, the board's executive director.
Chalifoux said he does plan to ask for a hearing.
"It's not an appeal. The purpose of the hearing request is to determine if the board had enough evidence to do the summary suspension," Shepard said. "If during that hearing it is determined that yes, the board did, his license would still be suspended, and a full hearing on all evidence would be scheduled."
Shepard said the purpose of the 15-day time period is so a physician is not without work for a long period of time. However, after the 15 days are up, the hearing can be held on any day agreed upon by Chalifoux and the board.
"He could decide not do anything in 15 days. He has to tell us when he's ready," Shepard said.
The 15 business-day time period will end Aug. 14.
Last month, months of investigation came to light with accusations that Challifoux used unsafe methods to administer injections to patients. Chalifoux formerly practiced medicine in Texas where his license was revoked in June 2004, after a board in that state reviewed three cases in which he was involved. In one of them, a patient died.
But on July 1, 2004, the Board of Osteopathic Medicine granted Chalifoux a restricted license to practice in West Virginia. He was permitted only to practice medicine at West Virginia University, where he planned to receive additional training.
On June 29, 2005, the board granted Chalifoux an unconditional license to practice in West Virginia. Before their July 1, 2004, action, board members had been told Chalifoux's Texas license had been suspended in 2002, though officials said the board spent a longer than normal amount of time investigating Chalifoux before granting the license.