Department of Health

Forged Check to Pay for Cruise Ship Nets Unprofessional Conduct Charge

By The Chronicle

The state Department of Health recently released a set of lists naming health care professionals who were sanctioned with official actions in September and October. In Southwest Washington, actions were taken toward health care workers in Lewis, Thurston, Clark and Pierce counties.

This is a sampling of the complete list provided by the Department of Health:

Lewis County

Sheri M. Bobbit, a home care aide, had her credential suspended indefinitely by the Secretary of Health. Bobbit was originally cited for consuming alcohol during her shift at an adult family home where she was employed and has since admitted to being an alcoholic.

Thurston County

The Nursing Commission ended probation for Audrey Pastore, a licensed practical nurse.

Clark County

Samantha Marie Becklehimer, a registered nursing assistant and certified nursing assistant, was charged with unprofessional conduct and had her credential suspended by the Nursing Assistant Program. An investigation by the Department of Social and Health Services found that Becklehimer financially exploited a vulnerable adult in her care. That finding precludes her from being employed in caring for, or having unsupervised access to, vulnerable adults.

Sergey Olegovich Teleleyko, a registered nursing assistant, was charged with unprofessional conduct by the Nursing Assistant Program after applying to reactivate his license. Teleleyko was convicted in 2014 of residential burglary and third-degree theft. His license expired that same year.

Pierce County

Danielle E. Rivas, a registered nursing assistant, certified nursing assistant and medical assistant-phlebotomist, was charged with unprofessional conduct by the Nursing Assistant and Medical Assistant programs. The charge alleges that while Rivas was providing home care services she removed furniture from a client’s home and delivered it to a member of her family and wrote a check to herself from the client’s bank account in order to pay for cruise ship-related expenses.

Sunil K. Kakar, a psychologist, was charged with unprofessional conduct by the Psychology Board after he allegedly failed to comply with a substance abuse monitoring contract.

Sara Nicole Walsh, also known as Sara Nicole Strand, was denied a chemical dependency professional trainee credential by the secretary of health. Between 2013 and 2014, Walsh was convicted of seven felonies and three gross misdemeanors. She also failed to comply with a requirement to undergo a substance use evaluation.

Shannah Kathleen Cozad, a registered nurse and advanced registered nurse practitioner, entered an agreement with the Nursing Commission that places her on at least three years probation. Cozad will be required to pass an ethics and boundaries examination, and will only be allowed to prescribe controlled substances under direct supervision. She will also be prohibited from engaging in solo practice for three years. Those actions were taken after it was discovered that Cozad prescribed controlled substances to an immediate family member for chronic non-cancer pain. Cozad did not meet the criteria for recognition as a pain management specialist, didn’t comply with advanced practice pain management rules, and failed to refer her immediate family member to an independent provider for treatment and for the prescription of controlled substances.

The Health Systems Quality Assurance Division works with boards, commissions and advisory committees in order to set licensing standards for more than 80 health care professions, ranging from medical doctors to veterinarians. Health care workers charged with unprofessional conduct have 20 days to respond to the Department of Health in writing in order to trigger a settlement process.

Information about health care providers is available on the DOH website at doh.wa.gov. Visitors to the website should click on the “How Do I” section for more information. The site includes detailed information about the license status of health care workers, including the expiration and renewal date of their credential, disciplinary actions and copies of legal documents issued after July 1998. The information is also available by calling 360-236-4700.