Med Board Fines Hamden, West Haven Doctors

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The state Medical Examining Board Tuesday disciplined four doctors, including fining a Hamden doctor $3,500 for allowing medical assistants to give patients medication, including a nasal anesthetic.

The board also reprimanded the physician, Craig Hecht, an ear, nose and throat doctor, after the state Department of Public Health found he failed to maintain appropriate infection controls in his Madison office, a consent order he signed with the board said. The order said he kept expired medications, failed to follow proper sterilization procedures and failed to keep appropriate sterilization records.

Hecht also has offices in Hamden and Milford, but the problems were confined to his Madison office, the order said. Hecht chose not to contest the allegations while admitting no wrongdoing. Since the DPH investigation, his plan to correct the problems in the Madison office has been accepted by the state.

On Tuesday, the board reprimanded and fined a West Haven doctor $1,000 for failing to address a patient’s weight loss and substance abuse in 2016, DPH records show.

The board also placed the license of Dr. Elvin L. Griffith on probation for four months and ordered him to complete courses in documenting medical care and the management of a patient with substance abuse, records show.

Griffith signed a consent order with the board in which he chose not to contest the allegations while admitting no wrongdoing.

Board member Michele Jacklin was the only member to vote against the Hecht and Griffith penalties and said she did so because the fines imposed on the doctors were “ridiculously low.”

The board also suspended the medical license of Dr. David S. Parnas, a family medicine physician from Westport who has been disciplined in the past for heavy alcohol use, for two months and placed his license on probation for five years.

A memorandum of decision approved by the board says that Parnas failed to submit the results of drug and alcohol tests to DPH between March and June of 2017 in violation of an earlier, four-year probation with the board.

Parnas  told state officials that he cannot afford to pay for the tests, records show, and at Tuesday’s meeting, he told the board that his family is on public assistance.

The board reprimanded Dr. David Shenker of Natick, Massachusetts in connection with allegations that he failed to maintain adequate medical records and deviated from the standard of care for three patients in 2013 in New York state, a consent order he signed with the Connecticut board said. He chose not to contest the allegations against him.

In 2017, New York officials had placed his medical license on probation in connection with the allegations, DPH records show.

State law allows the board to discipline doctors who hold Connecticut medical licenses if they have been disciplined by other states. Shenker does not practice medicine in Connecticut, DPH records show.