McMECHEN, W.Va. — The state Board of Osteopathic Medicine has scheduled an emergency meeting for Friday morning to discuss the controversy involving a Marshall County doctor and his pain clinic.
The board is expected to consider the license of Dr. Roland Chalifoux who operates the Valley Pain Management Clinic in McMechen. Chalifoux has been under fire for not releasing the list of patients he treated with injections from the time his clinic opened in 2010 to Nov. 2013. The state Bureau of Public Health said earlier this week syringes were reused on more than one patient and those injection patients during that time should consider tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.
The Board of Osteopathic Medicine has the power to take summary action and suspend a doctor’s license at least temporarily until a full hearing can held. The doctor can request a hearing within 15 days of the initial suspension. Dr. Chalifoux’s case will be discussed in executive session beginning at shortly after 10 a.m. Friday. The board’s meeting will be by conference call.
State DHHR Secretary Karen Bowling said the state has been working with Chalifoux for several months trying to get the patient list but it’s been difficult.
“We know if you have the patient list that we’re directly getting the word to the potential patients who could be impacted by this,” Bowling said.
The DHHR has filed subpoena for the release.
“We tried a cooperative approach but the cooperative approach didn’t work in this particular circumstance so we subpoenaed the list,” Bowling said.
Chalifoux’s attorney has called the controversy a “fishing expedition” by the DHHR.
Bowling said the risk of contracting hepatitis B; C or HIV is low for the patients but something that still needs to be checked. She said direct contact with the patients is the best way to get the word out.
“You can put a public notice in the newspaper and that’s okay, that’s one way of trying to get notice out, but we have stronger feelings about it,” Bowling said. “We believe that we need to give direct notice.”
The Texas State Board of Medical Examiners revoked Dr. Chalifoux’s medical license in 2004 for violating the standard of care in connection with three patients, including one who died. The West Virginia Osteopathic Board of Medicine granted Chalifoux a restricted license in 2004. He took a course at the WVU School of Medicine and then was granted an unrestricted license in 2005.