KENNEWICK – A Tri-Cities doctor has agreed to surrender her license to practice medicine after complaints, including that she issued medical exemption letters to parents who did not want their children to receive COVID-19 vaccines.
It is one of several actions this spring related to Department of Health licenses for medical services and medical professionals, including a physical therapist, a massage therapist and a certified nursing assistant.
Dr. Virgina Frazer of Kennewick has agreed to surrender her license, not resume practice in Washington and not reapply, according to the Department of Health.
She previously had her medical license suspended indefinitely after failing to cooperate after complaints were made, including that she issued medical exemption letters to parents who did not want their children to receive COVID-19 vaccines, according to the Department of Health.
She could have applied to have her license reinstated with some terms and conditions to be set by the Department of Health, but chose to surrender it instead.
Frazer, a naturopathic physician at Blue Heron Naturopathic Care in Kennewick, reached an agreement with the Department of Health after a complaint in February 2020 that she allegedly disclosed confidential medical records without authority.
However, she did not complete requirements, which included taking a continuing education ethics course.
The complaint about COVID-19 vaccine exemptions was made in November 2020. She never responded to the Department of Health on that complaint, it said.
The agency sent her a letter of cooperation and attempted to visit her at her clinic, but she did not provide an opportunity for an interview or the documents and records requested, according to the Department of Health.
She had other disciplinary actions within the last few years, all focused on her “inattention to important department correspondence and orders,” according to the order that suspended her medical license before her decision to surrender the license.
Other disciplinary actions
The Department of Health is preparing a cease and desist order against Torre J. Swenson, who it accused of offering phlebotomy services, including drawing blood samples, in Benton County without a license,
From July to at least October 2022 Swenson ran a phlebotomy services company in Benton County even though Swenson’s phlebotomy license expired in September 2016, according to the Department of Health.
The company had a website and social media accounts that advertised services, prices and promotional discounts.
The Department of Health has charged massage therapist Kristin Ann Kayfes of Benton County with unprofessional conduct.
In March 2021 police were called to a disturbance and said that Kayfes “appeared extremely intoxicated” and was “slurring her words,” according to the Department of Health. She was arrested due to her conduct during the interaction.
The next month she was accused of performing two massages at the Richland massage studio where she worked while under the influence of alcohol.
A co-worker told a manager that Kayfes appeared to be intoxicated. Kayfes said that she had two drinks before reporting to work at 2 p.m. and was “out of it,” according to the Department of Health.
In October 2021, she pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault, a gross misdemeanor, for the March incident and was sentenced to 15 days in jail with 364 days suspended, according to Benton County Superior Court records.
The Department of Health has suspended the physical therapy license of Amy Lynn Lewis, also known as Amy Lynn Stone, of Benton County.
She did not comply with an order she agreed to follow. The order included providing regular urine samples and abstaining from alcohol and nonprescribed drugs.
She was discharged from the Washington Recovery and Monitoring Program for health care professionals in 2021 but then signed a new five-year contract with the program in spring 2022.
But she tested positive for alcohol and methamphetamine less than a month later and then failed to provide urine samples for testing several subsequent times, according to the Department of Health.
She said at a Department of Health hearing that she had completed intensive outpatient treatment and was attending sober support groups.
She may apply to have her physical therapy license reinstated if she again participates in the Washington Recovery and Monitoring Program.
The Department of Health charged certified nursing assistant Guadalupe Gutierrez of Benton County with unprofessional conduct.
When she applied to reactivate her license, she did not report that she previously pleaded guilt to driving under the influence in Oregon in 2020. She was subject to disciplinary action by the Oregon State Board of Nursing, which she also did not report to the Washington Department of Health, it said.
However, the Department of Health allowed her to enroll in the Washington Recovery and Monitoring Program for health care workers, including monitoring for alcohol and other substance use.
The department now lists her license as active with conditions as of May 23.