State Closes Clear View Behavioral Health, Intends To Revoke License Permanently

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has closed Clear View Behavioral Health in Johnstown, effective immediately, and is proceeding to revoke its license permanently because of a history of non-compliance with state and federal regulations, according to a CDPHE news release issued September 28.

Clear View’s five-year regulatory history includes 111 citations issued after state and federal investigators found deficient practices during 40 initial and revisit inspections, according to data on CDPHE’s Health Facilities website.  The inspections occurred mostly in response to complaints the Department received about the psychiatric facility.

The citations included violations of regulations concerning psychiatric evaluation, patient safety, infection control, administration of drugs, nursing services, treatment plans, patients rights, restraint and seclusion, and discharge planning.

Clear View also had seven occurrences at the facility that were required to be reported to CDPHE:  four occurrences of sexual abuse, three of physical abuse, and one of neglect.

In July 2018, CDPHE issued a finding of “Immediate Jeopardy” twice, meaning Clear View’s non-compliance with regulations put patients’ health and safety at risk for serious injury, serious harm, serious impairment or death. 

Clear View responded in December 2018 that it had corrected the deficient practices, and  CDPHE issued a conditional license in February 2019 for the facility to continue to operate. 

When new complaints were filed with CDPHE and reports on problems at Clear View were aired by The Denver Channel, CDPHE made an unannounced visit to the facility to investigate in late May 2019.  

As a result of finding “repeat deficiencies, as well as new deficiencies which placed Clear View patients’ health, safety, and welfare at risk,” CDPHE notified Clear View in June 2019  of its intention to revoke the psychiatric facility’s license, giving facility administrators 30 days to respond while allowing operations to continue.  Clear View responded and asked for a hearing before an administrative law judge.

Instead, CDPHE investigators revisited Clear View in September 2019 and, after determining that it was again in compliance with regulations, CDPHE allowed the facility to keep its license under terms of an agreement the parties signed in January.

Recently, CDPHE investigators, responding to new complaints, conducted another unannounced visit and found “multiple deficiencies, including nursing services and infection control.”

The Department concluded that the latest deficiencies, in addition to Clear View’s regulatory history, warranted a summary suspension “for consistent regulatory violations.” 

CDPHE now intends to revoke Clear View’s license permanently.  It has been licensed since November 2015.

If you or someone you know experienced substandard conditions or harmful treatment at a mental health facility, we want to talk to you.  You can contact us by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.

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Counselor Charged With Helping Juvenile Offender To Escape Loses License To Practice

A former behavioral health specialist at the Lookout Mountain Youth Services Center in Golden has been permanently barred from practicing as a counselor or psychotherapist in Colorado after allegedly aiding the escape of a juvenile offender and engaging in a relationship with him in her home while he was a fugitive.

According to official documents, Kirsten Gonzalez was 26 years old at the time she signed a home pass for the 19-year-old male inmate in August 2017, allegedly knowing he was planning not to return to the correctional facility.  Her supervisors at the time issued a letter of reprimand to her for providing the pass.

The escapee was finally apprehended in October 2018, when he was arrested in connection with a carjacking.  He was convicted of robbery in June 2019 and sentenced to six years in prison.  In July 2019 he was sentenced to three years for his escape from the youth detention center.

Gonzalez’s alleged further involvement with the fugitive was not discovered until July 2019, when she reportedly admitted in a recorded interview with Lookout Mountain staff that she had been involved in a relationship with him.  She reportedly was escorted from the facility that day and resigned her position soon after.

According to official documents, a subsequent investigation by the Golden Police Department found that Gonzalez provided him with the home pass, had knowledge of the escape and provided him with shelter and comfort after his escape. 

Gonzalez was arrested in August 2019 on felony charges of aiding escape and accessory to escape, and a misdemeanor charge of official misconduct.  Her next appearance in Jefferson County Court is scheduled for May 26.

Meanwhile, the Colorado Board of Licensed Professional Counselor Examiners received a complaint against her, alleging “an inappropriate relationship with a client,” which if true, would violate state law under the Mental Health Practice Act.

The Board ordered Gonzalez to undergo a “mental or physical evaluation” in September 2019, and when Gonzalez failed to comply, the Board in October 2019 suspended her license  to practice until she submitted to the required evaluation.

Then, in a January 2020 agreement with the Colorado boards that regulate licensed professional counselors and registered psychotherapists, Gonzalez agreed to permanently give up her counselor’s license and psychotherapist’s registration and never to reapply for them, though she still denied the Board’s allegations. 

If you believe a psychiatrist or other mental health worker has engaged in unprofessional conduct, we want to talk with you.  You can contact us by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.

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Researchers Conclude Suicide Warning On Antidepressant Labels Is Justified

Researchers examining the validity of the black box warning on antidepressants have concluded that the warning of the increased risk of suicidal thoughts and actions in children and young adults is clearly justified.

The best evidence available from clinical trials “demonstrated increased risk of suicidality adverse events among youth taking antidepressants,” according to researchers from universities in the United States and Australia, whose findings were published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry.

The researchers also examined critics’ claims that the black-box warning led to fewer prescriptions for antidepressants and, as a result, higher rates of suicide and suicide attempts. 

Instead, researchers found that the rise in suicidal behavior in children and young adults occurred while prescriptions for antidepressants also increased.  

“More recent data suggest that increasing antidepressant prescriptions are related to more youth suicide attempts and more completed suicides among American children and adolescents,” the researchers wrote.

“The black box warning is firmly rooted in solid data, whereas attempts to claim the warning has caused harm are based on quite weak evidence,” they concluded.

A black box warning on a drug label is one of the FDA’s strongest warnings, reserved for drugs that carry significant risk of serious or fatal side effects.

The black box warning on antidepressants was first required by the FDA in 2004 to warn of the increased risk of suicidal thoughts and actions in children and adolescents.  The warning was expanded in 2007 to include young adults. 

“When a clear body of evidence points to increased treatment-linked risk, patients and healthcare providers should be made aware of these risks,” the researchers wrote, noting their duty to warn.

WARNING: Anyone wishing to discontinue or change the dose of a psychiatric drug is cautioned to do so only under the supervision of a competent medical doctor because of potentially dangerous, even life-threatening mental and physical withdrawal symptoms.

If you or someone you know has experienced harmful side effects from antidepressants, we want to talk with you.  You can contact us by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.

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Psychiatrist Surrendering Colorado License Suspected In Deaths Of 36 Patients In New Mexico

Part of the ongoing series:
You Be The Judge

A psychiatrist who surrendered his Colorado medical license in August to settle allegations that he over-prescribed drugs and that six of his patients died from drug overdoses is now under investigation by authorities in New Mexico for the deaths of 30 other patients over a six-year period.

Edwin B. Hall was licensed to practice in Colorado since 1984, but had been practicing in New Mexico when his alleged over-prescribing came to the attention of authorities there.

The Albuquerque Journal reports a search warrant was recently served by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Division, alleging that a total of 36 of Hall’s patients died from 2013 through 2018.  Authorities seized records of patients being treated by Hall and other providers in his now-closed practice in Albuquerque.

Six deaths were allegedly the result of overdoses, according to the warrant and information from the New Mexico Medical Board.  Hall did not admit any wrongdoing, but agreed in March to permanently surrender his New Mexico medical license.

Investigations by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office into the other 30 deaths are ongoing.

The Colorado Medical Board issued its Stipulation and Final Order in August, based on the investigations and allegations by the New Mexico Medical Board.

In its Order, the Colorado Board alleged that Hall had prescribed controlled substance drugs “in a manner posing a threat to the health of his minor and adult patients,” that he “failed to effectively screen, evaluate, assess, and monitor patients to whom controlled substances had been prescribed,” and that “six of his adult patients died as a result of an overdose.”

The Board further alleged that an unlicensed individual was treating patients at Hall’s practice and billing Medicaid under Hall’s name.

The unlicensed individual was identified by a New Mexico law firm as John A. Connell, a  psychiatrist whose license had been revoked in Georgia over allegations of over-prescribing drugs and sexual contact with a female patient.

Hall denied the Colorado Board’s allegations, but agreed to permanently surrender his Colorado license, effective August 6, to resolve the matter.

In addition to ongoing investigations, the Albuquerque Journal reports three civil lawsuits have been filed in New Mexico against Hall alleging medical negligence, with one of the suits also naming Connell as a defendant.

If you or someone you know has been over-prescribed psychiatric drugs by a psychiatrist or other prescribing mental health worker, we want to talk with you.  You can contact us by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.

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Boulder Psychiatrist Put On Probation – His Third Disciplinary Action By A State Medical Board

Part of the ongoing series:
You Be The Judge

 The license of Boulder psychiatrist David K. Rosenthal has been put on probation and his practice will be monitored for five years under the terms of disciplinary action taken recently by the Colorado Medical Board.

In its Stipulation and Final Agency Order dated July 24, 2018, the Board found Rosenthal substituted telephone calls for several in-person appointments with a patient whose mental health symptoms and condition were too severe for it, and failed to meet with the patient regularly to ensure he was safely prescribing drugs to him.

This is the third public disciplinary action taken against Rosenthal by a state medical board, one of which led to the surrender of his California medical license.

According to Medical Board of California disciplinary documents, Rosenthal admitted that in 2000, he had sexual relations with a female patient who was seeking treatment from him after reportedly being sexually assaulted by her landlord.

Rosenthal was convicted in 2001 in Sacramento County Superior Court of misdemeanor sexual battery and sexual exploitation.  He was sentenced to 180 days in jail and three-year probation, during which time he was ordered not to treat females or minor children.  He was also ordered to get sexual abuse counseling and pay restitution to his victim.

Rosenthal subsequently surrendered his California medical license in 2002.

In April 2003, he applied to reactivate his Colorado medical license, which had been inactive since 1993.  In November 2003, the Colorado Medical Board granted him a restricted license to work only at correctional facilities because “the oversight inherent in the practice of medicine in the correctional system will adequately protect the public.”  He was also required to complete a course on maintaining personal boundaries.

In September 2004, Rosenthal requested that the restrictions be modified.  The Medical Board agreed in October 2004 to a five-year stipulation, limiting his license to patient evaluations and medication management.  He was required to disclose to his patients that he had been disciplined by the Board for sexual contact with a patient and that such contact is “inappropriate under any circumstances.”

He was also required to continue treatment as determined by the Colorado Physician Health Program, which monitored his practice and his treatment of patients, in particular “those patients who might trigger vulnerabilities leading to boundary violations” by Rosenthal.

The restrictions expired in October 2009.

In May 2016, Rosenthal was again disciplined with a letter of admonition from the Colorado Medical Board.  It found that in his treatment of a patient, he failed to consider alternative and more appropriate medications to treat the patient’s anxiety, failed to properly address the tapering of the patient’s Xanax, inappropriately prescribed Neurontin on an unsupervised basis (to help with Xanax withdrawal seizures), and failed to address the PTSD he had diagnosed in the patient.

The Board decided not to start formal proceedings against his license at that time.

Rosenthal’s current probation with practice monitoring extends to July 2023.

If you believe a psychiatrist or other mental health worker has engaged in unprofessional conduct, we want to talk with you.  You can contact us by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.

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Wheat Ridge Psychiatrist’s License Put on 5-Year Probation Following Arrest For Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

Part of the ongoing series:
You Be The Judge

Wheat Ridge psychiatrist Andrew W. Teaford’s license to practice was put on probation for five years after the Colorado Medical Board found he “has habitually or excessively used or abused alcohol, a habit-forming drug, or a controlled substance.”

The action was taken in response to Teaford pleading guilty in September 2017 to the criminal charge of driving under the influence of drugs.  He was sentenced in Denver County Court in February to 30 days of in-home detention, one year of supervised probation, education and therapy, monitored sobriety, and community service.

After reporting his guilty plea to the Medical Board in September, Teaford was evaluated by the Colorado Physician Health Program (CPHP), which reported he was to undergo inpatient assessment and treatment for substance abuse.  He signed an agreement at the time to stop practicing as a physician pending further evaluation and investigation by the Medical Board.

After he completed the treatment program in February and arranged for continuing drug testing, therapy and other recovery meetings, CPHP reported to the Medical Board that Teaford was safe to practice “only in the context of treatment and monitoring.”

The Medical Board’s Stipulation and Final Agency Order, effective June 15, requires Teaford to abstain from addictive substances and receive treatment and drug testing for five years as required and monitored by CPHP, while his license remains on restricted status for five years.

If you believe a psychiatrist or other mental health worker is not safe to practice, we want to talk with you.  You can contact us by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.

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Suspect In Deadly Westminster Road-Rage Shooting Started Taking Psychiatric Drug Earlier That Day

The man charged in the June 14 shooting in a Westminster parking lot that killed one boy and wounded three other people in an apparent road rage incident told police he had started taking a prescribed psychiatric drug the day of the incident.

Jeremy John Webster, 23, allegedly shot a 13-year-old boy to death, critically injured the boy’s mother and 8-year-old brother, and wounded an unrelated man in a nearby pickup truck.

A third son in the family, who was able to run away, told police that after his mother and Webster had an argument at a nearby intersection, Webster followed the family’s vehicle into a parking lot, where the shooting occurred.

Westminster police say Webster did not know any of the victims.  Before this incident, Webster had never been charged with a crime in Colorado.

The Denver Channel reports that a search warrant affidavit in the case says Webster told police he “has mental health issues and just started a new prescribed medication.”

It is not known whether Webster may also have been on other psychiatric drugs.

If the criminal allegations and the report of Webster’s psychiatric drug use are true, the shooting would become the latest in a long line of acts of extreme violence linked to psychiatric drugs.

Psychiatric drugs have well-known side effects of aggression, violence and even homicidal thoughts.

Psychiatric drugs were found disproportionately linked to acts of violence in a 2010 analysis of prescription drug side-effects data from the Food and Drug Administration’s adverse event reporting system.

There are at least 28 warnings from international drug regulatory agencies and numerous research studies concerning the violence-related effects of psychiatric drugs.

WARNING: Anyone wishing to discontinue or to change the dose of a psychiatric drug is cautioned to do so only under the supervision of a competent medical doctor because of potentially dangerous, even life-threatening mental and physical withdrawal symptoms.

If you or someone you know has been harmed by psychiatric drugs, we want to talk with you.  You can contact us by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.

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Thornton Psychiatrist’s License Put On Probation For Substandard Prescribing and Treatment Via Telehealth

Part of the ongoing series:
You Be The Judge

The license of Thornton psychiatrist Khaja Najibuddin Chisty was placed on probation for five years in April after the Colorado Medical Board determined he had engaged in unprofessional conduct under Colorado law.

The Board found that while Chisty was out of the country for two extended periods, his patients were not notified that their appointments with him would be done by remote telehealth, and they did not consent in advance to this form of treatment.   Some patients were unable to reach his office for treatment at all during his absence.

While out of the country, Chisty also provided some patients with prescriptions for controlled substances after minimal consultation and without performing full physical examinations or face-to-face evaluation of the patients.

On April 26, 2018, the Medical Board issued its Stipulation and Final Agency Order in the matter.  The Order replaces an earlier interim agreement for Chisty to cease practicing, dating from December 2016.

By entering into the Stipulation and Final Agency Order, Chisty admitted the Board’s findings.

Under terms laid out in the agreement, Chisty is ordered not to use telehealth, not to prescribe controlled substances, to allow his practice to be monitored, to complete a prescribing course, and to undergo treatment as determined by the Colorado Physician Health Program.

If you or someone you know has been harmed by treatment from a psychiatrist or other mental health worker, we want to talk with you.  You can contact us by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.

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Lakewood Teen Charged in Fatal Stabbing Was Receiving Mental Health Treatment – Were Psychiatric Drugs Involved?

The Lakewood teen charged in the fatal stabbing of a Longmont woman on November 18  reportedly had been receiving mental health treatment at the time of the incident.

Aiden von Grabow, 15,  charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of 19-year-old Makayla Grote, was working with school district mental health and community mental health workers, according to a spokeswoman for Jeffco Public Schools.

Did that mental health treatment include psychiatric drugs, which have well-established links to violence?   Is this yet another in the long list of senseless acts of violence linked to the use of mind-altering psychiatric drugs?

Psychiatric drugs were found disproportionately linked to acts of violence in a 2010 analysis of prescription drug side-effects data from the Food and Drug Administration’s adverse event reporting system.

There are at least 28 warnings from international drug regulatory agencies and numerous research studies concerning the violence-related effects of psychiatric drugs.

As a public health matter, the public deserves to know how many of the horrifying, senseless acts of violence that are becoming so commonplace are linked to the use of psychiatric drugs.

WARNING: Anyone wishing to discontinue or to change the dose of a psychiatric drug is cautioned to do so only under the supervision of a competent medical doctor because of potentially dangerous, even life-threatening mental and physical withdrawal symptoms.

If you or someone you know has been harmed by psychiatric drugs, we want to talk with you.  You can contact us by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.

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Planned Parenthood Shooter’s Complaint Of “Chemical Lobotomy” At State Psychiatric Institute Has A Basis In Fact

Admitted Planned Parenthood shooter Robert Lewis Dear, Jr. has complained during his court appearances about the “chemical lobotomy” he is receiving from the antipsychotic drugs being forcibly administered to him at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo (CMHIP).

Harvard-trained psychiatrist Peter Breggin, M.D., shares this view of antipsychotic drugs.

Breggin, who has testified as an expert witness in court cases about the dangerous side effects of mind-altering psychotropic drugs, writes in his article, “Making Americans into Zombies”:

“The antipsychotic drugs like Risperdal, Zyprexa, Abilify, Geodon and Seroquel have their clinical impact by causing severe impairment of the frontal lobes [of the brain] – the highest mental centers.  They cause actual chemical lobotomies.”

The frontal lobe is the part of the brain used to control important cognitive functions, such as emotions, judgment, problem solving, memory, and language.   By impairing these mental functions, antipsychotic drugs can cause a person to become zombie-like – a chemically induced state similar to the result of a surgical lobotomy, in which nerves are cut in the frontal lobes, causing irreversible brain damage, as psychiatric “treatment.”

Dear has admitted to the November 2015 shooting rampage that left three people dead and nine wounded at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs.  But a judge ruled Dear was incompetent to proceed to trial and committed him to CMHIP to be restored to competency.

Based on the testimony of a CMHIP psychiatrist that drugging Dear with antipsychotic drugs was likely to improve the prospects for his return to competency, a judge approved the forced administration of three antipsychotic drugs: Zyprexa, Abilify and Haldol.  The Colorado Court of Appeals upheld that ruling on January 5.

In the world of drug-pushing psychiatry, severely impairing important cognitive functions of the brain with antipsychotic drugs is viewed as a means to making someone more rational.

Psychiatrist Breggin says :  “Antipsychotics are just lobotomizing drugs.”

WARNING:  Anyone wishing to discontinue or to change the dose of a psychiatric drug is cautioned to do so only under the supervision of a competent medical doctor because of potentially dangerous, even life-threatening mental and physical withdrawal symptoms.

If you or someone you know has been harmed by psychiatric drugs, we want to talk with you.  You can contact us by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.

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