Medical assistant charged with misconduct

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OLYMPIA — An Adams County medical assistant has been charged with misconduct after she failed to comply with a monitoring program ordered by the Washington Department of Health.

Lucia Gonzalez was required to join the monitoring program after she allegedly obtained prescription drugs without a valid prescription.

The first alleged incident occurred in 2016, according to information from the Washington Department of Health.

“Respondent (Gonzalez) was employed as a medical assistant at a medical clinic. On or about Aug. 22, 2016, a local pharmacy received a telephone call for a prescription for phentermine to be dispensed to respondent (Gonzalez),” according to the statement of allegations from DOH. The prescription was refilled twice. “These prescriptions did not appear in respondent’s personal medical records. The physician cited in these prescription did not authorize them.”

“On or about Feb. 16, 2018, a local pharmacy received a telephone call for prescriptions for phentermine and zolpidem, to be dispensed to respondent. The pharmacist called the prescriber. After checking with the prescriber’s office, the pharmacist confirmed the prescription was not valid.

“Each invalid prescription was called in by someone without authorization. Each prescription was dispensed to respondent.”

Gonzalez signed an agreement with the DOH in February 2019. “Respondent (Gonzalez) does not admit any of the allegations,” the report said, but agreed to sign an “informal disposition.” She agreed to enter the Washington Recovery and Monitoring Program.

She was supposed to enroll in the program within two weeks but didn’t, according to the DOH statement of charges. In light of that she has been charged with unprofessional conduct, and has the right to respond.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

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