Unqualified Docs Seeking Emergency Licensure in Alaska
Dozens of unqualified Florida doctors have applied for emergency licenses in Alaska this year, according to the Anchorage Daily News. During last November’s COVID surge, the state’s medical board approved an emergency courtesy license with the intention of attracting physicians from the lower 48 states. The change involved the fast-tracking of licenses. In February, the state noticed that a significant number of applicants were coming from Florida. A Chilean company was actively soliciting these applicants, most of whom were unqualified, with the promise of Alaska licensure in return for a $1,400 payment. The medical board is investigating the anomaly.
Many Wis. Local Health Leaders Left During Pandemic
Nearly 40% of local health department leaders in Wisconsin have left their jobs since March 2020, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services went through three leaders during that time. Reported causes include controversy involving stay-at-home orders, mask mandates and vaccination campaigns.
Minn. Districts Struggle to Find Substitutes
School districts in Minnesota are struggling to find substitute teachers, leading many to take desperate measures. According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, some districts are pleading with parents who might be interested in getting licensed to fill in for absent teachers. Meanwhile, the state teachers’ licensing board suggested that schools preemptively license every staff member with a bachelor’s degree to increase the pool of possible substitutes.
N.J. Doctor Suspended for Patient Contact
The New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners has suspended the license of a doctor who admitted to engaging in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a patient he was treating for substance abuse. According to N.J. Advance Media, Francis Rienzo will lose his license for three years and will be fined $85,856.
Ga. Medical Board Director Dies Suddenly
The executive director of two Georgia health-care boards died suddenly Oct. 28. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, LaSharn Hughes suffered a heart attack. Hughes was director of both the Georgia Composite Medical Board, which licenses doctors, and the Georgia Board of Health Care Workforce, which seeks to provide underserved areas with health-care professionals.
La. Casinos Launch Sports Betting
Four state-licensed casinos in Louisiana started to allow sports betting at their locations on Oct. 31. According to the Associated Press, voters in 55 parishes have legalized betting on live-action games, and the four casinos are the first state-regulated sports-betting sites. They are Harrah’s New Orleans, L’Auberge Casino in Baton Rouge, Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City and Boomtown Casino in Harvey. Sports betting began Oct. 6 at a tribal casino, Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville.
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