JOINT ASSEMBLY STANDING COMMITTEE ON HEALTH
CHAIR: ASSEMBLYMAN RICHARD N. GOTTFRIED
ASSEMBLY STANDING COMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION
CHAIR: ASSEMBLYMAN EDWARD C. SULLIVAN
ASSEMBLY STANDING COMMITTEE ON CODES
CHAIR: ASSEMBLYMAN JOSEPH R. LENTOL
PUBLIC HEARING: THE DISCIPLINARY PROCESS
OF PHYSICIANS AND PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS
Assembly Hearing Room
Room 1923, 19th Floor
New York, New York
Thursday, January 31, 2002
A P P E A R A N C E S
ASSEMBLYMAN JOEL MILLER
ASSEMBLYWOMAN NETTIE MAYERSOHN
ASSEMBLYMAN RICHARD GOTTFRIED
ASSEMBLYMAN EDWARD SULLIVAN
LIST OF SPEAKERS
DONALD BERENS 8, 15, 27, 32, 34, 39, 40, 43, 44, 56, 64, 109,117
DENNIS GRAZIANO 8, 9, 24, 29, 34, 38, 39, 42, 43, 52, 64, 109
BRIAN MURPHY 9, 115
PAT CUNNINGHAM 9
ILENE CORINA 120
DR. RALPH SPEKEN 126
PATRICIA DONNELLY 130, 147
LEONARD JOSEPH 133
PEARL KORN 139
STEPHANIE SPEKEN 145
SHAY BERGIN 146
GERARD L. CONNELLY, ESQ. 149
SCOTT TODD 150, 170
GREGORY O’KEEFE 168, 171
MARK UNGAR 172
DR. CHARLES GANTT 176
BLAIR HORNER 190, 209, 248, 256, 259
ART LEVINE 195, 247, 258, 259, 261
MONICA MILLER 210, 250, 255, 257, 262
PAT SMITH 227, 253
DR. ANDREW CHENG 263
JOHN HALLOWELL 268
ANDREW SCHLAFLY 275
SHEILA FRAWLEY 286
HUGH CAMPBELL 305
PETER BARBER 315
NATHAN DENBIN 321
STEVE LOCKWOOD 334, 367
WILFRED FRIEDMAN 350, 368
JOANNA AMATO 371
LIA McCABE 380
NORMAN ROSENTHAL 384
MARCUS COHEN 396
MARK BARNES 405
LYNN STANSEL 420
ASSEMBLYMAN GOTTRIED: Good morning. We are going to begin. I am Richard Gottfried. I chair the Health Committee in the State Assembly. I welcome all of you to today's hearing on the Office of Professional Medical Conduct. Let me just go through a few sort of procedural and mechanical things. I don't have any opening remarks. I don't know whether any of my colleagues will.
First of all while I expect this hearing to go perhaps well into the evening we will not be taking more than an occasional five or ten minute break. Which since we are the health committee we try to accommodate needs for ambulation and toileting as they say in the long-term care field.
Secondly I don't usually say this at hearings but today it might be appropriate. Outbursts of either applause or the opposite should not be done. This is not a forum in which such expressions of opinion will serve any useful purpose and will simply make the people who are later on the list, some of who may be the ones applauding or doing otherwise, it will make their testimony later into the evening which neither we nor they will appreciate.
Third it has for many years been the practice of the Health Committee as was said in our hearing notice that all of our witnesses testify under oath. If any of you have a problem with that or want to modify what you were planning on saying in anticipation of being sworn I just want to give you all fair notice.
Next is that while the circumstances of individual cases may well be discussed by some of our witnesses that should only be for purposes of illustrating a point. This is not a hearing about individual cases or to resolve individual cases. We are not investigating the handling of individual cases. This is a hearing about OPMC functions, how it should function what if any amendments to legislation are called for.
Last I just want to say a word or two about the other committees besides the Health Committee that are co-sponsoring this hearing and how that comes to happen.
The Higher Education Committee is co-sponsoring the hearing as part of its role in legislation governing the various licensed professions. The Higher Ed Committee while professional discipline of physicians has been pretty entirely moved to the Health Department out of the Board of Regents and State Ed where it used to be. The Higher Education Committee continues to have jurisdiction over the profession, the medical profession as a whole in general and professional discipline proceedings relating to other professions. In putting this hearing together I felt it was for all of those reasons important and useful to us to have the higher Education Committee involved.
The Assembly Codes Committee is our committee that has jurisdiction over both civil procedure in court cases and criminal procedure. We have involved the Codes Committee for a couple of reasons. One, their expertise on legal process issues has been very useful to us both in our current drafting efforts and in previous years on this topic.
Also whatever legislation we that the Health Committee were to develop under the Assembly's rules will end up being reviewed by the Codes Committee because it's considered to have a civil penalty or a criminal penalty impact. And so we felt very strongly that having the Codes Committee involved from their outset would be very useful.
Let me just introduce to you my assembly colleagues who are here. On my right, your left is Ed Sullivan who is both a member of the Assembly Health Committee of long standing and chairer of the Assembly Higher Education Committee.
To your right, my left are Assembly member Nettie Mayersohn and Assembly member Joel Miller who are both members of the Health Committee. Dr. Miller is also a licensed health care professional in this state. A dentist and as such brings from his personal experience useful knowledge of the health care system to us. Not necessarily knowledge of the professional discipline system.
ASSEMBLYMAN MILLER: And thankfully so.
ASSEMBLYMAN GOTTFRIED: And thankfully so. I just wanted to clarify that in case anyone thought otherwise. So having said all of that unless anyone has any comments to add? No. Okay we will go directly to our first panel of witnesses who are from the New York State Department of Health. I think it would make sense for each of you to introduce yourselves. While the witness list has two names there are four of you here, which I am very happy about. So why don't you introduce yourselves.