Board Rehabilitation Program
An ‘Open-Door’ Program offered for the Rehabilitation of Dependent Professionals
Pursuant to MD Code Ann., Health Occupations Article, Section 3-406, the Board established a rehabilitation program for professionals dependent on drugs, alcohol or prescription medication. The program was developed following the enactment of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The general concept of the program is SELF-VOLUNTARY REFERRAL for chiropractors, chiropractic assistants and massage therapists/practitioners with substance abuse issues or who have physical, emotional or mental conditions adversely affecting their practice.
Open Door – Safe Harbor Guaranteed:
Under this program, an open-door/safe-harbor are established to allow regulated professionals to voluntarily submit to evaluation and treatment. If the professional voluntarily joins the program, is cooperative, honest and follows all precepts and requirements, he/she will avoid disciplinary action by the Board. However, if the professional refuses to join the program or fails to meet requirements, then the case shall be referred for Board disciplinary action.
The cornerstone of this program is confidentiality regarding all communications, documentation and records relating to the referred professional. By statute, no rehabilitation information may be transmitted to the Board nor is it discoverable under any proceeding. Any Board member sitting as a member of the Rehabilitation Committee is recused from participating in any subsequent related matter.
The rehabilitation process begins when the licensee pro-actively submits to the program by contacting a member of the committee. The committee will review the case and thoroughly discuss all ramifications with the licensee. The licensee will complete paperwork that will reflect acknowledgement and agreement to the terms and costs of the rehabilitation program. The licensee will then be referred to a Board approved consultant, who will set a stepped monitor and counseling program for the licensee with frequent reports to the Board. The licensee must agree to pay all costs associated with this program. The consultant will then make recommendations to the Board regarding any restrictions on the licensee’s scope of practice. Following successful completion of the program, the licensee will be cleared to return to practice without any disciplinary action against his/her license. If, however, any adverse reports are issued from the consultant, the Board may take disciplinary action and terminate the rehabilitation program for failure to cooperate to meet program requirements.
The Committee is currently composed of the following members and contact numbers:
John DeMaio, D.C. 410.721-2222
Steve Acocella, D.C. 410.367-1966
E.Brian Ashton, D.C., P.T. 301-980-9630
Maryanne Frizzera-Hucek 410.764-4726
Remember, the bottom line on this program is to pro-actively assist the licensees should they need help. It has proven successful in many cases…but only where the licensee meets the Board half-way by cooperating with the program requirements.