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Doctor's license reinstated pending hearing in W.Va.

| Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, 6:57 p.m.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A judge reinstated a doctor's license on Thursday, a month after it was suspended when health officials accused his clinic of allowing unsanitary conditions and reusing needles.

Kanawha County Circuit Judge Charles King issued a preliminary injunction halting the suspension of Dr. Roland Chalifoux Jr.'s license until his case can be heard by the state Board of Osteopathic Medicine, which issued the suspension last month. The injunction allows him to resume practicing medicine immediately, King ruled.

The judge ruled the board “failed to show that Dr. Chalifoux engaged in practices which may pose a risk to the public.”

“There is a public interest in allowing Dr. Chalifoux's patients to seek and receive treatment from him,” King said.

Chalifoux operated Valley Pain Management in McMechen, in northern West Virginia. The board's decision forced Chalifoux, the only licensed doctor at the clinic, to shut it down and lay off five employees.

Board Executive Director Diana Shepard did not immediately return a message. The West Virginia Bureau of Public Health declined to comment.

Health officials said a probe found Chalifoux did not wear a surgical mask during epidurals and the clinic reused syringes on more than one patient and had other sanitation problems.

West Virginia's state epidemiologist, Dr. Loretta Haddy, said a patient contracted bacterial meningitis a day after undergoing a procedure at the clinic and that health officials were notified in October. Bacterial meningitis is contagious and can be fatal.

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