Three Members Of Chiropractic Board Violated Law

Published: 2011-03-08 19:23:52
Author: Jennifer Kaylin | Connecticut Health Team | March 8, 2011

The state Department of Public Health has found three members of its own Board of Chiropractic Examiners, the panel charged with regulating and disciplining chiropractors in Connecticut, in violation of a state law intended to protect the public.

DPH Spokesman William Gerrish confirmed that the department is investigating Drs. Michelle Imossi, Sean Robotham and Paul Powers.

He said that the department, acting on a tip by the Victims of Chiropractic Abuse (VOCA), opened petitions to begin investigations of the three board members in February 2010 for improperly identifying their practices.

Later that year, the department found them in violation the law. In a September 2010 letter to Janet Levy, VOCA co-founder, the department said the board members were told they were not in compliance with state law and needed to submit corrective action plans to the DPH.

It began in December 2006, when VOCA, a grassroots organization dedicated to “promoting awareness of chiropractic risks through advocacy and legislation,” sent a letter to the DPH stating that it had identified 458 chiropractors in Connecticut in violation of the use-of-name statute.

The law states that “No person shall practice as a chiropractor under any name other than the name of the chiropractor actually owning the practice or a corporate name containing the name or names of such chiropractors.” In other words, it’s not enough to identify a practice as, say, the “Connecticut Neck Therapy Center.” The chiropractors’ names must also be included.

“It’s was easy,” said Britt Harwe, VOCA co-founder, in describing how her group identified the chiropractors it suspected of non-compliance. “We opened the yellow pages and went down the list. If we found violations, we drove to their place of business to see if there were any more.”

In July 2009, VOCA sent a letter to the office of then-Governor M. Jodi Rell with information about four members of the Board of Chiropractic Examiners it claimed were in violation of state statutes.  Then, in September 2010, VOCA received the response from the DPH confirming that three of the board members were non-compliant; the fourth met the statutory requirements.

Contacted at his Rocky Hill office, Paul Powers declined to comment on DPH’s findings. The other two board members, Michelle Imossi, whose office is in Berlin, and Sean Robotham, who practices in Bloomfield, didn’t respond to phone messages or e-mails requesting comment.

“People might think it’s a petty thing,” said Harwe, who suffered a stroke after visiting a chiropractor in 1993, “but then why is the statute there in the first place? Somebody thought it was important. It used to be enforced in the past, and it’s enforced in other states, so why isn’t it taken seriously here?”

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