Friday, April 28, 2017

Texas State Board of Dental Examiners Loss of Investigators and Staff, is Michael Melanson’s Gain


Debbie-color-sm (6) 12-31-2016By: Debbie Hagan


Reports abound this week about the Texas State Board of Dental Examiner’s finding insufficient  of wrong doing by Dr. Michael Melanson as it related to the death of Daisy Lynn Torres:

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The dentist who was treating a 14-month-old girl for cavities when she died after going under anesthesia has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners.

Dr. Michael Melanson was working on Daisy Lynn Torres’ teeth at the Austin Children’s Dentist in northwest Austin on March 29, 2016 when she suffered complications and died. The child’s autopsy report ruled that anesthesia caused her death.

There was an anesthesiologist on-site during Daisy Lynn’s appointment, according to a 911 recording and a spokesperson from Austin Children’s Dentistry. However, what as at issue in a lawsuit is a portion of the autopsy including a report from a forensic dental examiner, Dr. Robert Williams. The report questioned why the child was having a dental procedure before she died. The report prompted Austin Children’s Dentistry to suspend Dr. Melanson, who no longer works at the practice, last July.

At the time, the dental office said he would remain suspended until the State Board finished its investigation.

Read entire story here.

I think the keyphrase here is “finshed its investigation”. 

Melanson’s attorney Mike Yanof said, “The dental board has closed its investigation and they found insufficient evidence to support proceeding further in the matter.”

Could that be because there are no investigators left to investigate? The last Lieutenant Investigator, Travis Mott, took a demotion back to Sergent and Kelly Parker has “decided to make investigators file clerk, arranging fild folders for the Dental Review Panel, according to once source.

One reader wrote:

I am seething upon hearing this, as there was testimony in the autopsy report by forensic dentist Dr. Robert Williams that no dental disease was present upon autopsy of Daisy Lynn Torres. The child need not have been administered general anesthesia or subconscious sedation to the level to create death.  While the dentist may not have caused the death, the circumstances that precipitated the death surely involved the dentist's and clinic's actions to cause a surgical procedure to be done. If the TSBDE foing "no evidence," what about the misdiagnosis of dental disease in the name of bilking Medicaid?

The civil lawsuit will, no doubt, march ahead.  However, given the past evidence of this dentist's shaky affiliations and representations of skills, competency, fraudulence, and ill-will, the TSBDE just didn't look. Just as they glazed over my claim...they are toothless.

I agree.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Texas State Board of Dental Examiners: Decaying Rapidly Under Direction of Executive Director Kelly Parker

Debbie-color-sm (6) 12-31-2016By: Debbie Hagan

DTM has learned that in recent weeks the following people have submitted letters of resignation or already ended their employment with the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners(TSBDE):

  1. David Durkop, Lieutenant Investigator for Texas Dental Board;
  2. Greg Gilchrist, Lieutenant Investigator for Texas State Board of Dental Examiners;
  3. Donnie Head, Assistant Director of Investigations at Texas State Board of Dental Examiners Jones, Director of Investigations;
  4. Lisa Jones, Director of Investigations, and;
  5. Jeff Roach, Lieutenant Investigator for Texas Dental Board

Additionally, other than the Legal Division, every department head has walked out and quit without notice, including the Licensing Department head.

So what happened to the already troubled TSBDE?

Ms. Kelly Parker is what happened.

The TSBDE hired Ms. Parker as the new Executive Director in September 2015. Then they gave her Cate Blanche to run the board as she saw fit and things changed drastically.

Prior to Kelly Parker’s hiring the standing Orders from Director of Investigation Lisa Jones to the board investigators were to share anything they had with other law enforcement agencies.

Parker quickly changed that and demanded that she give her stamp of approval the sharing of any and all information with other agencies—law enforcement or otherwise.  If agencies called investigators requesting information, they were to be directed to the Legal Division, pronto.

Parker is not focused on public safety, not justice, not oversight nor fair resolution. Parker's focus is on "Days to Case Resolution”, nothing else.

“Days to Case Resolution” is how the Board is rated by the Legislature as well as internally by the Board for the Investigative Division. The speed of the case is much more important than the quality of the case. Criminal cases take more time and manpower than Administrative cases, resulting in few, if any, criminal cases being worked.

Additionally, despite it being a violation of Texas law, the Legal Division decided that the DSOs could own, operate or maintain a dental office as long as the DSO did not direct clinical care. We all know that never happens, right?

Gosh, wish I could just decide to change the speed limit law to suit me on any given day.

Throwing another turd in the proverbial punchbowl, was Parker’s insistence that a new database go “live” on September 1, 2016, the beginning of the fiscal year, ready or not.

It was not!

There are two databases: Versa(VR) and Paper Vision(PVE) that are supposed to “talk” to each other, so to speak, and work with the Health Care Professional Council, which consists of 5 agencies; the board of dentistry being one of them.

There are no Standard Operating Procedures in place and the databases being incompatible with each other which means all data has to be entered twice; once into VR and again into PVE.

PVE was so not ready investigators learned for months all the data entered and reports marked “approved” that was to send the matter on to the next “work step” it went to a virtual “dead letter box”.


Because the next “work step” had not even been created yet! That’s right, folks, it went nowhere and to no one!

Talk about waste of time, money and resources!

With the recent departure of supervisors, the Board has lost close to 40 years of dental investigative experience and over 100 years of law enforcement experience. This is not a common investigative skill set and can take several years to develop.