For Immediate Release - June 15, 2004

State Board Acts on 3 Psychologists' Licenses

The Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure today announced recent actions taken by the state's Board of Registration of Psychologists ("Board") against three licensees.

Dr. Walter A. Mitchell of Springfield agreed to voluntarily surrender his license after admitting and acknowledging that in the course of therapy he had sexual relations with a patient. The Board found that his actions constitute sexual misconduct with a patient and gross misconduct in the practice of his profession. "This behavior is completely unacceptable and I am pleased the Board took prompt remedial action," said Anne L. Collins, Director of the Division of Professional Licensure. Dr. Mitchell surrendered his license within 14 days of the Board's February 6, 2004 finding.

The Board also revoked the license of Dr. Robert C. Alexander of Hyannis. The Board found that Dr. Alexander engaged in a sexual relationship with a former patient and failed to maintain appropriate professional boundaries. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the revocation on April 2, 2004 and Dr. Alexander's license was revoked on April 14, 2004.

The Board also revoked the license of Ronald Katz of New York City. Dr. Katz was convicted in criminal court in New York City in May of 2001 for larceny stemming from the submission for reimbursement of fraudulent Medicaid claims. Dr. Katz was also found to have been practicing for 5 years without a license in New York. Dr. Katz's actions violated the Massachusetts Board's statutes and regulations and were subject to disciplinary action. The Board voted unanimously in its decision and order, which called for the revocation of Dr. Katz's license effective April 14, 2004 .

Consumers are encouraged to exercise their rights and continually visit the Division's website at www.mass.gov/reg and select the "check a license" option to determine whether a professional is licensed and in good standing before doing business with him/her.

The Division of Professional Licensure is an agency within the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. It is responsible for ensuring the integrity of the licensure process for 43 trades and professions regulated by 29 boards of registration, the continual updating of licenses for approximately 330,000 licensees, and the maintenance of the multiple databases related to licensing, enforcement, and revenue collection. In fiscal year 2003, the Division of Professional Licensure imposed record levels of professional discipline including 949 disciplinary actions and over $27,000 in fines and over $50,000 in refunds for consumers.

 
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