The readers’ forum

Committed to helping impaired practitioners

 

Steve Miller’s Oct. 20 story, Fla. takes a year to resolve MD license issues, was misleading. I want to address the issues regarding references to the Professionals Resource Network, Inc. (PRN):

•  PRN is not an affiliate of Florida Medical Association (FMA). It is a separate nonprofit, 501(c)3 Florida corporation. We enjoy a positive relationship with FMA and contract with it for financial, human-resources and payroll services.

•  PRN contracts with the Department of Health as well as the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) to provide consultant services to the DOH and DBPR in the intervention, evaluation, referral and case management of licensed practitioners who may be suffering from mental or physical disability or drug or alcohol abuse. Such professionals report to 29 separate licensure boards and councils of the state of Florida and include veterinarians, dentists, pharmacists, massage therapists and medical doctors. PRN’s consultant services seek to ensure that a variety of impairment and behavioral issues are recognized and appropriately treated. Other professionals, such as nurses and lawyers, have similar impaired practitioner programs in place administered by consultants other than PRN.

•  The financial figures reported by Miller are inaccurate. For example, the figure cited for the most recent contract with PRN reflects a three-year total and not a yearly amount.

•  PRN does not have the authority to take disciplinary action against anyone’s professional license. This authority is reserved for the involved boards/ councils.

•  Contrary to Miller’s assertion, I did provide information to him about PRN at his request and was never asked for an additional interview.

PRN was formed more than 30 years ago to help professionals suffering from impairing conditions to safely continue their work while remaining under close observation and supervision. In those instances where our primary priority, the safety of our citizens, cannot be ensured, individuals are promptly referred to their respective licensing boards or councils for appropriate disciplinary action.

Penelope P. Ziegler, M.D., medical director, PRN,

Fernandina Beach

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