|By Dennis Brown
week suspended the license of a Garrison physician on an emergency order of suspension.
The doctor could lose his license to practice medicine in Kentucky.
Officials with the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure said Dr. Fortune James Williams
can appeal the suspension and is scheduled for a hearing with the board in April 2002.
The suspension comes about a month after officials seized records of 35 patients at
First Care Family Practice, a pain management clinic, at Garrison. The suspension was
ordered after the board determined that Williams represented "an immediate
threat" to the citizens of Kentucky, a board spokesman said.
In presenting the order to Williams last Tuesday afternoon, officials told Williams
that the decision to suspend his license was made by a board of his peers and added that
he could not treat any patients until the matter is adjudicated.
Officials allege that over an eight month period, Williams had prescribed nearly three
million units of controlled substances and saw up to 99 patients a day. Officials added
that Williams allegedly gave false information on his medical license application in
A board spokesman said the board determined Williams had been arrested in California in
1987 on a charge of possessing a narcotic controlled substance. The spokesman said
Williams answered "no" to a question about any previous felony or misdemeanor
charges or convictions on his application for a Kentucky medical license in 1996.
Authorities say that over a 101-day period that the clinic was open, 46,160
prescriptions for controlled substances were issued, involving 4,121 patients. Those
prescriptions were filled by Kentucky pharmacies. A spokesman with the Kentucky Board of
Medical Licensure said an additional 25,000 prescriptions were filled by pharmacies in the
Portsmouth, Ohio, area during the same time frame.
Dennis Brown/Lewis County Herald
The parking lot at First Care
Family Practice at Garrison was vacant, except for staff and officials' cars, minutes
after the license for the doctor at the clinic was suspended.
A board spokesman said many of the clinic's patients were in their 20s and 30s and
traveled long distances to visit the clinic.
Sheriff Bill Lewis said license tags on cars at the clinic were generally from Scioto
County, Ohio. Others were from West Virginia and eastern counties in Kentucky.
Williams had responded to the board after they seized patient records in September.
In the letter, Williams wrote that his overall goals are to provide the best possible
care for his patients while staying within the law, the Guidelines of the Federation of
Medical Boards, Kentucky Medical Board and DEA.
Williams also responded to the complaint of the high volume stating that he didn't
realize there was a limit to how many patients the Kentucky Board would allow him to see.
Williams also explained in the response about his policy on creating and maintaining
doctor-patient relationships, which include face to face interviews with patients.
Williams also wrote that he practices medicine and his pain management within the
ethics, morals and spirit of the Kentucky Board of Medicine and The Federation of Medical