Secretary of State Announces Electrician License Suspension

DOVER – Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock has suspended the Delaware electrician license of Andrew S. Atkins for engaging in unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

In making this determination, Secretary Bullock considered a complaint filed by the Department of Justice, which outlined Mr. Atkins’ arrest and recent guilty plea to two felony offenses. The charges stemmed from an incident wherein Mr. Atkins had sexual contact with a female family member while she was sleeping.

Investigators with the Division of Professional Regulation were made aware of Mr. Atkins’ arrest and charges on May 3 and presented a report to the Department of Justice the same day.

The order suspending Mr. Atkins’ license was signed by the secretary on June 3 with the concurrence of the president of the Board of Electrical Examiners.

Delaware Code Title 24 enables a temporary suspension pending a hearing to be issued upon the written order of the Secretary of State, if the activity of the licensee presents a clear and immediate danger to public health, safety or welfare.

The suspension of Mr. Atkins will remain in effect for a period of 60 days, during which time disciplinary hearings will be held or the final disposition for this individual will take place. As the result of a hearing, the Board of Electrical Examiners has the authority to impose disciplinary sanctions up to and including revocation of a practitioner’s license.

The licensure status of Mr. Atkins has been updated on the Division of Professional Regulation’s online license verification service. Documentation related to this suspension also may be viewed at this site.


Secretary of State Announces Massage Therapy License Suspension

DOVER – Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock has suspended the Delaware massage therapy license of Christopher D. Dorman in light of allegations of sexual assault made by several female clients.

In making this determination, Secretary Bullock considered a complaint filed by the Department of Justice, which alleged that Mr. Dorman failed to properly cover female clients during massage sessions and touched their breasts and genitals on several occasions while employed at Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa in Wilmington and Massage Envy in Newark. The complaint further alleged that Mr. Dorman “displayed a pattern of escalating behavior towards female clients that puts them at risk” and referenced Mr. Dorman’s arrest by Wilmington Police on charges of unlawful sexual contact.

The order suspending Mr. Dorman’s license was signed by the secretary on Nov. 28 with the concurrence of the president of the Board of Massage and Bodywork.

Delaware Code Title 24 enables a temporary suspension pending a hearing to be issued upon the written order of the Secretary of State, if the activity of the licensee presents a clear and immediate danger to public health, safety or welfare.

The suspension of Mr. Dorman will remain in effect for a period of 60 days, during which time disciplinary hearings will be held or the final disposition for this individual will take place. As the result of a hearing, the Board of Massage and Bodywork has the authority to impose disciplinary sanctions up to and including revocation of a practitioner’s license.

The licensure status of Mr. Dorman has been updated on the Division of Professional Regulation’s online license verification service. Documentation related to this suspension also may be viewed at this site.


Secretary of State Announces Medical License and Controlled Substance Privileges Suspension

DOVER – Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock has suspended the Delaware medical license and controlled substance prescribing privileges of Ifeanyi Udezulu for repeatedly failing to adhere to state regulations for the safe prescribing of opioid medications.

In making this determination, Secretary Bullock considered a complaint filed by the Department of Justice, which alleged that Mr. Udezulu repeatedly prescribed opioid medications to patients without obtaining informed consent, discussing the risks associated with such medications, or conducting meaningful patient evaluations or examinations. The complaint further alleged that Mr. Udezulu ignored “red flags” that signaled misuse, abuse, or diversion of the medications he had prescribed.

The order suspending Mr. Udezulu’s medical license was signed by the secretary with the concurrence of the president of the Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline. The secretary had sole authority to suspend Mr. Udezulu’s Controlled Substance Registration.

Delaware Code Title 24 enables a temporary suspension pending a hearing to be issued upon the written order of the Secretary of State, if the activity of the licensee presents a clear and immediate danger to public health, safety or welfare.

The suspension of Mr. Udezulu will remain in effect for a period of 60 days, during which time disciplinary hearings will be held or the final disposition for this individual will take place. As the result of a hearing, the Board of Medical Licensure and has the authority to impose disciplinary sanctions up to and including revocation of a practitioner’s license. The secretary has the authority to impose disciplinary sanctions up to and including revocation of the Controlled Substance Registration.

The licensure status of Mr. Udezulu has been updated on the Division of Professional Regulation’s online license verification service. Documentation related to this suspension also may be viewed at this site.


Secretary of State Announces Chemical Dependency Counselor License Suspension

DOVER – Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock has suspended the Delaware chemical dependency counseling license of Sachin Karnik in light of recent criminal charges filed against him.

In making this determination, Secretary Bullock considered a complaint filed by the Department of Justice, which referenced Mr. Karnik’s recent arrest for felony health care fraud, felony theft, and falsifying business records. The complaint further alleges that Mr. Karnik misrepresented his credentials, falsified his licensing application and disregarded ethical standards.

A separate license held by Mr. Karnik to practice clinical social work was suspended on March 1 by the Board of Clinical Social Work Examiners, following a disciplinary hearing. The board concluded that Mr. Karnik had violated professional standards while caring for a vulnerable patient.

The order suspending Mr. Karnik’s chemical dependency counseling license was signed by the secretary June 5 with the concurrence of the president of the Board of Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Professionals.

Delaware Code Title 24 enables a temporary suspension pending a hearing to be issued upon the written order of the Secretary of State, if the activity of the licensee presents a clear and immediate danger to public health, safety or welfare.

The suspension of Mr. Karnik will remain in effect for a period of 60 days, during which time disciplinary hearings will be held or the final disposition for this individual will take place. As the result of a hearing, the Board of Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Professionals has the authority to impose disciplinary sanctions up to and including revocation of a practitioner’s license or certification.

The licensure status of Mr. Karnik has been updated on the Division of Professional Regulation’s online license verification service. Documentation related to this suspension, as well as documentation of previous disciplinary actions against Mr. Karnik, also may be viewed at this site.

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One year after new regulations issued, Delaware opioid prescriptions and quantities dispensed continue to drop

DOVER, Del. – The number of prescriptions for opioid medications in Delaware, as well as the total quantity of opioids dispensed, have dropped significantly in the 12 months since the Department of State enacted stricter prescribing regulations to help combat the opioid crisis statewide.

Statistics from the Division of Professional Regulation (DPR), which licenses controlled substance prescribers, show 14 percent fewer prescriptions for opioids were written by Delaware practitioners in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of 2017. The Division also reports an 18-percent decline in the total quantity of opioids dispensed to patients over the same period.

“The opioid epidemic continues to ravage families across our state and our nation, but numbers like these show that the public policies we have put in place are having a positive impact,” said Gov. John Carney. “Health care practitioners in Delaware are partners in the shared effort to overcome this crisis, and we are seeing the results of changes in prescribing practices that will, without question, save lives across our state.”

The regulations, which took effect April 1, 2017, were designed to help prescribers more closely monitor and control the use of opioids by their patients. Six months after the regulations were implemented, statistics showed a 12-percent drop in opioid prescriptions and an 8-percent drop in the number of Delawareans receiving prescriptions.

“Fewer prescriptions written and fewer pills dispensed mean fewer chances for Delawareans to become addicted to opioids, or for these dangerous drugs to be diverted for illegal use,” said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “The regulations we enacted last year to put limits on opioid prescriptions seem to be working. We hope that in the long term these trends will mean a reduction in opioid addiction and deaths.”

Key elements of the regulations were aimed at controlling the amount of opioids given to new patients and aggressively monitoring their treatment. Except in special circumstances, first-time opioid prescriptions may not exceed a one-week supply under these rules. If further opioid prescriptions are deemed necessary, further action is required, including a physical exam with discussion of relevant patient history and the risks of opioids, and a check of the statewide Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) database.

Data collected through the PMP is being used to track prescribing trends, document the impact of state efforts to address the opioid crisis, and identify practitioners whose prescribing histories send up red flags so that further outreach may be conducted.

“This is very good news. We hoped when we saw the first drop in opioid prescriptions after the new, more stringent regulations went into effect that those numbers would hold. This new report shows that they have not only held but improved,” said Attorney General Matt Denn. “This is further evidence that the Delaware regulations strike a good balance between making opioid drugs available to those who need them, and ensuring that they are prescribed in a responsible way and with appropriate monitoring and follow-up. Secretary Bullock deserves a lot of credit for investing the time to implement these new regulations, which will save lives.”

The regulatory reforms complement efforts organized across state government and in cooperation with Delaware’s community of public health organizations and anti-addiction advocates.

“There is no silver bullet for solving the addiction epidemic, but these new regulations give us one more tool to fight with,” said Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long. “Smarter prescribing practices undoubtedly save lives. As chair of Delaware’s Behavioral Health Consortium, I can promise we will continue to seek out approaches and use every tool we can to fight this epidemic and create stronger, healthier communities.”

The Behavioral Health Consortium, created last year by the General Assembly, is working to develop an action plan to prevent and treat substance use disorder, expand and improve mental health treatment and recovery and provide support for family members of loved ones who are battling addiction or coping with mental health issues.

The state’s Addiction Action Committee, also created by the General Assembly last year, is actively considering two other initiatives related to the prescription of opioid drugs: possible legislation requiring health insurance coverage of alternatives to opioids for pain management, and possible state responses to the co-prescription of opioids and benzodiazapenes.

“The regulations are an important component of the state’s overall plan to address the prescription opioid epidemic, and we are pleased to see the regulations are having the intended effect of reducing the number of prescriptions written,” said Division of Public Health (DPH) Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “DPH and the Safe Prescribing Subcommittee of the Addiction Action Committee continue to partner with DPR to increase awareness among prescribers regarding the regulations, safe prescribing practices and alternatives to pain management.”

The Department of Health and Social Services also has boosted resources to help individuals struggling with addiction. Educational materials about identifying and fighting addiction can be found at HelpIsHereDE.com. Individuals who are suffering from addiction can also call DHSS’ 24/7 Crisis Hotline to be connected to treatment options. In New Castle County, call 800-652-2929; in Kent and Sussex counties, call 800-345-6785.