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State suspends licenses of 2 Whatcom medical professionals for sexual relationships

McClatchy

Two Whatcom County medical professionals reached agreement with the Washington State Department of Health in April and had their medical licenses suspended after reportedly having sexual relationships with patients or clients.

The Agency-Affiliated Counselor Program entered an agreement with counselor Thomas E. Brown to suspend his credential for five years. Brown allegedly had a romantic and sexual relationship with a client while employed at Lake Whatcom Residential and Treatment Center, according to a press release from the Washington State Department of Health.

Brown worked at the treatment center, which provides services to adults with severe and persistent mental illness, in 2016 and 2017 and developed the relationship in that time while counseling the client, according to a statement of charges filed in November. His license to practice expired in October.

Chiropractor and naturopathic physician Matthew R. Tellez also reached an agreement with the secretary of health to suspend his credentials for at least six months after he allegedly had a sexual relationship with a patient, according to the Washington State Department of Health. Tellez also must successfully complete a boundaries and ethics course, and his credential will be placed on probation for at least two years after it is reinstated.

Tellez treated the patient 62 times between June 2006 and May 2015, but the sexual relationship began around May 2015, according to the Department of Health's statement of charges. His licenses expired Sept. 18.

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