ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The University of Michigan fired a doctor after he was accused of having sex with a young patient.
Mark Franklin Hoeltzel was fired after the licensing board of the state of Michigan suspended his license to practice last month. The Michigan State Police confirmed the opening of a criminal investigation.
Hoeltzel worked as a pediatric rheumatologist at the University of Michigan Hospital. Now he is being investigated by the university police.
Hoeltzel saw his last patient on December 4. UM M officers said that at the time they heard about the suspension of the license, they fired him.
There are four areas where doctors can get into trouble: not exercising due care, showing incompetence, lacking moral character and unprofessional conduct. The state said that Hoeltzel committed all four.
Hoeltzel got into trouble for the first time in 2004 after exchanging flirtatious social media messages with an 11-year-old girl he had examined at an M. U arthritis camp.
The hospital sent Hoeltzel what they called a "border course" as a result.
He ended up back on the hospital radar after the State Licensing Board notified officials of a complaint against him last December.
The complaint details Hoeltzel's treatment of patient "A.W.", using initials to protect his identity. The treatment lasted from December 2015 until last November.
Hoeltzel and the patient met for the first time while she was under the care of another doctor and he He transferred it to his own. They started exchanging text messages and emails.
During this time, the state states that Hoeltzel prescribed oxycontin and morphine to the young woman.
"In 2016, they began having a physical and sexual relationship, some of which took place in the doctor's clinic during AW appointments," the complaint says.
The lawsuit alleges that Hoeltzel "often brought alcohol, which she shared with A.W. during her visits, even though she was not 21 years old and was taking a number of medications."
The state alleges that Hoeltzel "warned A.W. that it was okay for her to drink while taking any of her medications … even though she told her not to take one of her alcohol medications."
Local 4 visited Hoeltzel's home in Ann Arbor on Thursday, but was not at home.
Hoeltzel had 30 days to send a letter to the state contesting the charges, but he did not. A hearing for Hoeltzel is scheduled for March.
As of now, his suspension is temporary until the state board decides how to proceed.
The University of Michigan issued the following statement:
" Dr. Mark Hoeltzel is no longer an employee of Michigan Medicine, these are serious claims, and we are taking action To protect our patients, your well-being is our highest priority.We know that this is disturbing news for our patients, and we have contacted them to offer them resources.The most important thing to know is when Michigan Medicine was notified of a accusation of sexual misconduct by the state of Michigan, we immediately removed the doctor from the patient care tasks, and he was not allowed to return to work, we immediately informed the police of the accusation, we are fully cooperating with the police investigation is being carried out . "
Here is a letter that was sent to Hoeltzel's patients:
" Dear Parent / Guardian:
" We recently notified you that your child's care was reassigned to a new Michigan Medicine provider in Pediatric Rheumatology with training and experience comparable to your previous Michigan Medicine provider, Dr. Mark Hoeltzel.
"We now write with an update: the state of Michigan suspended Dr. Hoeltzel's license to practice medicine after an accusation he received of sexual misconduct. we learned of the indictment, removed Dr. Hoeltzel from all patient care duties, and notified the University of Michigan Police Department, which initiated an ongoing investigation, Dr. Hoeltzel no longer works at the University of Michigan and does not have access to patient records.
"Your child is our top priority. We understand that this information will be disturbing and cause for concern.
"We have staff available to answer your questions Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The number is 855-336- 5900. In addition, the State of Michigan provides a mechanism to report complaints against authorized professional persons at 517-373-9196 or through the following link: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/lara/lara_ED_200PKT_AllegationPkt_477156_7.pdf
"We appreciate your understanding in the transition of your child's care and we remain committed to supporting you, our faculty and staff in this difficult time ."
Here there is a statement by Marschall S. Runge, MD, Ph.D., executive vice president of medical affairs at the University of Michigan and CEO of Michigan Medicine:
" In early December, Michigan Medicine was notified that the state licensing board was investigating Dr. Mark Hoeltzel for sexual misconduct. We took immediate measures to protect our patients and removed them from the patient care work the day we were alerted and we did not allow him to return to work. He is no longer an employee of Michigan Medicine.
"We also reported it immediately to the police and cooperated fully with the investigation that is taking place, and we continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement. We have also hired an experienced professional reviewer to investigate this matter.
"These are very disturbing and serious allegations, and we have contacted our patients to inform them of the situation , offer resources and provide a way to report any concerns.
"The president and the main leaders of the university know and support the steps we are taking to address this issue, and we must continue to do everything possible to protect patients who they trust Michigan Medicine with their care, and we also urge everyone to report any case of possible misconduct that occurs . "
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