In Re: Kernan T. Manion, M.D., Respondent.
NOTICE OF CHARGES AND ALLEGATIONS; NOTICE OF HEARING
The North Carolina Medical Board (“Board”) has preferred and does hereby prefer the following charges and allegations:
1. The Board is a body duly organized under the laws of
North Carolina and Chapter 90 of the North Carolina General Statutes.
2. Kernan Manion, M.D., (“Dr. Manion”) is a physician first licensed by the Board on April 17, 2002, license number 200200407.
3. At the times relevant herein, Dr. Manion practiced medicine in Wilmington, North Carolina.
4. In December 2010, a Wilmington Police Department officer reported concerns about Dr. Manion to the Board.
5. The police officer was subsequently interviewed by a Board investigator and indicated that in November of 2010 Dr. Manion spoke to the Wilmington Police Department Chief of Police and expressed concerns that he was being followed and that a tracking or listening device had been placed on his car. The Chief of Police instructed the police officer to contact Dr.
Manion and attempt to determine if Dr. Manion was in any danger and if anyone had planted a listening device in Dr. Manion’s vehicle or residence.
6. The Wilmington police officer contacted Dr. Manion and scheduled an interview for November 26, 2010. Prior to the interview Dr. Manion sent the police officer several newspaper articles and two audio recordings. One recording was a synopsis by Dr. Manion of his employment at the Naval Hospital, Camp Lejeune. The second recording was a phone call between Dr.
Manion and employees of Spectrum Healthcare Resources-Nitelines Kuhana, JVC, LLC, a medical staffing agency that hires medical personnel to provide medical services to military personnel.
7. The police officer stated Dr. Manion indicated he had been living in the Wilmington area for approximately 8 years and had lived in multiple residences. According to Dr. Manion, he frequently moved because of microscopic bug infestations or strange fumes and odors that caused neurologic problems.
8. The police officer stated that during his interview, Dr. Manion related what he considered to be several strange occurrences. Among the incidents Dr. Manion reported to the police officer as suspicious included:
a. While he was living in Kure Beach, two males left their vehicle and walked to an area described by Dr. Manion as a boardwalk. The two men constantly checked their cell phones, but did not talk to one another.
b. On one occasion approximately 20 young men stood in the surf, equal distance apart, staring ahead.
c. Dr. Manion reported seeing people on the beach at night with red, green or white lights mounted on their heads.
d. Dr. Manion reported seeing helicopters doing sweeps of the beach.
e. In August 2010, while living in an apartment in Birch Creek Dr. Manion was awakened by the sound of a pneumatic drill. During this same time, Dr. Manion reported seeing a helicopter hovering over the apartment complex parking lot and a red van in the parking area that Dr. Manion believed was keeping him under surveillance. Dr. Manion moved from the apartment complex when he noticed fumes in the apartment. In an effort to conceal his movements, Dr. Manion rented a van and moved only at night.
9. The police officer told the Board’s investigator that he had contacted several agencies mentioned by Dr. Manion during his interview, including the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Department (“NHCSD”), Kure Beach Police Department, Wrightsville Beach Police Department, and United States Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”). All of the agencies reported that Dr. Manion had previously reported suspicious or unusual activity and all agencies determined that Dr. Manion’s suspicions were unsubstantiated. For example, Dr. Manion had contacted the DEA and alleged that the Chief of the Kure Beach Police Department was engaged in a large-scale narcotics smuggling operation involving boats and helicopters.
10. The police officer provided a copy of his investigative report regarding Dr. Manion to the Board’s investigator.
11. During an April 2012 conversation with a Board investigator, Dr. Manion’s attorney indicated that, as part of his case preparation in on-going litigation with the United States Navy, Dr. Manion was scheduled to receive a psychological evaluation by Edwin N. Carter, Ph.D., a psychologist located in Springfield, Virginia and that a copy of the evaluation would be provided to the Board. In August 2011, the Board received a copy of the psychological evaluation performed by Dr. Carter on June 20, 2011.
12. At its September 2011 meeting, the Board considered the investigation of the Board investigator, which included the reports from the Wilmington Police Department police officer and Dr. Carter. The Board was concerned about the bizarre behavior reported by the Wilmington police officer and Dr. Carter’s qualified support for Dr. Manion. After considering all
available information, on October 12, 2011, the Board ordered Dr. Manion, pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 90-14(a)(5), to submit to an assessment by the North Carolina Physicians Health Program (“NCPHP”) not later than thirty (30) days after receipt of the Board’s Order.
13. NCPHP is a not-for-profit corporation established in 1988. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 90-14(b) requires the Board to refer to NCPHP “all licensees whose health and effectiveness have been significantly impaired by alcohol, drug addiction or mental illness.”
14. After numerous emails, conversations and a face-to-face meeting with Dr. Manion’s new attorney and Board counsel, Dr. Manion eventually submitted to an assessment at NCPHP on December 5, 2012. Following the assessment, NCPHP’s Medical Director, Dr. Warren Pendergast, recommended a comprehensive assessment to include medical and neurological workup, assessment of his medication regime, and additional psychiatric assessment and psychological testing. In a letter to Dr. Manion on December 13, 2012, NCPHP recommended Dr. Manion complete a comprehensive assessment at either Acumen Assessments, Inc. (“Acumen”) or the Professional Renewal Center® (“PRC”). NCPHP also recommended that Dr. Manion discontinue treating patients pending completion of an assessment at either PRC or Acumen.
15. Acumen and PRC are nationally recognized facilities, located in Lawrence, Kansas that conduct comprehensive multidisciplinary assessments, including psychological assessments, for medical boards and health care entities. According to Acumen’s website, they have assessed more than 2000 healthcare professionals. According to the PRC website their comprehensive assessment includes a psychiatric evaluation, comprehensive psychological testing, the nature of which is tailored to the diagnostic questions, individual clinical interviews and situational analysis focused on the presenting problems as these relate to administrative, regulatory, and
licensure issues, characteristics of the professional/organizational work setting, and personal psychological history, review of collateral information provided by the patient, referring parties, and other appropriate
sources, a thorough medical evaluation, careful analysis of social, family, and religious/spiritual history, an addiction and sexuality assessment, and behavioral observation within their physician-peer assessment/treatment milieu.
16. Dr. Manion did not schedule or complete a comprehensive assessment as recommended by NCPHP and, on January 19, 2012 during its regularly scheduled meeting, the Board considered NCPHP’s report and voted to order Dr. Manion to undergo a comprehensive assessment at Acumen pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 90-(14)(a)(5).
17. The Order for an assessment at Acumen was served on Dr. Manion on February 27, 2012. In addition to the Order, the Board also sent a cover letter describing the basis for the Board’s Order. Attached to the cover letter were the police officer’s report, Dr. Carter’s report of his psychological evaluation, and Dr. Pendergast’s report of his assessment.
18. To date, Dr. Manion has not obtained an assessment at Acumen as ordered by the Board.
Failure to Respond Reasonably to a Board Inquiry
19. Paragraphs one through eighteen are re-alleged and incorporated herein by reference.
20. The above-described conduct by Dr. Manion in failing to undergo an assessment at Acumen as required in the Board Order issued on February 27, 2012 constitutes a failure to respond, within a reasonable period of time and a in a reasonable manner as determined by the Board, to inquiries from the Board concerning any matter affecting the license to practice medicine within the meaning of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 90-14(a)(14), and grounds exist under that section of the General Statutes for the Board to annul, suspend, revoke, condition or limit Dr. Manion’s license issued to him by the Board or to deny any application he might make in the future for a license to practice medicine and surgery.
21. Paragraphs one through twenty are re-alleged and incorporated herein by reference.
22. The above-described conduct by Dr. Manion in failing to undergo an assessment at Acumen as required in the Board Order issued on February 27, 2012 constitutes unprofessional conduct, including, but not limited to, departure from, or the failure to conform to the ethics of the medical profession and is the commission of an act contrary to honesty, justice or good morals within the meaning of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 90-14(a)(6), which is grounds under that section of the North Carolina General Statutes for the Board to annul, suspend, revoke, condition, or limit Dr. Manion’s license to practice medicine and surgery issued by the Board.
NOTICE TO DR. MANION
Pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 90-14.2, it is hereby ordered that a hearing on the foregoing Notice of Charges and Allegations will be held before the Board, or a panel thereof, on February 21, 2013 at 8:00 a.m. or as soon thereafter, at the offices of the Board at 1203 Front Street, Raleigh, North pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 150B-40, 41, and 42, and N.C. Gen. Stat. § 90-14.2, 14.3, 14.5, 14.6 and 14.7 as well as 21 NCAC 32N .0110 and 21 NCAC 32N .0111. You may appear personally and through counsel, may cross-examine witnesses and present evidence in your own behalf. Unless otherwise permitted by the presiding officer, all exhibits shall be provided to the Board electronically.
All preliminary motions, including motions for continuances, shall be filed no later than 14 days prior to the date of the hearing. Pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 150B-40(c)(5) and 21 NCAC 32N .0110(c), it is further ordered that the parties shall arrange a prehearing conference at which they shall prepare and
sign a stipulation on prehearing conference. The proposed prehearing stipulation shall be submitted to the undersigned no later than ten (10) days prior to the hearing date. The prehearing conference shall occur no later than seven (7) days prior to the hearing date. You may, if you desire, file written answers to the charges and complaints preferred against you within thirty (30) days after the service of this notice. The right to be present during the hearing of this case, including any such right conferred or implied by N.C. Gen. Stat. § 150B-40(d) or N.C. Gen. Stat. § 90-14.2(b), shall be deemed waived by a party or his counsel by voluntary absence from the Board’s office at a time when it is known that proceedings, including deliberations, are being conducted, or are about to be conducted. In such event, the proceedings, including additional proceedings after the Board has retired to deliberate, may go forward without waiting for the arrival or return of counsel or a party.
This the 10th day of October, 2012.
NORTH CAROLINA MEDICAL BOARD
Ralph C. Loomis, M.D. President
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
The undersigned attorney for the Medical Board hereby certifies that on this date he served the foregoing Notice of Charges and Allegations to the attorney for Respondent Kernan T. Manion, M.D., by depositing a copy thereof in the United States mail, postage prepaid, and addressed as follows:
Kyle Nutt, Esq.
Shipman & Wright, L.L.P.
575 Military Cutoff Rd. Suite 106
Wilmington, NC 28405
This the 10TH day of October, 2012.
Brian L. Blankenship
North Carolina Medical Board
1203 Front Street
Raleigh, NC 27609
(919)326-1109 ext. 239