New York Post
State orders shrink to treat only men after violating ‘boundaries’
Women will no longer be allowed on this shrink’s couch.
By Melissa Klein
October 23, 2016
Dr. John Halkias, who practices in Queens, is forbidden from treating female patients, a unique punishment handed down by the state Office of Professional Medical Conduct.
The state charged the psychiatrist “violated professional boundaries . . . on more than one occasion” with a patient he treated in 2012 and early 2013, records show.
Halkias, 61, reached a consent agreement with the OPMC, the state Health Department branch that disciplines doctors, that included the gender ban. It takes effect Nov. 1.
Jordan Fensterman, a Lake Success lawyer who has defended doctors in about 1,000 cases before the OPMC over 10 years, said the state sometimes precludes physicians from performing certain tests or billing particular insurance systems.
“Specifically where they would be prevented from treating female patients, I’ve not seen that before,” Fensterman said.
This is not the first time Halkias has been in trouble.
While a resident in child and adolescent psychiatry at Westchester Medical Center in the 1990s, he was prevented from treating anyone for nearly three months after a patient complained of inappropriate conduct, state records show.
When Halkias applied for a job in 1995 at Children’s Village, a Westchester organization that treats troubled kids, he “falsely reported” that he had never had any hospital privileges reduced or terminated, according to state records.
The state in 2007 accused him of making a false report and fraudulent practice and later imposed on Halkias a $10,000 fine and 12 hours of ethics training.
Halkias currently has a private practice in Astoria and treats patients at the National Pediatrics Center in Corona.
He did not respond to a request for comment.
Halkias’ lawyer, Donald Henderson, said the doctor had treated patients with severe psychiatric illnesses and that a boundary violation did not necessarily mean physical contact.
“There has been and there is no finding of sexual or contact impropriety of which I’m aware,” Henderson said.
He said Halkias’ practice in recent years had focused mainly on addiction issues in adult men.