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July 29. 2014 9:57PM

NH medical board suspends Manchester doctor's license

MANCHESTER — A local doctor’s license has been suspended indefinitely by the New Hampshire Board of Medicine after an investigation revealed she engaged in professional misconduct by knowingly lying on her license renewal application.

The ruling was made by the board on July 15 after a July 2 hearing determined Dr. Gail S. Ford, D.O., had lied on several questions of the renewal application she submitted on June 13, 2013.

According to court documents, Ford, who is an emergency and general medicine doctor with offices on Smyth Road and works at the VA Medical Center in Manchester, lied about her previous experience as a doctor in Idaho, where she voluntarily surrendered her medical license after an investigation by that state’s Board of Medicine.

Lost Rivers Medical Center in Idaho alleged in 2012 that Ford “failed to contact administration to let them know that she would be unavailable, thus leaving the facility without coverage in the emergency room.”

Ford was subsequently fired by Lost Rivers.

She said the reason she left the ER that day was to get “emergency care for health issues brought on by difficult work circumstances.”

Ford had letters, records and documentation to support her position.

Subsequently, Ford entered into a stipulation with the Idaho Board not to practice medicine and surgery in that state and eventually surrendered her license.

The questions she falsely answered on the New Hampshire renewal pertained to circumstances surrounding the Idaho incident.

There were six questions cited in court documents in which the New Hampshire medical board said Ford, who first got her license to practice in New Hampshire in 1989, “knowingly provided false information for.”

Ford answered “no” to the question if she entered into any agreement with a licensing body for any reason, despite her stipulation with the Idaho board.

She answered “yes” to the question asking if she had surrendered her license to practice medicine in any state other than New Hampshire but failed to provide a complete written explanation of the circumstances.

She answered “no” when asked if she had any emotional disturbance or mental or physical illness that has impaired her ability to practice medicine. But in a letter she wrote to the state board she noted she voluntarily surrendered her Idaho license “due to physical concerns.”

She answered “no” when asked if she had been reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank. The Idaho board had reported her voluntary surrender.

She answered “no” to the question asking if she had been the subject of an investigation regarding the practice of medicine, an answer she later acknowledged should have been yes.

And she answered “no” when asked if she had any hospital privileges suspended, limited or denied other than for medical records violations even though she had been terminated by Lost Rivers.

The reason Ford gave for answering no to some of the questions was: “I felt like a criminal so I checked the wrong box.”

Ford had tried to get a continuance for the hearing in New Hampshire, but it was denied. She didn’t attend the July 2 hearing and the ruling to suspend her license was made without her being present.

She can request a show-cause hearing to lift the suspension 90 days from the order dated July 15.

mquirk@unionleader.com


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