A disciplinary panel of the Texas Board of Respiratory Care temporarily suspended, without notice, the Texas respiratory care practitioner permit of Scott Walsh, RCP after determining his continuation in the practice of respiratory care poses a continuing threat to public welfare.  The suspension, which is effective immediately, was issued on July 19, 2018. The Board panel found that Mr. Walsh has been arrested five times since September 2017 for alcohol-related offenses. Mr. Walsh is impaired due to alcohol dependence, and has failed to comply with any Board requests for alcohol treatment, testing or monitoring.

The board may require a respiratory care practitioner to submit to a mental and/or physical examination by a physician or physicians designated by the advisory board if the advisory board has probable cause to believe that the respiratory care practitioner is impaired.  Impairment is present if one appears to be unable to practice with reasonable skill and safety to patients by reason of age, illness, drunkenness, excessive use of drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or any other type of material; or as a result of any mental or physical condition.  22 TAC §186.22.  Probable cause may include, but is not limited to, any one of the following:  (A) sworn statements from two people, willing to testify before the advisory board, the Medical Board, committees of those boards, or the State Office of Administrative Hearings that a certain practitioner/applicant is impaired; (B) a sworn statement from an official representative of the Texas Society for Respiratory Care stating that the representative is willing to testify before the advisory board that a certain practitioner/applicant is impaired; (C) evidence that a practitioner/applicant left a treatment program for alcohol or chemical dependency before completion of that program; (D) evidence that a practitioner/applicant is guilty of intemperate use of drugs or alcohol; (E) evidence of repeated arrests of a practitioner/applicant for intoxication; (F) evidence of recurring temporary commitments of a practitioner/applicant to a mental institution; (G) medical records indicating that a practitioner/applicant has an illness or condition which results in the inability to function properly in his or her practice; or (H) actions or statements by a practitioner/applicant at a hearing conducted by the advisory board or the Medical Board that gives the advisory board or the Medical Board reason to believe that the practitioner or applicant has an impairment.

A temporary suspension hearing with notice will be held as soon as practicable with 10 days’ notice to Mr. Walsh, unless the hearing is specifically waived by Mr. Walsh.