Pediatrician fined in flu vaccine fiasco
The Connecticut Department of Public Health has fined a local pediatrician $10,000 after he improperly transferred flu vaccines from the Greenwich Hospital Pediatric Clinic to his private practice in Darien last year.
The Connecticut Medical Examining Board has placed the license of John M. Dubaz, of Darien Pediatric Associates LLC, on probation until he completes a course in ethics, according to a consent order released last month.
He must also complete 40 hours of pro bono medical service within the next six months. Both the ethics course and the service must be approved by the state Department of Public Health, according to the order.
In October 2010, Dubaz made arrangements to receive 20 Fluzone vaccines from the pediatric clinic because his office had run out, according to the order released by the state medical board. He did not obtain authorization for the transfer and did not provide appropriate documentation to the department until about the middle of December 2010, the order states.
Dubaz acknowledged his mistake in a phone interview Monday.
"The orderly distribution of vaccines is an important state goal to protect our children," Dubaz said. "When one medical entity borrows or lends vaccines to another entity, no matter how small the amount, there is a state form that needs to be filled out. In this case, that form was not completed for 30 vaccines transferred from a local clinic to cover a temporary shortage, out of 1,400 influenza vaccines routinely administered by my office last year."
Dubaz does not plan to contest the matter and has waived his right to a hearing, according to the order.
If, during the course of his probation, Dubaz practices as a physician or surgeon outside the state, he must provide written notice to the department.
Any violation of the consent order could cause Dubaz's license to be further suspended.
Dubaz joined Darien Pediatric Associates in 1989, according to the office's website. He is on the medical staff at both Greenwich and Stamford hospitals and holds a teaching appointment as clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at New York Medical College in Valhalla, N.Y. He is also a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, board certified in pediatrics, a member of the Connecticut chapter of the AAP Committee on School Health, and has served as a school physician for Stamford Public Schools.
"I am sorry for any difficulty caused and have taken steps so that it can never happen again," he said.
Staff Writer David Hennessey can be reached at email@example.com or 203-625-4428.