Claremore Daily Progress

Top Stories

May 15, 2013

Health board takes no action on Tulsa dentist

OKLAHOMA CITY —

Members of the Oklahoma Board of Health met in secret Tuesday to discuss an oral surgeon whose dirty clinics caused a health scare but took no action against his license and said there was no sense of panic among those examining his offices at Tulsa and Owasso.

“We believe that the investigation is going smoothly,” said Dr. Terry Cline, the state’s commissioner of health. He said the effort to reach 7,000 patients treated by Dr. W. Scott Harrington over the past six years is “phasing down” despite there being no contact with nearly half of those potentially exposed to hepatitis or the virus that causes AIDS.

“We’ve been very aggressive in trying to locate those individuals,” Cline said.

The head of the state’s Dentistry Board, who did not attend the meeting, said the remaining concern is that any of Harrington’s patients could unwittingly pass along a disease.

“We’re missing about 3,000, minimum,” said Susan Rogers, whose agency is responsible for different aspects of the investigation. “These patients can unknowingly spread disease that has a possibility of hurting others.

“I think a lot of people, they’re just scared,” she said.

Health Department officials said a number of patients had changed addresses multiple times since seeing Harrington for oral surgery, making them difficult to locate.

State and Tulsa health inspectors shuttered Harrington’s clinics in March, saying they found myriad unsanitary conditions — inconsistent cleaning procedures for equipment, needles re-inserted into drug vials after their initial use, drug vials used on multiple patients and no written infection-protection procedure. Unlicensed dental assistants were also allegedly performing IV sedation.

Board members met privately for about 45 minutes to discuss Harrington’s case and an unrelated personnel matter.

Toni Frioux, a deputy commissioner of health for prevention and preparedness services whose department is involved in the investigation of Harrington, was with the board during part of its private meeting. Neither Harrington nor his Tulsa-based attorney, Jim Secrest, attended. Secrest did not return a message seeking comment Tuesday but has said his client is cooperating with the investigation.

Text Only
Top Stories
  • bridge work continues Portion of 4180 Road remains closed for completion of bridge work
    A portion of 4180 Road will remain closed through at least Thursday as workers complete a bridge widening project on the south end of Claremore Lake.
     

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rogers County Audit:
    A recent report issued by Oklahoma State Auditor Gary Jones documented Rogers County Clerk Robin Anderson solicited donations from several Rogers County vendors.
     

    April 20, 2014

  • Students paint mural Catoosa High School artists paint mural to instill respect, inspiration

    Catoosa High School students, Devin Jackson and Spencer Plumlee, recently put the finishing touches on a mural that took more than a year to complete. 

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local attorneys fight to eliminate judgment

    Claremore attorneys — Thomas H. Williams and Jack E. Gordon Jr. —   filed a petition Tuesday to vacate the $27.9 million judgment awarded to Material Service Corp. 

    April 18, 2014

  • Rogers County Water Dist. 16 receives grant

    Rogers County Rural Water District No. 16 received a $24,999 grant Tuesday to help finance expansion of the district’s water supply infrastructure.  

    April 18, 2014

  • Grand Jury recesses until June 24

    The multicounty grand jury charged with investigating accusations of misconduct by Rogers County officials recessed Thursday until June 24-26, saying it needed to hear from more witnesses before returning a finding in the matter.

    April 17, 2014

  • Harps Food opens new store in Inola

    On April 23, Harps Food Stores will reach a new milestone in their company’s history with the opening of its 75th store. 

    April 17, 2014

  • helping children Tri-County CASA seeks additional volunteers as child abuse cases increase

    From 2010-2013, Oklahoma has seen an increase in children entering foster care. According to Oklahoma Department of Human Services reports, approximately 11,000 children are in state’s custody because of child abuse or neglect — 4,000 in the Tulsa area alone and more than 100 in Rogers County.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Judge refuses to dismiss Grubowski in DA suit

    A judge has denied businessman Myron Grubowski's motion to remove him from the defamation lawsuit filed by District Attorney Janice Steidley against sponsors of last fall's unsuccessful citizens petition for a local grand jury investigation of her  office.

    April 17, 2014

  • Controversial schools chief attracts crowd of opponents

    The field of candidates running for state school superintendent is unusually large — a sign of broad interest in what observers say is sure to be a referendum on the incumbent, Dr. Janet Barresi.

    April 17, 2014