I was quite shocked to learn that the State of Washington, and the medical professions, have been forced to allow convicted sex offenders to practice in the health professions. I was further alarmed to discover that there is at least one such offender practicing right here in Pacific County!

Fortunately, the Washington State Health Department maintains a Web site which one can give their healthcare provider a "check-up." It can be found at www.DOH.WA.GOV then click on "Provider Credential Search." The Washington State Patrol also maintains a Web site called W.A.T.C.H., Washington Access To Criminal History. On www.wsp.wa.covlcrime/crimhist.htm one can order a criminal history by clicking on "WATCH."

The information is not instantly available, nor is it free of charge. However, the consequences are potentially so grave, that one should be persistent enough to take the steps necessary. All that you need is the practitioner's name and health professions license number and/or date of birth. If a health care office won't provide you with this information, they are hiding something. I strongly urge you to please protect yourself and your community. The state of Washington, and the medical professions, have been blocked from doing so.

Craig Maxwell, DDS

Long Beach

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