Former Duluth surgeon receives mild sanction in TexasA neurosurgeon who was disciplined by Minnesota’s medical board for “unprofessional and unethical conduct” while on the staff at St. Luke’s hospital in Duluth has been mildly sanctioned in Texas.
By: John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
A neurosurgeon who was disciplined by Minnesota’s medical board for “unprofessional and unethical conduct” while on the staff at St. Luke’s hospital in Duluth has been mildly sanctioned in Texas.
The disciplinary action against Dr. Stefan J. Konasiewicz isn’t the result of any new complaint, said Leigh Hopper, spokeswoman for the Texas Medical Board. Instead, the board launches its own investigation of any physician who practices in Texas after having previously been disciplined in another state.
Konasiewicz practiced at St. Luke’s from 1997 to 2008. In September 2010, the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice reprimanded him, citing four cases, including one in which a patient died from cardiopulmonary arrest
12 hours after undergoing lumbar spine surgery performed by Konasiewicz. An autopsy concluded that the patient’s death was caused by a surgically-
By the time of the Minnesota board’s reprimand, Konasiewicz had moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, where he was on the staff of the South Texas Brain and Spine Center from February 2009 to October 2011.
Hopper said Konasiewicz now lives in El Paso, but she wasn’t certain if he was practicing medicine. However, the Texas Medical Board found that he fulfilled the Minnesota board’s requirements by working under the supervision of another Texas physician, first in Corpus Christi and then in El Paso. The Minnesota board reinstated Konasiewicz’s license unconditionally last Nov. 10.
An online search showed an El Paso address for Konasiewicz but no listed telephone number, and his name didn’t turn up in a search of El Paso neurosurgeons. Konasiewicz was represented in front of the Texas board by lawyer Robert D. Simpson of Austin. Simpson had not returned a call for a comment to the News Tribune by late Thursday afternoon.
On Nov. 9, the Texas board evaluated two of the Minnesota cases along with an allegation that Konasiewicz falsified medical records, Hopper said. The board found both cases to be “isolated incidents,” she said, and found no evidence that Konasiewicz falsified records. Although he failed to note his Minnesota license restriction on a license renewal form, the board found that was an honest mistake that Konasiewicz corrected himself.
Nonetheless the Texas panel found Konasiewicz had failed to maintain adequate medical records and failed “to practice medicine in an acceptable professional manner.” It ordered Konasiewicz to attend 16 hours of continuing medical education, consisting of eight hours in medical recordkeeping and eight hours in risk management.
Konasiewicz signed his agreement to the sanctions on Jan. 30, and the entire board ratified the panel’s findings on Feb. 8.
The order was canceled on April 16 because the board's requirements had been fulfilled, Hopper said.
The disciplinary action was standard, Hopper said, and in line with the Minnesota ruling.
“The Minnesota board had its concerns … which he complied with, and our take was pretty much the same,” she said.