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Physician Licensing Boards Face Executive Director Leadership Changes at Year End

Mon, 12/19/2022 - 16:28
Posted in:
medical board

The Executive Director of the Medical Board of California William Prasifka announced his resignation last week stating that his last day will be December 30, 2022. This announcement came following his performance review which was held during the December 2nd Quarterly Board meeting in Los Angeles. The resignation announcement took place just 7 business days following his performance review.  Prasifka is leaving before a national search is implemented and before his replacement is found.  With Sunset Review Oversight hearings just months away, there is a chance that the medical board will face sunset review hearings without an Executive Director.

He was appointed as the Executive Director in March 2020. Throughout Prasifka’s leadership, the medical board has faced increased scrutiny from the legislature, media, and the public over how their failed enforcement program has left Californians with no accountability for their family’s death or long-term harm and no voice in the process. Over 11,000 Californians file consumer complaints annually with the medical board with an outcome of less than 0.5 percent of egregious death complaints leading to a revocation of a physician’s license. 

In addition to calls to address a failed enforcement process, the medical board has faced insolvency under the leadership of Prasifka.  Struggling to maintain a reserve fund balance and continue program activities, the medical board was forced to seek two loans including a $12 million loan from the Bureau of Automotive Repair. Having faced increasing costs without a physician fee increase for 14 years, the medical board sought a fee increase during their 2020 sunset review under the leadership of Prasifka. The board was unable to secure a fee increase legislatively and continues to pursue a fee increase as they approach sunset review next year. 

Deputy Director Reji Varghese will continue to lead the daily operations. The medical board will meet early next year to begin the recruitment process for a new Executive Director.

On the Osteopathic side, the Executive Director of the Osteopathic Medical board Mark Ito also departed.  He joined the board in January 2019. With Ito’s planned departure, he waited until a replacement was found for him.  The new executive officer is Erika Calderon effective November 2022. Calderon has worked in various roles in the Department of Consumer Affairs for 12 years most recently as a Staff Services Manager over the Consumer Protection Services Unit at the Physical Therapy Board.