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Woman charged with practicing as physician assistant without a license - MyEasternShoreMD: Queen Anne's County News

Woman charged with practicing as physician assistant without a license

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SHAWNA M. GUNTER

Location

218 Pennsylvania Ave Centreville MD

Posted: Friday, October 25, 2013 3:00 am | Updated: 1:47 pm, Tue Oct 29, 2013.

Charged with using another’s name on documents

CENTREVILLE — Maryland State Police charged a Glen Burnie woman with practicing as a physician assistant without a license, unauthorized use of a title, issuing a false document and fraud in using someone else’s name.

Shawna Michelle Gunter, 36, of Glen Burnie was arrested by Tfc. Kyle Simms on Thursday, Aug. 29, at the Centreville office of Dr. Julio Ramirez, where she had worked as a physician assistant for about two months, according to police.

Ramirez said a physician assistant treats patients, administers medication, writes prescriptions and has other responsibilities similar to those of a doctor, according to court documents. Ramirez, a pediatrician, has offices in Centreville and near Chestertown.

Simms said he was notified by the doctor’s office that one of the employees might not have the required certification to be working as a physician assistant. Simms reviewed all the documentation in connection with Gunter’s hiring and determined that some of the documents had been altered, he said.

Simms said Gunter had certification as a surgical assistant but not as a physician assistant, which he said was a higher level of certification. He said she assumed the name of another woman whose last name was one letter different from that of Gunter.

Simms said that when Ramirez hired Gunter he examined her documentation and it appeared to be in good order. She admitted to Simms that she created a false diploma stating that she had a master’s degree as a physician assistant but only had a certificate in biology, he said.

Court documents state Gunter said she searched for the required documents on the Internet, printed out her personal information, transposed her personal information onto the documents, photocopied the documents and gave them to Dr. Ramirez as her own.

She said she found the other woman’s medical license information by searching the public records database for names similar to hers and assumed that license number, court documents state.

Simms emphasized that no patients were harmed in any way during Gunter’s tenure at the doctor’s office.

Gunter was released on $10,000 bond Aug. 29. However, the person who indemnified her bond recently requested it be revoked, according to Agent Art Eisenstein of A-Shore Out Bail Bonds in Centreville. A recovery team picked Gunter up Oct. 22 and returned her to the Queen Anne’s County Detention Center.

At a review hearing Oct. 23, bail remained set at $10,000. Gunther posted bond Oct. 24 and was released from the Queen Anne’s County Detention Center.

Her trial in the physician assistant case is set for Nov. 14 in Queen Anne’s County District Court. She also faces trial Nov. 22 in Anne Arundel District Court on charges of theft $10,000 to under $100,000. That case is unrelated and involves a former employer, Simms said.

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