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Vashon Family Practice closes its doors
Dr. Sjardo Steneker closed Vashon Family Practice on Friday, laying off a few employees and marking the end of the clinic’s seven-year history on the Island.
His decision came after a state health law judge denied a motion filed by his lawyer Bob Krinsky asking that the judge’s decision suspending Steneker’s license be stayed and that Steneker, a family practice doctor who carried a high patient load on Vashon, be allowed to practice medicine on probation.
Steneker now has until Oct. 6 to file an appeal of the judge’s decision, which found him guilty of unprofessional conduct because of what the state considered to be inappropriate contact with five female patients. Krinsky said Steneker likely won’t appeal the order, a 19-page decision that forbids him from practicing for five years.
Meanwhile, Dr. Nicole Maxwell, a naturopath who worked for Steneker at his clinic, will open up her own practice in the Cunningham Building on Bank Road, where Studio 202 was located. She hopes to have her clinic ready to go by next week.
Maxwell and her husband Daniel Macca had considered taking over Steneker’s practice and running the clinic, a state-of-the-art facility just south of the Vashon Theatre, but changed their minds after looking at the numbers.
“The overhead was going to be just too expensive for us. Financially it was just too difficult,” she said.
Krinsky said he and Steneker are still figuring out how to get records to Steneker’s hundreds of patients. More information will be forthcoming, he said.
“It is very important that people have access to their records,” Krinsky said. “He is taking steps to notify his patients how to transfer records.”
Steneker had kept his clinic open since the July 6 decision, using a part-time registered nurse to supplement Maxwell’s practice.
Dr. Nicole Maxwell’s office is located at 9929 Bank Road. Her number will be the same as Vashon Family Practice — 463-2800. Her website is www.nicolemaxwell.com.