Children’s Mercy Hospital is warning former patients of pediatric rheumatologist Mark Hoeltzel that he has been accused of sexual misconduct with two patients in Michigan.
Hoeltzel worked at Children’s Mercy from 2007 to 2013.
Michigan officials issued an emergency suspension of his medical license in December. The state’s medical board said he started a sexual relationship in 2016 with a female patient he had been treating at the University of Michigan. He was prescribing her opioid pain medications at the time and also allegedly provided her alcohol even though she was not 21 and mixing alcohol and opiates can be dangerous.
The board said Hoeltzel also sent “flirtatious and suggestive” online messages to a girl he met in 2004 at a University of Michigan arthritis camp when she was 11 years old.
“Our patients’ well-being is our highest priority, and the allegations in Michigan are serious,” Children’s Mercy said in a statement released by the hospital’s media relations department. “We know this is disturbing news for our patients and families and we are offering them resources, including an informational webpage and a dedicated phone line and email box staffed by licensed social workers. We are also in the process of conducting a thorough review of Dr. Hoeltzel’s time at Children’s Mercy.”
Hoeltzel could not be reached for comment.
In a letter dated Jan. 30, Children’s Mercy’s executive vice president, Charles Roberts, informed former patients of Hoeltzel’s suspension and said “we also have learned that Michigan law enforcement is investigating Dr. Hoeltzel.”
Roberts said staff would be available to answer questions from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day in the hospital’s social work department at 816-302-2000 or email@example.com. He also said patients can report any complaints about a licensed health care provider to the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts or the Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts for further investigation.