Mississippi's medical licensing board hires new director with at least 12 patient lawsuits against him

The Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure hired Kenneth Cleveland, MD, as its new executive director roughly nine months after unexpectedly firing its previous director. Dr. Cleveland has been sued roughly 12 times by patients claiming he committed various offenses during an 11-year period, including medical malpractice and negligence, according to the Clarion Ledger.

Here are six things to know about Dr. Cleveland.

1. The lawsuits against Dr. Cleveland were filed between 2002 and 2013. Several of those complaints were settled, while others were dismissed, according to the report. During that time, Dr. Cleveland maintained privileges at Baptist Medical Center and Central Mississippi Medical Center, both in Jackson, Miss., according to the report.

2. Dr. Cleveland told the Clarion Ledger through an attorney he resigned his admitting privileges at Baptist Medical Center and Central Mississippi Medical Center after practicing at both institutions for nearly 10 years. He said he resigned his privileges at the recommendation of his physician at the time after periodically experiencing back problems resulting in numbness in his extremities and which made standing for long periods of time difficult. He now serves as a practicing physician and CEO of Ridgeland, Miss.-based Remedy True Health.

3. Dr. Cleveland underwent a peer evaluation during his time as a hospital physician after a hospital staff member reportedly criticized his skills. The hospital never took disciplinary action against him, Dr. Cleveland told the Clarion Ledger through an attorney.

4. Dr. Cleveland's certification from the American Board of Surgery expired in 2014.

5. MSBML President Charles D. Miles, MD, told the publication the Mississippi licensing board has never disciplined Dr. Cleveland, nor has it ever received reports of a hospital disciplining him. He said he and his colleagues considered the lawsuits filed against Dr. Cleveland during their decision-making process.

"Just because you have a lawsuit filed against you doesn't mean you've done anything wrong," said Dr. Miles. "I can assure you I can get an attorney to file suit because you wore the wrong color shoes if he thought he could make some money."

6. Dr. Cleveland's appointment comes months after the board fired its former executive director, John Hall, MD, last May without reason, according to the report. Dr. Hall told the Clarion Ledger he believes he was fired for his approach to disciplining physicians.

To access the full report, click here.

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