East Hawaii News

Board Accepts Stover’s Offer to Surrender Medical License

May 9, 2014, 4:48 PM HST
* Updated May 9, 4:50 PM
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The Hawaii Medical Board on Thursday accepted a settlement offer from Dr. John Stover in which he agreed to cease practicing medicine in Hawaii.

Stover, who is a dentist and cosmetic surgeon, has been the subject of numerous complaints in connection with his practices.

That includes an incident on March 17 in which Kristen Tavares of Hilo suffered cardiac arrest and went into a coma in Stover’s Hilo office while having her wisdom teeth removed.

Stover’s Kinoole Street office was picketed later that week by friends and family protesting what they said was a lack of action by state regulators.

Tavares, a 24-year-old mother of two, remains in a coma in a Maui hospital.

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There have been 27 complaints registered by the public against Stover  with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, including 21 over his dental practice and six regarding the practice of medicine.

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One of the complaints reportedly stems from the death of one of Stover’s patients after having a tooth removed.

The settlement approved Thursday essentially closes the book on the medical complaints, said Brent Suyama, a communication officer for the DCCA.

A similar offer in which Stover will give up his dentistry license will be taken up by the Board of Dental Examiners at a meeting scheduled for May 19.

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Suyama said Stover submitted the settlement on April 9 pending approval by the medical and dental boards.

The Hawaii Medical Board is made up of nine physicians and two members of the public.

Eight members were present for Thursday’s meeting in Honolulu, Suyama said. Seven members voted to approve the settlement, while the eighth abstained. Suyama said he did not know the reason for the abstention.

He said a settlement involving Stover agreeing to give up his licenses – known as a voluntary revocation — is the quickest method to stop Stover from continuing to practice in Hawaii.

A screenshot of the website for Dr. John Stover's Cosmetic Centers of Hawaii.

A screenshot of the website for Dr. John Stover’s Cosmetic Centers of Hawaii.

Stover closed his Cosmetic Centers of Hawaii offices in Hilo, Waimea and Kona on April 11.

Tavares’ parents filed a lawsuit on April 28 accusing against Stover of negligence and failing to have the proper training or procedures for anesthesia-related emergencies.

Suyama said Thursday’s board action does not preclude additional lawsuits.

“It doesn’t bar anyone from filing a lawsuit or a prosecutor or attorney general from going after him criminally,” he said.

Suyama said the DCCA encourages anyone who feels they have been the victim of wrongdoing by any of the dozens of professions regulated by the agency to file a complaint.

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