Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

County coroner's medical license suspended

By Shelley Grieshop
The medical license of Mercer County Coroner Dr. Timothy A. Heinrichs has been suspended due to alcohol abuse.
The suspension to practice medicine is effective for "at least 90 days" and was issued with Heinrichs' consent after a diagnosis of alcohol abuse, according to the State Medical Board license center. Heinrichs' status is currently listed as "inactive" by the state board.
Heinrichs, 55, reportedly admitted to "having been diagnosed with alcohol abuse and of being impaired in ability to practice according to acceptable and prevailing standards of care," reads the state-issued agreement dated Dec. 13.
Heinrichs has served as county coroner for more than a decade and was re-elected to the position in November after running unopposed. His new term ends in 2012.
Dr. John Naveau, who shares a family practice with Heinrichs in Coldwater, is the county's official interim coroner and has temporarily taken over the elected position.
Mercer County commissioners recently were notified about Heinrichs' license status and forwarded the information to county Prosecutor Andy Hinders. The commissioners were told there was no action currently needed by them since Naveau would serve as temporary coroner.
Hinders was not available at press time today for comment.
Due to the license suspension, Heinrichs temporarily relinquished his privileges to practice medicine at Mercer County Community Hospital, Coldwater, according to Market and Communications Director Ken Obringer. Heinrichs has been serving as the physician representative for the hospital's board of governors.
As part of the action taken by the state medical board, monitoring conditions and conditions for reinstatement have been established. The conditions include a requirement that Heinrichs agree to probationary terms, conditions and limitations to monitor his practice.
Heinrichs, who resides in rural Celina, graduated from Wright State University School of Medicine in June 1986 and was issued a license to practice medicine in July 1987.
A phone call made this morning to his home by The Daily Standard was unanswered.
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