OLYMPIA - After an investigation, the state of Washington is formally accusing an Othello dentist of inappropriate work-place conduct while employed as Columbia Basin Health Association chief dental officer. In early 2018, iFIBER ONE News was contacted by a disgruntled boyfriend of a woman who accused Dr. Alvin Thien of touching his girlfriend, a co-worker of Thien’s, and other staff inappropriately in exchange for money. Since then, the state of Washington’s department of health has been investigating the allegations against Thien resulting in his resignation sometime last year.
Thien has reportedly found gainful employment as a dentist elsewhere in region. Late last month, the state of Washington’s Dental Quality Assurance Commission released a ‘Stipulation to Informal Disposition’ document. In the document, the executive director of Dental Quality Assurance Commission accuses Thein of “making inappropriate statements and gestures to dental assistants, creating a work environment inappropriate for a professional dental practice setting.” However, the state does not mention anything about the specifics of the allegations made by the state.
The above statement by the Dental Quality Assurance Commission’s executive director is based on evidence collected during the investigation which includes witness statements and Thien’s response to the witness statements.
The document states that Thien has not admitted any of the allegations mentioned in the document and the state has yet to find proof that validates the accusations against Thien. Therefore, the stipulation document is not a form of disciplinary action, but it does require Thien to comply with a short list of demands set by the state as part of the stipulation.
As part of the agreement with the state, Thien must reimburse the commission $2,000 for the partial cost of the investigation, provide a copy of the stipulation document (which contains the allegations against Thien) to current and future employers for the next two years and take a Professional/Problem Based Ethics course offered by the Center for Personalized Education for Physicians.
The Dental Quality Assurance Commission has agreed to forgo further disciplinary proceedings concerning the allegations.
The case appears to be closed.