Copyright 1997 Star Tribune
February 8, 1997, Metro Edition
SECTION: News; Pg. 1B
LENGTH: 369 words
HEADLINE: Board suspends license of psychiatrist Diane Humenansky
BYLINE: Paul Gustafson; Staff Writer
The State Board of Medical Practice has suspended
medical license of St. Paul psychiatrist Diane Humenansky, who
been successfully sued by several former patients who claim she
planted false memories of abuse.
Humenansky, 61, must enter into psychotherapy
with a board-
approved professional, submit to a mental health evaluation to
determine her fitness to practice medicine safely and cannot seek
reinstatement of her medical license for at least three years,
board ruled. The St. Paul psychiatrist has been the subject of
complaints to the Medical Practice Board, which began investigating
allegations against her in 1992. Since then 10 former patients
sued her, alleging that they and their families were injured by
Humenansky's flawed diagnoses and treatment. Many of the former
patients complained that she incorrectly diagnosed multiple
personality disorder and told them they must have been repeatedly
sexually abused by relatives.
A Ramsey County jury awarded former patient Vynnette
her family more than $ 2.6 million in 1995. Elizabeth Carlson and
family were awarded $ 2.3 million in damages by a separate Ramsey
County jury in January 1996. In the past year, insurance companies
have reached out-of-court settlements for undisclosed amounts of
with seven other patients.
Phil Villaume, an attorney representing Humenansky,
that the license suspension is "a fair resolution" of the complaints
"She was doing some of the most difficult work
can do, working with multiple-personality-disorder patients . .
she did it with great compassion," he said.
During the board's investigation of complaints
against her and in
her trial testimony, Humenansky steadfastly denied that she had
anything wrong. In a letter to a board committee dated Oct. 22,
she blamed the complaints and lawsuits on the "perpetrators of
childhood sexual abuse." In November, however, Humenansky pleaded
contest to the Medical Practice Board's allegations that she had
demonstrated professional incompetence and had engaged in
Copyright 1997 Star Tribune. Republished here with the permission of the Star Tribune.
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