State’s new Chief Medical Officer defends Richie West

Booking photo of Richard Winston West II.
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CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) John M. DiMuro, DO took over duties as the new Nevada State Chief Medical Officer July 1, 2016. DiMuro, who is board-certified in anesthesiology and pain medicine, is also involved in the case surrounding Richie West, who is accused of being part of a prescription drug “pill mill.”

On May 20, 2016 Federal Magistrate Judge Miranda Du ordered DiMuro to work along with Washoe County jail’s Doctor Mark Hahn to come up with a treatment plan for West. But before the two physicians could coordinate a program, the detention center overdosed West. DiMuro testified on West’s behalf in federal court that West was given too much methadone at the detention center.

In Du's order, she cites a letter written by DiMuro on West's behalf: "West also offers a letter from Dr. DiMuro, who is Board Certified in Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine. Dr. DiMuro opined that, based on his review of West’s medical records, '[t]he initiation of opiate therapy would be very appropriate for the chronicity of his condition as well as his unique musculoskeletal pain syndrome.' (ECF No. 109-1 at 3.)" The order is attached in the column to the right of this news story.

The Chief Medical Officer is responsible for enforcing all laws and regulations pertaining to public health in the state.

A Department of Health and Human Services press release from June 2, 2016 says DiMuro was the medical director of pain services for the Sierra Surgery Hospital in Carson City