Collaboration in Civic Spheres

Everett-based counselor loses license for sex with patient

by August 9th, 2011

A woman named Dana Blyzes who state officials say resided in Bothell and was employed as a counselor at Sunrise Community Mental Health in Everett has surrendered her license as a registered “agency affiliated counselor” for at least three years after the State of Washington charged her with unprofessional conduct for having sex with a patient. The worker designation refers to counselors including mental health professionals without degrees, or advanced degrees. According to the department, the encounter occurred in Blyzes’ Bothell home with a male Marysville client who according to investigators appeared to reside with his mother. If Blyzes does seek reinstatement of her license to practice as a registered counselor in Washington state, she will have to undergo a “complete psycho-sexual/mental evaluation” by a state-approved psychiatrist or mental health specialist, according to case documents.

Blyzes, also known as Dana Brown Blyzes, was born in 1976. An agreed order between her and Washington State Department of Health which was announced by the department last week, states that Blyzes in November, 2010 had sexual intercourse with the client, referred to in department documents as “Patient A,” while she was providing counseling services to him for her employer, Sunrise Community Mental Health. The counseling occurred at the company’s Everett facility.

In May, 2011 the Washington State Department of Health and Attorney General’s office filed administrative charges of unprofessional conduct against Blyzes. The outcome of the charges was not made public until last week. In the order signed by Blyzes, she agrees to surrender her license for at least three years and undergo evaluation by a state-approved psychiatrist or mental health specialist as a condition of applying for reinstatement.

According to Kristi Weeks, Director of the Office of Legal Services, Health Systems Quality Assurance, Washington State Department of Health, Blyzes counseled “Patient A” at Sunrise’s Everett mental health facility, and the sexual liaison took place in her Bothell home. Sunrise Services, Inc. operates Sunrise Community Living and Sunrise Community Mental Health, serving a range of clients who are either elderly, developmentally-disabled, have mental or physical challenges, or need help with employment or personal finances. Sunrise provides adult family homes, mental health and other counseling, in-home care and other services. The company operates in Snohomish, Island, Skagit, Whatcom, and San Juan Counties. Weeks said Patient A was neither elderly, nor developmentally disabled, but when an investigator called him at his Marysville home, his mother answered the phone.

Public Data Ferret’s Washington State Health Care archive

The state’s paper trail includes one factual error. The charging document states Blyzes worked for “Sunrise Community Mental Health, Bothell,” but the company has no Bothell facility. The National Provider Identifier index entry for Dana Brown (aka Dana Blyzes) shows that her practice location was 1021 N. Broadway in Everett, the address for Sunrise Community Mental Health, Everett. This was confirmed by Weeks as the address where Blyzes practiced. Asked about Blyzes’ academic credentials, Weeks replied via email, “Ms. Blyzes credential did not require a college degree so DOH never verified the existence of one. However, information in the file indicates that she claims to have graduated from Texas A & M in 2006 with a BS degree in psychology.”

On her MySpace page Dana Brown Blyzes states she has “moved around a lot. Mostly stayed in north and east Texas. Have 3 wonderful children, but divorced. I have a degree in Psychology and am currently attending graduate school. I’m engaged now and am happier than I’ve ever been.”

Repeated calls for comment to Sunrise Services Clinical Director Carol Van Buren and Administrator Mike Manley have not been returned. UPDATE: Manley replied but declined comment.

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