John Catanzaro's Naturopath License Suspended, Can Apply for Reinstatement in January 2015

The naturopath that Mark Driscoll called his physician can apply for license reinstatement when his suspension ends in January 2015. The order was announced by the Washington Department of Health yesterday and was the subject of a Seattle Times article posted last night.

Marqise Allen, Communications Office  360-236-4072

Kelly Stowe, Communications Office         360-236-4022

Snohomish County naturopath reaches settlement with state health officials

OLYMPIA — Snohomish County Naturopathic physician John A. Catanzaro (NATU.NT.00000769) has reached a settlement with state health officials to resolve charges against his license.
Catanzaro, whose license was suspended in January 2014, will remain suspended through at least Jan. 29, 2015. He will be on probation for at least eight years when his license is reinstated. Catanzaro didn’t follow appropriate protocol for implementing cancer research on people, and misrepresented to the Board of Naturopathy that he had the Federal Drug Administration approval required for experimental medications. He also failed to meet the standard of care by breaking applicable laws that govern safe and effective research on people. Catanzaro gave unapproved cancer vaccinations to cancer patients and didn’t get approval from an institutional review board.  In addition, he didn’t properly keep and maintain patient records.
The statement of charges, summary action order, and settlement are available online by clicking “Look up a health care provider” on the Department of Health website. Copies can be requested by calling 360-236-4700. That’s also the number to call to file complaints against health care providers in Washington.
The order outlines the charges against Catanzaro. Despite proclaiming his innocence, Catanzaro stipulated to the findings of the investigation and the order and acknowledged that the cancer vaccines he made were not part of a research program and were not even made in a lab. Some of those findings involved deception about what he was doing when making cancer vaccines.
I was disappointed to see that there were no findings of fact regarding Catanzaro’s claims that he was collaborating with the Dana Farber Cancer Clinic at Harvard. Catanzaro told patients that Dana Farber would provide lab work and took money to pay for the lab work. Dana Farber denied any working relationship with Catanzaro.
In addition to the suspension and probation, Catanzaro will have to payback some money. He collected thousands from people without giving them a vaccine.
This adds up to $180,750 that Catanzaro has to repay as an aspect of license reinstatement.
If he is reinstated, Catanzaro’s probation will last 8 years. Although it is unclear when the benefit stopped, Catanzaro until recently administered the wellness program for Mars Hill Church’s lead pastors.


John Catanzaro to Appeal License Suspension

On his website yesterday, John Catanzaro, Mark Driscoll’s naturopathpartially addressed the growing controversy surrounding his license suspension.

To our valued patients and friends of Health and Wellness Institute of Integrative Medicine:

From: Dr. John Catanzaro

As many of you know, the Washington Department of Health (WA DOH) has raised concerns about our use of experimental autologous peptide vaccine in research. We disagree with the WA DOH and are appealing. We are working diligently with our legal team on our appeal.

We continue to provide personalized wellness and cancer care and all of our physicians, nurse team and admin team are here to serve you. There will be no interruption in our ability to provide you excellent quality care.

We want to sincerely thank you for your support and understanding during this difficult time. Our admin team can assist you in identifying ways you can support us during this process.

Warm Regards,
Dr. John

The Washington Department of Health did more than raise “concerns.” The naturopath board suspended his license to practice. In contrast to the message of “no interruption,” he is not supposed to practice while it is suspended. According to the Washington board, he has until Monday, February 17 to appeal.

Catanzaro only partially addressed issues which have been raised. Prior to the state board’s action, Catanzaro claimed to have a collaborative relationship with Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Ken Anderson an oncologist at DFCI, and the University of Washington for the purpose of developing cancer vaccines. In recent days, DFCI, Ken Anderson and UW have denied collaboration with Catanzaro or his clinic. If I was considering alternative care, this would be a huge red flag for me.

Another question is how naturopaths in this group are able to treat cancer at all. Naturopaths must work collaboratively with a MD or DO in order to treat malignancies in the state of Washington.* None of the medical staff listed on the website are credentialed as a MD or DO.

*WAC 246-836-210 (4) Naturopathic physicians may not treat malignancies except in collaboration with a practitioner licensed under chapter 18.57 or 18.71 RCW.

Click the link to read the State of Washington complaint.

Dana Farber Cancer Institute Issues Warning To John Catanzaro

As is also being reported at Wartburg Watch, Dana Farber Cancer Institute issued a strong warning regarding Seattle naturopath John Catanzaro.

Warren and Dee:
We have investigated the matter and taken steps to request that Dr. Catanzaro cease all unauthorized use of our name.
Sincerely, Teresa Herbert
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Communications Department

Previously, DFCI disclosed that oncologist Ken Anderson was not collaborating with Catanzaro to develop cancer vaccines.
There are other open questions that I hope DFCI will address next week but for now, this seems to be an indication that claims such as made on the HWIFC website will need to be removed:

We are developing individual treatment strategies that will enhance each patient’s ability to fight and win the cancer battle; effectively blending medical science and integrative treatment to reach the cure. To accomplish this we are collaborating with Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard as well as University of Washington in the development of personalized cancer defense vaccines.

Catanzaro’s Linked In page has been changed to remove reference to DFCI but this reference remains.
The folks behind Wartburg Watch have reported that they have been threatened since writing about Mr. Catanzaro’s cancer operation. I have as well. I do think Mr. Catanzaro should publicly condemn threats made with regard to coverage of his situation. I have emailed him and asked him several questions with no response.
I have also asked Mars Hill Church what prompted them to remove John Catanzaro’s articles from the Resurgence website with no reply.
Catanzaro is medical director of the HWIFC Cancer Research Group.  It is in this setting that the State of Washington’s naturopath board found the unauthorized use of cancer vaccines. The research group is registered with the IRS as a non-profit. You can review the 2011 990 form here. The form does not indicate that Catanzaro is medical director but it does show a substantial transaction of just over $344,000 between the non-profit and Catanzaro’s naturopath business.
Regarding the State of Washington complaint against Catanzaro, it appears that the board of naturopathy has already interviewed Catanzaro who, according to the board, was unable to verify Institutional Review Board approval or a Federalwide Assurance number. It is important to note that former patients brought the complaints which were then investigated by fellow naturopaths.
Prior posts on this topic:
Claims Of Resurgence Ex-Author And Naturopath Questioned By Esteemed Cancer Institute
John Catanzaro Speaks Out About His Cancer Vaccines; Mars Hill Church Is Silent
Naturopathic Doctor Touted By Mark Driscoll Suspended Over Experimental Cancer Vaccine

John Catanzaro Speaks Out About His Cancer Vaccines; Mars Hill Church Is Silent

As reported last week, the license of Mark Driscoll’s naturopath, John Catanzaro was suspended by the Washington State Department of Health. According to the complaint, Catanzaro uses unapproved vaccines to treat cancer. Soon after the complaint was filed, Mars Hill Church removed all of the articles written by Catanzaro from the Resurgence website.
Now, Catanzaro has responded indirectly to the controversy. In an article on his website, he defends his approach by citing Frank Zappa and what he claims is an illustration of a successful use of the vaccines.  Regarding the use of the vaccine with one patient, Catanzaro wrote:

She did have very mild reactions from the chemo, but they were minimal because of the immune support. The immune support did not compromise her chemo regimen it enhanced its effectiveness. I considered this a success!

This is a very delicate topic. On one hand, you have Catanzaro and a cadre of satisfied patients who seem to view the vaccine treatment as integral to their successful battle against cancer. On the other hand, the mainstream medical community has a wonderful track record of advances against the disease via careful research and clinical trials. In my reporting on this subject, I do not mean to seem critical of anyone who is trying to do the best they know how to do.
In a future post (possibly today, maybe tomorrow), I want to present some information which can provide full disclosure for those considering vaccine treatments from naturopaths or other off-the-grid providers. The Mars Hill approach of just removing materials without comment (I have asked) and pretending that John Catanzaro never existed or was not promoted at MHC seems less than helpful. My understanding from anonymous sources I trust is that Catanzaro’s treatments costs thousands of dollars and were provided to senior staff at MHC as a benefit of employment. Now, he is a non-entity.  Mark Driscoll recommended Catanzaro and promoted the bogus diagnosis of adrenal fatigue as recently as this month in Christianity Today. Now, he is gone from the Resurgence website.
(H/t to Sean in the combox)