A state medical commission charged with ensuring physicians and physician assistants provide quality health care to Washingtonians has received more than a dozen complaints involving a Washougal pediatric health care provider who has railed against distance-learning and students wearing masks inside schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stephanie Mason, the public information officer for the Washington Medical Commission (WMC), told the Post-Record the WMC has received a total of 13 complaints against Scott Miller, a physician assistant who runs Miller Family Pediatrics in Washougal.
Of those 13 complaints, seven are “currently under investigation,” one is undergoing a legal review and two are still in the “complaint intake” stage, Mason said.
Although Mason was unable to provide details of the individual complaints, she said the WMC “is aware, interested and listening to the community concerns expressed in the complaints.”
Miller, who moved to the Camas-Washougal area in 2014 and established a popular pediatric practice in Washougal in 2017, has become a vocal critic of several public health measures meant to curb the spread of COVID-19, an illness that has led to the deaths of more than four million people — including over 620,000 Americans and 300 Clark County residents — over the past 17 months.
The complaints lodged with the WMC are not the first to target Miller’s controversial stance on internationally accepted COVID-19 precautions.
On Nov. 23, 2020, an anonymous complaint came into the state’s COVID-19 violations center, reporting Miller for promoting anti-mask rhetoric on social media sites.
Miller was “gloating about how Miller Family Pediatrics … doesn’t use masks” and said he “has to ‘teach’ clients about how worthless masks are,” the complainant stated. “He talked about the stupidity of people taking the pandemic seriously” … “then shared a barrage of antiquated or false information regarding COVID.”
“I’m mortified that a health care ‘expert’ is endangering the lives of hundreds or thousands of people in my community,” stated the complainant.
Around the same time, Miller was promoting unproven COVID-19 remedies, including hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin — neither of which are approved by the Federal Drug Administration as treatment for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
In October 2020, Miller was featured in an article and video posted on Clark County Today, a media site owned by former Clark County Councilor David Madore, touting the drugs’ purported benefits.
A few months later, on May 10, Miller attended an in-person Camas School Board meeting, where he refused to follow the board’s policy regarding face coverings — “I will not allow my children to wear masks … I didn’t allow (masks) when we went to the airport and got on a plane,” Miller told the school board members — and again promoted ivermectin and vitamin therapy to treat COVID-19, calling the unproven remedies “a cure” for the deadly coronavirus and accusing the school board of “gross negligence” and “pure, unadulterated evil” for requiring masks inside schools and implementing distance-learning policies during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It actually cures,” Miller insisted about ivermectin — an antiparasitic medicine shown in a recent large-scale clinical trial known as the Together Trial to have very little benefit for COVID-19 patients — during the May 10 meeting. “So the question is, ‘Where are you getting your information?’ Some of us know the science. Do you not know? Or do you know and don’t care?”
GoFundMe raises $29K to help pay Miller’s legal fees
Miller has hundreds of loyal patients in the Camas-Washougal area who have been speaking out — and opening their wallets — in support of the Washougal physician assistant.
A Camas resident named Joshua Brock recently started an online crowd-sourcing GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Miller’s legal fund in the face of the Washington Medical Commission complaints.
“Our community’s beloved family health practitioner, Scott Miller, P.A., is the subject of multiple unfounded complaints to the (Washington Medical Commission),” Brock wrote on the GoFundMe page. “The expenses to defend his license to practice medicine and managing those who are denied access to care are mounting. He needs our help if he is to continue serving our community.”
On the GoFundMe page, Brock describes Miller as a health care practitioner many parents turn to after striking out with other providers.
“He is known to readily find answers to difficult childhood health issues that other pediatricians are either stumped by or brush off as something that will pass,” Brock wrote about Miller. “Scott is sought out by parents who have tried multiple physicians, therapists and practitioners without success. In so many cases, Scott is able to find solutions for these children and their distraught parents.”
Many of Miller’s patients agree. As of Aug. 16, the GoFundMe page for Miller’s legal defense bills had been shared more than 1,400 times and 164 people had donated $29,825, with many people donating $200 or more.
“We stand behind you and support you,” wrote a person identified as Jenna Kauzlaric on the GoFundMe site who donated $200 to Miller’s legal defense this week. “Praying for wisdom and strength as you climb out of this valley and onto the mountain top. You have a community of people that support you and your mission of speaking truth. It is the weak and naive that are trying to tear you down.”
“We stand with you 100%!” wrote another donor, identified as Sandy McCausland, who gave $100 to Miller’s GoFundMe two weeks ago. “Your willingness to search beyond ‘standard, cookie-cutter’ options to find remedies uniquely tailored to our individual problems has had an invaluable effect on our health and wellbeing! We need you, so please keep up the fight!!!”
One donor, identified as RaeShel Peck, donated $300 and said Miller was “the most amazing doctor” their children had ever had and was needed by his patients.
On his clinic’s Facebook site and on his clinic’s main website, Miller addressed the GoFundMe established to pay for his legal defense and said the “attacks” against him “have been brought on by a small handful of people that have no ties to our medical practice, and by pharmacies and hospitals that have a zero tolerance policy on family members asking that I help them advocate for loved ones that have been admitted and written off in our current system of dismissiveness and neglect.”
“I don’t know that I have the words to adequately describe the deep sense of love and connection I have received from you, the families I serve, and those that have reached out to me in this deeply challenging time,” Miller wrote. “I have read your words. I have seen your generosity. Many of you have actually prayed over me and for my amazing staff to be able to continue to provide the type of care that everyone as human beings deserves to receive, regardless of affiliations or ideologies.”
Miller said his decision to become a health care provider was not his choice, but one that was “offered to (him) by the highest authority,” and asked his supporters to “continue to pray for us and our mission to serve those who have been willfully and tragically ignored.”
Miller did not answer the Post-Record’s requests for comment in time before this newspaper’s print deadline.