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Independent Thoughts: Suspended veterinarian lashes out at state board

by | Apr 3, 2024 | Featured, Featured: Features

A story in this newspaper in January detailed Hopkinton veterinarian Margo Roman’s latest battles with the Massachusetts Veterinary Board, which suspended her license last year. In past emails to her clients, Roman had advised people to use ozone therapy — administering ozone gas into one’s body — to fight COVID-19. The board determined this was outside the scope of her veterinary practice.

Roman, who already was on probation with the board for other offenses dating back over a decade, countered that she was a certified ozone therapist, and her statements were within the scope of that certification. However, the board noted that she also gave dietary and homeopathy advice, outside the scope of that (non-governmental and apparently private) certification, and the punishment was upheld.

We reached out via email to Roman, who runs Main Street Animal Services of Hopkinton (MASH), for a comment but did not get a reply. This was not surprising, as in the past she has indicated she could not comment based on advice from her legal representation.

However, she emailed recently and stated she did not receive our email, and sent a long defense of her actions.

We are not the ones to say whether or not ozone therapy is a legitimate medical option for anyone. Looking around the web, there are stories indicating ozone therapy does show some promise in specific uses, although more research is needed. The Food and Drug Administration, meanwhile, has stated that ozone therapy has no proven medical applications and cautions that it can be toxic, especially when inhaled.

Roman, however, is convinced of the treatment’s efficacy, and she is equally adamant that it is her obligation to share her knowledge with her clients, even though her focus is on pets.

The longtime holistic veterinarian, who indicated she is scheduled to lecture at an international ozone therapy conference in Rome in May, also insists the board has it “in for Dr. Roman” (referring to herself in the third person, as she did throughout her email).

“Unlike Dr. Roman, who has a multitude of ‘tools in her toolbox’ … veterinarian members of the board … have intentionally chosen to remain ignorant concerning these other complementary and alternative modalities that are both available and effective to prevent and treat diseases and other adverse conditions of their patients,” she wrote. “Thus, Dr. Roman, who is a vocal and effective proponent of these treatments and modalities, threatens their status quo.

“But rest assured, their efforts to silence her will fail. If she is denied the opportunity to help your pets by the actions of the board, she will nevertheless continue to teach others to use the tools that can be available to them. That is her mission, and she has been successful in increasing the number of veterinarians who use ozone therapy here in the United States and elsewhere, including, but not limited to, Japan, Brazil and Israel. Similarly, MBRT [microbiome restorative therapy] is being used more and more as positive research concerning fecal transplants has proven its value.”

Roman indicated her case now is before a single justice of the Supreme Judicial Court, and the statutes do not provide for a stay of a suspension pending appeal, so her license remains suspended.

But she won’t give up her battle, stating: “Dr. Roman will continue to fight for her right to treat your pets with all the tools available.”

Jimmy Fund walkers recognized

Such Devotion, a team of walkers from Weston Nurseries in Hopkinton, was recognized with the Corporate Award-Pacesetter Power for its efforts in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk.

The team is named after Bob Such, a longtime (now-retired) employee of Weston Nurseries.

Members of the Weston Nurseries-based Such Devotion team

Members of the Weston Nurseries-based Such Devotion team (from left) Bob Such, Janet Such and Peter Mezitt pose for a photo during a past Jimmy Fund Walk.

More than half the team members were recognized with “pacesetter” status — an elite group of fundraisers who receive special recognition, rewards and invitations to exclusive events. The team helped last October’s Jimmy Fund Walk raise a record $9.4 million overall. Since its inception 35 years ago, the event has raised $176 million to support adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

“It is truly remarkable to see the dedication of individuals who have invested their time, passion and energy in supporting this event, furthering critical research at Dana-Farber,” said Suzanne Fountain, vice president of the Jimmy Fund. “Such Devotion has demonstrated their commitment to defy cancer and exemplifies the spirit of this event. We are proud to honor Such Devotion with the Pacesetter Power award to recognize all they do for Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund.”

The 2024 Jimmy Fund Walk — which starts in Hopkinton for those walking the full course (there are shorter options as well) — will be held Sunday, Oct. 6. Visit jimmyfundwalk.org for more information.

SUBHED: Trail volunteers’ hours add up

The Hopkinton Trails Club started its monthly trail volunteer workday program in November 2021, raking Echo Trail and clearing drainage ditches.

The club recently totaled the work hours volunteers have spent working on trails in town (number of workers times hours).

It’s grown from 130.5 hours in 2021 to 210.5 hours in 2022 to 233 hours last year. Through March of this year, volunteers already have reached 97.75 hours.

“That’s a total of just over 670 hours of volunteer trail work donated to the town since 2021, with a value of more than $21,000 in volunteer labor,” the club notes. “And the Trails Club’s been working on the trails since 2005! Thank you to everyone who’s lent a hand!”

The next workday is this Saturday (April 6) from 9 a.m.-noon. It’s the annual Center Trail cleanup. Visit hopkintontrailsclub.com for more information.

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