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Sheffield doctor certified to recommend medical marijuana

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Sheffield gynecologist Corie Kovach has become the first physician in Lorain County certified to recommend medical marijuana.

Kovach and 35 other physicians in the state were awarded certificates by the State Medical Board of Ohio on April 11.

Mercy Health, for which Kovach works, issued a statement about Kovach’s newly obtained license.

“Marijuana remains illegal under Federal law and the Federal government has indicated it will enforce federal laws against the drug in states that have decriminalized its production and sale, including for medical purposes,” the statement read. “Given that, Mercy Health is not at this time asking its physicians to undergo the two-hour training program.”

According to the Medical Marijuana Program, applicants must complete at least two hours of medical education to assist in diagnosing and treating those qualifying conditions with medical marijuana or other possible drug interactions. The full requirements for the certificate are outlined in the Ohio Administrative Code 4731-32-02.

Although Kovach has become certified, Mercy Health public relations cannot confirm nor deny she will be able to make those recommendations in their building.

Kovach graduated from Youngstown State University in 1992 and Northeast Ohio Medical University Medical School in 1994. She finished her residency in Pitt County Memorial Hospital in obstetrics and gynecology in 1998.

The qualifying medical conditions that are allowed to be treated using medical marijuana are HIV/AIDS; Alzheimer’s disease; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS; cancer; chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE; Crohn’s disease; epilepsy or another seizure disorder; fibromyalgia; glaucoma; hepatitis C; inflammatory bowel disease; multiple sclerosis; pain that is chronic and severe, or intractable; Parkinson’s disease; post-traumatic stress disorder; sickle cell anemia; spinal cord disease or injury; Tourette’s syndrome; traumatic brain injury; and ulcerative colitis.

Kovach could not be reached for comment.

Contact Bruce Walton at (440) 329-7123 or by email at bwalton@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Facebook or on Twitter @BruceWalton.


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