WAKEFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine announced Wednesday it has taken disciplinary action against the medical licenses of four doctors, including one practicing in Springfield.

According to the board, the following actions were taken against the medical licenses of Ira Helfand, Debra M. Little, George Hayao, and Geraldine Somers.

Dr. Ira Helfand, who last practiced medicine in a private practice in Springfield of May 2021, admitted that he did not meet the standard of care for controlled substance prescribing for two patients. In a Consent Order, the Board admonished Dr. Helfand. He has been licensed to practice medicine in Massachusetts since June 18, 1981.


Dr. George Haya, who last practiced medicine as a hospitalist at Lahey Medical Center in Burlington, was reprimanded after he engaged in conduct that places into question his competence to practice medicine when he prescribed pain medications for two patients without conducting any physician examination of them, without communicating with their other providers, and without maintaining medical records for them.

Dr. Haya also admitted that he did not meet the standard of care in his treatment of another patient by prescribing inappropriate amounts of oxycodone. He was additionally required to complete continuing professional development credits focused on opioid prescribing and record-keeping within sixty days. Dr. Hayao was first licensed to practice medicine in the Commonwealth on April 19, 1989.  


The board took actions against the medical licenses of Dr. Debra M. Little after provided substandard care to a patient, including failing to obtain or document an adequate medical history, and prescribing without ongoing maintenance or control of the medications. Dr. Little also admitted that she made false statements to the Board.

She currently practices telepsychiatry and is licensed to practice medicine in Michigan, and was first licensed to practice medicine in Massachusetts on September 17, 2008. 


Dr. Geraldine Somers was reprimanded after she admitted in a Consent Order that she created progress reports on two dates indicating that she had examined a patient’s abdomen when she had not done so.

She was first licensed to practice medicine in Massachusetts from September 6, 1989 until she entered into a Voluntary Agreement Not to Practice Medicine on September 28, 2017. Dr. Somers last practiced medicine for the Massachusetts Partnership for Correctional Healthcare.