State Fines APRN For Inappropriately Prescribing Drugs; Disciplines Three Others

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A nurse at Avon Old Farms School was fined $5,000 today by the state Board of Examiners for Nursing for inappropriately prescribing controlled substances to herself, family members and friends 42 times.

Lenore Leone of Avon, an advanced practice registered nurse, who works at the private school under her married name, Lenore Severni, prescribed the drugs for herself and seven friends and relatives from 2014 to 2017, a consent order she agreed to said. The board also reprimanded her license.

From 1992 to 2017, Leone also practiced and prescribed controlled substances without having a collaboration agreement with a doctor, as state law requires, the order said. Under the order, Leone must enter into an agreement with a doctor.

In August, the board had rejected a $2,500 fine against Leone, with some members saying the fine was too low.

In separate action with the state Department of Consumer Protection in 2017, Leone agreed not to prescribe controlled substances for herself, her family or friends except in an emergency, the order said.

In signing the order, Leone admitted no wrongdoing but chose not to contest the allegations. In a June 29 letter to the board, her attorney, Adam Carter Rose of Hartford, wrote that Leone has already established a formal relationship with a doctor. She was about to retire as the school’s director of nursing but was asked to continue working there on a part-time basis, he wrote.

“Above all, Lenore wishes to make clear that she takes this situation very seriously and is dedicated to practicing at the highest standard of care,’’ Rose wrote.

Robert A. Orenstein, the school’s chief financial officer, said the nurse is a longtime, “valued staff member” who works part time as an APRN in its health center. He said the board’s action is between her and the board and he declined to comment on it.

The board revoked the registered nurse license of Amanda Alarcon of Shelton because she violated an earlier four-year probation the board had imposed in 2017. At the time, it placed her license on probation for four years because she had abused heroin between 2011 and 2014, state records show.

The board found Wednesday that she had failed to attend therapy sessions and failed to submit to random drug tests, records show.

The board also ordered a four-year probation for Christine DeFusco, a licensed practical nurse, of Rocky Hill, after finding that in 2016, she abused alcohol to excess, a memorandum of decision said.

That year, she was arrested in Rocky Hill, admitted to drinking vodka in her car and was charged with her third DUI, the memorandum states. At the time, she was on a court-ordered probation for a 2013 DUI conviction, it states. In 2016, she pleaded guilty to the third DUI charge and had a breathalyzer device attached to the ignition of her car, records show.

DeFusco has undergone treatment for alcohol use disorder, records show. While her license is on probation, she must undergo random drug and alcohol attests and continue therapy, the memorandum states.

The board also placed the RN license of Charlene Zikaras of Milford on probation for four years and ordered her to undergo random drug and alcohol tests, a consent order she agreed to said.

The order said that Zikaras abused alcohol to excess in January and February but her urine tests have been negative for alcohol since March.