The state Medical Examining Board voted Tuesday to place two doctors on probation, including a pediatrician accused of excessive alcohol use.
Dr. Christine Cornachio of Simsbury, the pediatrician, is required to submit to random urine testing and individual therapy with a licensed professional as part of a consent order approved by the board that will allow her to continue practicing at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center during the five-year probationary period.
Cornachio came under investigation by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) in June after the agency was notified by the Health Assistance Intervention Network, known as HAVEN, in accordance with state law.
HAVEN helps medical professionals with mental health, medical and substance abuse problems. State statute requires HAVEN to report any licensed medical practitioner who did or could pose a harm to patients or declines services after being referred due to a mental health, medical or substance abuse problem.
An investigation determined Cornachio utilized alcohol to excess on at least four occasions from 2014 to March 2019, the consent order said. Under the terms of the order, she must remain in individual therapy with a DPH-approved licensed psychiatrist or psychologist who must provide monthly documentation on her progress.
Cornachio must also submit to random urine tests and attend group therapy sessions during the period of probation. She is required to work in a practice with other physicians on site, as part of the order. Cornachio did not admit to wrongdoing but agreed not to contest the order.
The board also voted Tuesday to discipline New Britain physician Lucyna Kolakowska with seven months of probation and a $5,000 fine for failing to maintain professional malpractice insurance from about Nov. 1, 2017 to Aug. 7, 2018, a consent order stated.
Kolakowska “erroneously” indicated that she was in compliance with professional liability insurance requirements on her license renewal form submitted to the DPH during the timeframe, the order said. She also did not have supplemental insurance to cover claims prior to Aug. 7, 2018, the order said.
She is now covered and has taken care of any back periods she owed, her attorney John Barberi told the board.
“She sent a check but it was either misapplied or lost,” Barberi said. She repeatedly tried to rectify the problem but didn’t receive “a satisfactory answer” from the insurance company, he added.
The DPH Healthcare Quality and Public Safety Branch began investing after being notified by her insurer that her malpractice insurance had lapsed in November 2017, DPH attorney Matthew Antonetti said.
In other action, Dr. Jane Srinivasan agreed to stop performing surgeries after being referred to HAVEN by the Physician Heath Committee at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center for a severe upper body tremor, according to DPH documents. Srinivasan, an OB/GYN, underwent a duty fitness exam at Texas A & M University Health Science Center in December of 2018. The results of the examination revealed she had “significant” tremors that would impact her ability to perform surgically, according to a consent order. Under the terms of the order, Srinivasan is permanently restricted from performing surgery on patients, but may provide routine treatments such as pap smears and pelvic exams.
A doctor who maintains a medical license in Connecticut but does not practice in the state was reprimanded based on an investigation into allegations she wrote prescriptions for hormones for a friend and did not properly document prescriptions for controlled substances during incidents that occurred from 2013 to 2016 in another state. Dr. Constance Roseann Tambakis-Odom was disciplined with letters of public concern or reprimands by medical boards in California, North Carolina and Maryland in 2019 after an investigation by the North Carolina Medical Board. As part of a consent order drafted by the North Carolina, Tambakis-Odom was required to complete a professional/problem-based ethics course. Medical boards in California and Maryland also sanctioned Tambakis-Odom with reprimands after reviewing the North Carolina incident.