It’s Time To Fund Gun Violence Research

After a white terrorist (can we just start calling these people what they are?) shot and killed at least 59 people and injured another 527 at an outdoor country music contest in Las Vegas this week, Nelba Márquez-Greene took to Twitter:

“Guess what folks? Gun violence and grief hurt in EVERY zip code. In every color. Grieving mothers need your help.”

Who can forget Márquez-Greene and her family? After her 6-year-old daughter Ana was shot and killed in the 2012 Newtown school massacre, Márquez-Greene and husband Jimmy Greene, the award-winning musician, have continually reminded this country that we can do more than offer thoughts-and-prayers over gun violence.

State Disciplines Nine Nurses

The state Board of Examiners for Nursing disciplined nine nurses this week, including taking action against seven nurses who abused drugs or alcohol. The board revoked the license of Christine Tracy, a licensed practical nurse, for abusing heroin in 2014. The board’s memorandum of decision said that Tracy of Ansonia was arrested in 2014 after driving on the wrong side of the road and striking two other cars. After being hospitalized, she was found in possession of seven bags of heroin. She was arrested and placed on probation for three years in 2016 after pleading guilty to possession of narcotics and failure to appear in court, the memo said.

Med Board Fines West Hartford Doctor, Physician Assistant

A son and mother who practice medicine in West Hartford were fined a total of $11,500 today by the state Medical Examining Board for prescribing high doses of opioids for patients without monitoring them for drug abuse. The board fined Dr. Corey Jaquez of the West Hartford Medical Center $7,500 and placed his medical license on probation for a year. They also fined his mother, Janis Jaquez, a physician assistant at the center, $4,000 and placed her license on probation for a year. Both were ordered to take courses in prescribing drugs and managing chronic pain, which they have already completed, and will have their practice monitored by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) during the probation, under consent orders they agreed to with the board. DPH records show the charges grew out of a report in 2015 from the state Department of Consumer Protection’s Drug Control Division about the care of three patients between 2010 and 2014.

Eight Nursing Homes Fined Following Lapses In Care

State health officials cited and fined eight nursing homes for various violations that resulted in lapses in care. The Reservoir in West Hartford was fined $2,360 after staff failed to give a resident’s spouse proper written notice that the resident was being transferred to another facility. The resident was moved on July 12 and the resident’s spouse opposed the move because it was far from the spouse’s home. The move came a week after the resident had left the facility despite being identified as an elopement risk and wearing a WanderGuard sensor, the Department of Public Health (DPH) citation said. Police found the resident in a wooded area about 50 feet behind the facility.

Court Awards, Settlements Rising In Distracted Driving Lawsuits

A New Britain couple, seriously hurt in a cellphone-related car accident on Route 8 in Harwinton, received a $1.3 million settlement in November. The previous year, a jury awarded a Torrington woman $1.4 million after a driver, talking on his cellphone while turning, struck her head-on, breaking her wrist and causing permanent injuries to her neck and back. These are two of the largest awards or settlements to go to motorists injured in crashes since Connecticut’s ban on talking and texting on cellphones went into effect in 2005, and a recent change to court procedure may pave the way for more large settlements. Despite the large awards, the incidence of fatalities and injuries from motor vehicle accidents in the state has continued to rise in recent years, state data indicates. The total number of car crashes increased every year from 2011 to 2016– from 78,433 in 2011, to 116,117 last year — according to UCONN’s Connecticut Crash Data Repository, which contains data that the state Department of Transportation collects.

Nursing Board Disciplines Four Nurses

The state Board of Examiners for Nursing disciplined four nurses Wednesday, including two accused of abusing drugs or alcohol and two accused of lying about their credentials. The board reprimanded and fined Vittoria Guerrera, a registered nurse from Prospect, $3,000, in connection with lying to her employer, St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, in 2015 about her results on a national nursing exam. Guerrera told her employers that a report that she failed the test was false, a consent order approved by the board said. From June through September of 2015, Guerrera continued to work as an RN at the hospital despite having failed the nursing test, the consent order said.

State Medical Board Fines, Disciplines Doctors

The state Medical Examining Board disciplined four doctors on Tuesday, including reprimanding and fining a prominent Norwalk plastic surgeon $2,500 for failing to keep adequate medical records. The medical license of the plastic surgeon, Dr. Laurence Kirwan, was also placed on probation for four months while he must complete a course in medical documentation, a consent order states. In 2015, the mother of a patient who had two chin procedures from Kirwan in 2014 filed a complaint with the state Department of Public Health, records show. A plastic surgery consultant found that Kirwan’s treatment records did not meet the standard of care, records show. On his blog, Kirwan says he is a professor and an internationally recognized expert in plastic surgery who has practiced in Norwalk, Manhattan and London.

Norwalk Residential Care Facility Fined, Ordered To Hire Consultant

State health officials have fined a Norwalk residential care home $1,000 and ordered it to hire an independent consultant after uncovering safety violations there earlier this year. Carlson Place was ordered to hire a consultant within four weeks of the consent order, which was signed June 26 by state Department of Public Health (DPH) officials and Carlson Place manager and owner Diane Mortali. The consultant must be familiar with public health codes, federal regulations, state building and fire codes, and others standards the facility failed to meet. According to the consent order, which is in effect for two years, the consultant will evaluate the facility’s engineering and maintenance program, assess the coordination of daily maintenance services various vendors provide, make recommendations and report back to DPH on the facility’s compliance efforts. The facility manager must meet with DPH representatives every 90 days.

Nursing Board Disciplines Four Nurses

The state Board of Examiners for Nursing has disciplined four nurses, including three in cases involving alcohol or drugs. The board on July 19 temporarily suspended the registered nurse license of Fernando Roldan of Hartford for failing to comply with the terms of a four-year probation, including attending therapy or support group sessions and submitting drug or alcohol test results, state Department of Public Health (DPH) records show. DPH records show that Roldan admitted that he abused alcohol between 2010 and 2014. The board’s April memorandum of decision said that Roldan was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol for the third time in 2013 and spent a year in prison. It also said he was fired from his job at Connecticut Valley Hospital’s Whiting Forensic Institute, where he had worked for 20 years, for using unreasonable force during a restraint of a patient.

Ansonia Nurse Accused Of Murder Gets Another Chance To Keep License

A licensed practical nurse from Ansonia who is accused of murdering an Eastern Connecticut State University student will get another chance to keep his nursing license. Last week, the Board of Examiners for Nursing vacated a decision it made in June to revoke the license of Jermaine V. Richards, 34, after Richards, who is being held on a $500,000 bond at Northern Correctional Institution in Somers, requested a continuance on a hearing he had been unable to attend in June. The board on July 19 granted his request for the continuance. Richards is facing charges that he was involved in a fight with a visitor in a patient’s home. In June, the board had concluded after the hearing that he slept while on duty at a patient’s home, misrepresented himself as a registered nurse, violated the patient’s privacy by bringing a visitor to the home and then had a physical altercation with the visitor, state records show.