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.
HUSKY members in a person-centered medical home (PCMH) practice are more likely to get recommended preventative health services and less likely to visit the emergency room, according to Department of Social Services (DSS) data. A PCMH is a medical practice that provides comprehensive and coordinated care. That can mean helping a child get an appointment with a behavioral health clinician; making sure a patient’s apartment is free of asthma triggers; and many other services hard to get in time-crunched primary care offices. Medical homes must also provide a high level of accessibility through measures like extended hours, electronic or telephone access or rapid appointment scheduling. The state instituted HUSKY PCMHs in 2012 with an eye toward improving care for patients with chronic conditions, according to Kate McEvoy, director of the Division of Health Services at DSS.
In West Haven, 24% of white residents reported their health as fair or poor, a rate worse than whites statewide and in New Haven. Fifty miles east, 19% of white New London residents reported feeling depressed or hopeless, higher numbers than statewide and in Bridgeport. And 39% of white New Britain residents reported that financially, they were just getting by or were worse off. That’s higher than in Hartford and statewide. A C-HIT analysis of the results from the recent DataHaven Community Wellbeing Survey found that residents in a number of midsize, blue-collar cities reported lower health ratings than residents of the state’s largest cities.
The state Board of Examiners for Nursing last week suspended the licenses of four nurses and disciplined two others, all for drug- or alcohol-related offenses. The board summarily suspended the registered nurse (RN) license of Kathryn Lovejoy after it found her severe alcohol use disorder, as well as multiple emotional and substance abuse disorders, represent a clear and immediate danger to the public health and safety. Lovejoy, of New Haven, entered a rehabilitation program in March 2018 and was required to submit to random urine screens and breathalyzer tests, records show. In June 2019 the rehabilitation center referred Lovejoy’s case to the state Department of Public Health (DPH) after she used alcohol and failed to comply with urine tests, stating “they were unable to confirm [whether Lovejoy was] … fit to practice [nursing],” according to the motion for summary suspension. The board also summarily suspended the licensed practical nurse (LPN) license of Tammy Piccirillo of Seymour who, according to a May 2019 consent order she signed, abused opiates from 2017 to 2018.
Three nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for violations that occurred in 2017 and last year. Long Ridge Post-Acute Care in Stamford was fined $3,270 after a resident was found lying on the floor multiple times. The care plan for the resident, who had Alzheimer’s disease and anxiety, directed that the resident be kept in front of the nurse’s station when out of bed. According to the citation, the resident was found on the floor multiple times in 2017: June 23, June 27, July 4, Aug. 9 and Aug.
Some Connecticut hospitals and doctors and a clinic are starting to treat severely depressed patients with a new nasal spray called Spravato, touted as the most significant federally approved depression medication since Prozac was approved in 1987. Spravato, which received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in March, has raised hopes for preventing suicides and relieving depression after other treatments have failed. But there are concerns about possible side effects, including drug abuse, elevated blood pressure and heart rate, sedation, and hypersensitivity to surroundings. The nasal spray is prescribed for treatment-resistant depression after at least two other antidepressants haven’t worked and is given with an oral antidepressant. It is only administered in restrictive clinical settings to reduce potential for abuse and side effects.
Seven Connecticut nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for lapses in care that endangered or hurt residents. Geer Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Canaan was fined $10,000 after a resident with dementia inappropriately touched four other residents. The resident came to the facility Feb. 27, from another nursing home and had a history of sexually inappropriate behavior, according to the citation. Geer documented four incidents of inappropriate touching of other residents between Feb.
A mother’s death a day after childbirth, a patient’s brain injury and death following thyroid gland surgery, a child’s abduction, and a sexual assault involving two patients were among the incidents cited in the latest round of hospital inspection reports conducted by the state Department of Public Health (DPH). The 36 new reports, which can be found in C-HIT’s Data Mine section, cover state inspections that took place at hospitals between 2017 and earlier this year. There were several instances when objects were left in patients following surgery. At Manchester Memorial Hospital, a series of staff errors contributed to a woman’s death one day after giving birth to a stillborn baby, the DPH inspection report said. The patient delivered the baby Jan.
The state Medical Examining Board has disciplined three doctors and fined them a total of $25,500 for lapses in the care of patients. The board, meeting in Hartford on July 16, reprimanded Dr. William Guinan of South Windsor and fined him $10,000 for failing to perform PAP smears on one of his patients for six years after having diagnosed her with cancer in 2009, state records show. Guinan surgically removed the woman’s uterus and one ovary to treat the cancer, a consent order he agreed to said. In 2015, she was diagnosed with Stage III metastatic vaginal cancer. The order said Guinan had failed to adequately document a treatment plan for her in 2009, failed to instruct the patient about her long-term cancer risks and failed to review her medical history during exams over the next six years.
The state Board of Examiners for Nursing on Wednesday revoked the licenses of three nurses and disciplined six others, mostly for alcohol and drug abuse violations. The board revoked the registered nurse (RN) license of Kathryn Y. Ford of Wilton after finding that her continued practice as a nurse posed a threat to public safety, according to a memorandum of decision. Ford’s license had previously been suspended for using marijuana, cocaine and heroin to excess from January 2017 to August 2018. The licensed practical nurse (LPN) license of Presley Eze of West Hartford, who has a long history of disciplinary actions, was also revoked. State records show that Eze was high on PCP in 2011 when he brandished a sword outside the Trader Joe’s store in West Hartford, and he has been arrested four times since then, records show.