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.

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.

Six Nursing Homes Fined Following Care Lapses

Six Connecticut nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for violations that resulted in injuries to residents. Bloomfield Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation was fined $3,000 for four incidents, spanning from 2015 to this year. On Oct. 8, 2016, a registered nurse found a resident unresponsive with no pulse. According to DPH, the RN did not do a full assessment or begin CPR.

Ansonia Nurse Accused Of Murder Loses License

A licensed practical nurse from Ansonia who is accused of murdering an Eastern Connecticut State University student has lost his nursing license in an unrelated case involving a fight he had with a visitor in a patient’s home. The Board of Examiners for Nursing voted Wednesday to revoke the license of Jermaine V. Richards, 34, after holding a hearing. Richards did not attend the hearing because he is being held on a $500,000 bond at Northern Correctional Institution in Somers on a charge that he murdered his is ex-girlfriend, Alyssiah Wiley, 20, of West Haven in 2013. After an extensive search, her dismembered body was found in Trumbull in May 2013, less than two miles from Richards’ home, the Connecticut Post has reported. Richards, who denied the nursing charges in a letter to the state Department of Public Health in December, was not represented by a lawyer at the hearing.

State Disciplines Eight Nurses

The state Board of Examiners for Nursing on Wednesday disciplined eight nurses, including seven for cases involving the theft or abuse of drugs and alcohol. The board revoked the registered nurse license of Enrique Lopez of Washington Depot, finding that between September and December, while working at Life Spring Home Health Care of Waterbury, he took a drug used to treat panic attacks from patients, records show. He also failed to properly document medical records and falsified a drug record, state Department of Public Health records show. From June to November, he also took an anti-anxiety drug from a patient and offered to pay the patient’s cable bill in return for the drug, records show. The board also found that Lopez made inappropriate comments or had inappropriate physical contact with a patient, records show.

State Disciplines Seven Nurses

The Board of Examiners for Nursing today disciplined seven nurses, including five for abusing drugs or alcohol. The board members also recommended that the state Department of Public Health hold a hearing in the case of Mary Howe of Griswold, a registered nurse who has been accused of inappropriate care of an inmate at York Correctional Institution in Niantic. DPH records show that on Nov. 1, 2014, the inmate bumped her head against a wall and fell out of a wheelchair and suffered a serious brain injury while in the prison medical unit. The inmate was hospitalized in critical care until February 2015 and remains in a long-term care facility, records show.

Number Of Lead-Poisoned Children Drops, But More Showed Higher Levels

Nearly 1,400 new cases of lead-poisoned children under age 6 were reported in Connecticut in 2015, a slight drop from the year before, but more children showed higher levels of poisoning. A child whose blood test shows 5 micrograms of lead per deciliter or higher is considered poisoned. The 2015 numbers show 98 new cases of children with lead levels of 20 micrograms or higher, four times the threshold number and a 32 percent jump from 2014. “We cannot, with any certainty, explain why this is the case,” said Krista M. Veneziano, coordinator of the Connecticut Department of Public Health’s (DPH’s) Lead, Radon, and Healthy Homes Program, about the disproportionately larger numbers of higher toxicity. Exposure to lead can damage cognitive ability, including a measurable and irreversible loss in IQ points.

Independent Living Facility Fined After Resident Was Found Dead In Pond

State health officials have fined a Willington independent living facility $1,500 after a resident left the facility last fall and was found dead in a nearby pond several days later. In addition to the fine, High Chase LLC agreed in a consent order with the state Department of Public Health (DPH) to implement new policies and procedures for staff to follow when a resident goes missing. The facility’s licensee denied the DPH’s allegations, but signed the order without any formal challenge of the allegations. Officials at High Chase did not return calls seeking comment this week. The fine and consent order stem from an incident discovered during a December 2016 inspection.