State Suspends License Of Stamford Doc For Excessive Use Of Alcohol, Drugs

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The state Medical Examining Board on Tuesday suspended the license of a Stamford doctor after state Department of Public Health officials said his excessive use of alcohol and drugs and his mental illnesses may affect his ability to safely practice medicine.

A statement of charges against him says that Dr. Jeffrey Stern excessively used alcohol and narcotics in 2019 and 2020 and since 2019, has had mental illnesses or emotional disorders.

DPH records show that Stern was arrested on Aug. 29, 2020 and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to use and driving while intoxicated. It was unclear where the arrest took place. In 2019, Stern had temporarily surrendered his medical license in New York and voluntarily agreed to stop practicing medicine in Florida, DPH records show.

In the statement of charges, DPH contends that Stern, who is listed on state records as living in New York City, falsely answered “no” when asked on his 2020 Connecticut medical license application if he had voluntarily surrendered any professional license or was facing possible discipline in any other state.

From 2020 to 2021, Stern also falsely used his Connecticut license to treat patients in New York and violated Connecticut law by prescribing opioid drugs to patients though telehealth appointments, the statement said. During the same period, he also violated state law by prescribing controlled substances to patients who had no demonstrated physical or medical disorders, it said.

From 2020 to 2021, he also prescribed more than a 72-hour supply of a controlled substance to a patient and failed to review electronic prescription drug monitoring records, the statement said.

At the meeting, additional charges were added against Stern after Joelle Newton, a DPH staff attorney, said the health department had received new allegations from the state Department of Consumer Protection’s Drug Control Division about Stern prescribing controlled substances.

Darius Marzec, a Brooklyn, New York attorney representing Stern, objected to the new charges being added and asked that a public hearing in the case be continued to August. The board agreed to the continuance after suspending Stern’s license.

In an unrelated case, the board also voted to reprimand the physician assistant license of Derek William Donovan of Colchester and placed his license on probation for five years because a DPH investigation found that he had used alcohol and marijuana excessively since 2020.

Donovan chose not to contest the allegations and agreed to the punishment in a consent order that was accepted by the board Tuesday.

The order, which said he has an emotional disorder or mental illness, states that Donovan falsified medical records in 2021 and made false written statements the same year to mislead people working on behalf of DPH.

During the probation, Donovan must submit to random drug and alcohol tests, complete a course in professional ethics, undergo therapy and attend support group meetings. Under the order, he is also barred from working as a solo practitioner.

Matthew Carlone, a Wethersfield attorney representing Donovan, told the board that the consent order was a “fair and equitable agreement.”

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