An East Hartford pediatrician who served a federal sentence for illegally prescribing oxycodone and failing to pay more than $177,000 in employee withholding taxes to the IRS has voluntarily surrendered his medical license. Since Dr. Sheikh Ahmed of Orange, who operated the East Hartford Medical Center, has turned in his license, the state Medical Examining Board on Tuesday agreed to drop its charges against him. If he tries to reinstate his license in the future, the charges will be deemed true, according to an affidavit from Ahmed. State Department of Public Health records accuse Ahmed of engaging in illegal and negligent conduct by prescribing oxycodone, an opioid painkiller, to people in exchange for money without examining them in 2017 and 2018. He also increased their dosage of the drug without justification, DPH records show.
A coalition of mental health providers who treat transgender people in Connecticut has complained for months that the state Department of Social Services (DSS) has imposed what they call unnecessary and overly restrictive requirements on patients seeking gender-affirming surgery. The changes affect low-income patients on the state’s Husky health insurance. Before covering genital surgery to treat gender dysphoria – the psychological distress that can result from an incongruence between one’s sex assigned at birth and their gender identity – DSS now requires proof that the person has lived for at least a year in the new gender and has come out to family and friends. DSS accepts a legal name change as proof. In March, DSS imposed a blanket denial of gender-affirming surgery for anyone under 18 and began requiring two letters from mental health professionals assessing transgender patients before some surgeries would be covered, Alexandra Solomon, a clinical social worker with a therapy practice in Glastonbury and one of the leaders of the coalition, said.
The state Medical Examining Board on Tuesday reprimanded two doctors, including fining a Waterbury doctor $10,000 for inappropriately prescribing high doses of narcotics to a patient. In addition to the fine and reprimand, the board also placed the medical license of the Waterbury physician, Dr. Philip A. Mongelluzzo Jr., on probation for two years, state records show. Mongelluzzo failed to meet the standard of care for a patient between 2014 and 2018 when he did not appropriately treat the patient’s chronic pain and prescribed the narcotics without documenting the therapeutic reasons for the drugs, according to a consent order that Mongelluzzo signed. The order said Mongelluzzo, the owner of Care Beyond Medicine in Waterbury, also prescribed sedatives to the patient without limits and without an adequate medical purpose for doing so. While not admitting to wrongdoing, Mongelluzzo chose not to contest the allegations, the consent order said.
The state Medical Examining Board on Tuesday suspended the medical license of a Woodbridge pulmonologist for conducting sexually inappropriate examinations of two female patients and fined a West Hartford ophthalmologist $40,000 for failing to ensure that four patients received the correct implant during cataract surgery. State Department of Public Health (DPH) records show that the pulmonologist, Dr. Sushil K. Gupta, conducted the inappropriate exams between 2019 and 2022. In suspending his license, the board said Gupta poses a “clear and immediate danger to the public.”
DPH records show that Gupta also violated a 2013 decision of the board that required that he have a female chaperone in the room with him when examining or treating female patients. This is the second time that Gupta has been accused of sexually inappropriate exams of female patients. The board revoked his license in 2006 after finding that the testimony of two women was credible when they described Gupta touching them in inappropriate ways during pulmonary exams, state records show.
Since coming out as transgender in 2015, Lillian Maisfehlt has spent $10,000 on electrolysis and had voice and hormone therapy and breast construction. She also spent 10 days in Pennsylvania recovering from vaginoplasty, an operation that few surgeons perform for transgender women in Connecticut. Maisfehlt, 47, of Chester, said the pain, cost and occasional fights with her insurance company for reimbursement have been worth it. “Each step has made me feel a little bit more like myself,’’ Maisfehlt, a librarian at Gateway Community College in New Haven, said. “I’m Lillian.
The state Medical Examining Board imposed disciplinary action against four doctors Tuesday, including fining a West Hartford ophthalmologist $15,000 for operating on the wrong eye and fining a Bridgeport radiologist $5,000 in connection with a delayed cancer diagnosis. The board also reprimanded the medical license of the ophthalmologist, Dr. Patrick F. Albergo, for failing to comply with his Connecticut Eye Center’s “time-out” procedures and failing to maintain adequate medical records, according to a consent order he signed. Albergo, who chose not to contest the allegations, has completed courses in medical recordkeeping and changed protocols at the center to make sure that surgeons mark the correct eye before operating, the order said. The patient needed surgery on both eyes, and both procedures were done on separate days but in the wrong order, state Department of Public Health records (DPH) show. Board member Dr. Robert A. Green said the excuse that the patient needed surgery on both eyes is not acceptable.
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.
The state Medical Examining Board on Tuesday fined an Oxford doctor $10,000 for fraudulently using another doctor’s name and Drug Enforcement Agency registration number to prescribe controlled substances to a family member. In addition to the fine, board also voted unanimously to reprimand the medical license of the doctor, Marc D. Legris, and ordered him to take a course in ethics and to practice in a supervised office setting. The order does not indicate the name of the doctor that Legris used. In a consent order approved by the board, Legris chose not to contest the allegations. Department of Public Health records show that in August 2021, Legris surrendered his own DEA registration and Connecticut controlled substance credential.
Poor nutrition, stress and a loss of physical activity when schools closed during the COVID-19 pandemic appear to be worsening the problem of childhood obesity nationally and in Connecticut. Nationally, obesity among youth ages 2 to 19 increased from 19.3% in 2019 to 22.4% in 2020, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The same age group saw the rate of increase in their body mass index (BMI) double during the pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. The heaviest youths experienced the highest gains. In Connecticut, the obesity rate among ages 10 to 17 rose from 13.3% in 2018-19 to 15.3% in 2019-2020, according to the Johnson Foundation report.
When she became a nurse 10 years ago, Sara Keiling never expected that she’d be wearing a pink hard hat and a life jacket and climbing a steep, 30-foot ladder to vaccinate her patients in a global pandemic. But that’s what she and other nurses from the Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center in New Haven have been doing since May to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to more than 90 crew members on oil tankers that regularly arrive in the port. The nurses provide the shots on board the ships because many of the crew members lack valid visas. The crew members are among 200,000 merchant seafarers worldwide who have been unable to leave their ships in many ports due to strict COVID-19 restrictions. Some have been at sea for more than 18 months, and getting vaccinated means they can finally take shore leave or go home, David Heindel, chairman of the seafarers section of the International Transport Workers’ Federation, said.