LPN has opportunity for reinstatement

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A woman who lived in Lewisburg and, apparently, Cornersville, has an opportunity to have her nursing license reinstated under a program authorized by the State Board of Nursing since it was suspended last month.

Circumstances facing Mary E. Giles, whose address was listed by the state on Tyree Road, are in contrast to those of other health care business employees including a Fayetteville medic who tested positive for marijuana and making a patient walk to an ambulance while suffering pneumonia and respiratory distress.

Giles tested positive for morphine, hydrocodone and benzodiazpines when she had prescriptions for oxycodone, hydrocodone and diazepam, according to a consent order issued by the state Health Department among dozens of other reports this month.

She was employed as a licensed practical nurse with Sunbridge Care and Rehab Facility in Fayetteville in January, but was terminated for impairment while on duty, according to the Nursing Board order.

Attempts to reach Giles were unsuccessful. The order does not state why she needed the prescription medicines. An Internet search for Giles indicated she has been a Cornersville resident.

The Fayetteville Care and Rehabilitation Center said it could not assist in contacting Giles, explaining, "We are obligated by privacy regulations to maintain any information concerning ... former employees as confidential," according to Gregg Waycaster, the state regional vice president for operations of Sunbridge Care.

"All our licensed healthcare personnel are subject to compliance with minimum practice standards enforced by state licensure boards as well as our own quality care expectations," Waycaster said in a prepared statement provided by his corporate headquarters' media-relations office in New Mexico.

Giles agreed to the suspension of her LPN license and was given time for an evaluation which could lead to a probationary license and, in time, restoration of her license. Subsequent decisions by the Nursing Board about Giles are not to be influenced by this disciplinary action signed Sept. 2 by the board's chairperson.

At least three other cases released, as required by state policy, this month concern medical business employees in neighboring counties.

They include:

* John Mel Appling of Fayetteville, an emergency medical technician whose license was revoked by the state Board of Emergency Medical Services.

On Aug. 25, 1999, he was arrested by the Moore County Sheriff's department for possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of a weapon, and on June 1, 2007, Appling "provided improper care ...in... Coffee County ...[as he] made a patient walk to the ambulance while experiencing respiratory distress and pneumonia," according to the state board.

He failed to reveal the 1999 marijuana and gun convictions in 2001, 2003 and 2005 when his EMT license was up for renewal, the order states.

On June 14, 2006, he entered a state program that would have led to his licensing again, a program available to Giles, but Appling was found to be under the influence of narcotics on June 17, 2008, while on duty, the order states. A treatment program was completed and a monitoring program began, but on Aug. 13, 2009, program officials said they wouldn't advocate his continued participation for failure to meet terms of the monitoring agreement.

Appling has surrendered his license and that's the same as a revocation, the board order states.

* Douglas R. Wright of Fayetteville, a nurse whose license was suspended as a result of a Sept. 2 order by the state Board of Nursing.

The suspension was in connection with a positive test for marijuana as a result of a drug screen ordered by his employer, Crestwood Medical Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Wright "must contact the Board of Nursing to have his suspension lifted," the state order states.

* Emily Pratt, whose application to be a dental assistant was granted on a conditional basis.

"Your application revealed a negative response when asked about your criminal background history..." according to a Sept. 28 letter to her by Shiva Bozarth, deputy general counsel for the Department of Health. "On Dec. 19, 2005, you pleaded guilty to one count of vehicular homicide...

"You are granted a Tennessee registration to practice as a registered dental assistant," Bozarth wrote. "However, the registration is conditioned upon you abiding by all of the terms of your criminal probation..."