Four nurses charged with drug theft from St. E's
By Peter H. Milliken
A Mahoning County grand jury separately indicted four nurses, three of whom worked at St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown, on charges of stealing drugs in controlled-substance categories from the hospital last year.
Ryan T. Hofus, 27, of Cavalcade Drive, is charged with two counts of drug theft and two counts of drug possession, referring to Dilaudid and Fentanyl, with the offenses purportedly having occurred between March 1 and July 17, 2012. Dilaudid and Fentanyl are painkillers.
Dustin E. Chapman, 31, of Union Street, Columbiana, is charged with one count of theft of Vicodin and one count of illegally possessing it between April 25 and May 30, 2012.
Kathleen Marino, 60, of Thomas Road, Hubbard, is charged with a single count of stealing morphine and a single count of possessing it between March 1 and April 30, 2012.
Hofus, Chapman and Marino have not worked for the hospital since last year, said Tina Creighton, public-relations specialist for Humility of Mary Health Partners, which operates the hospital.
The fourth nurse, Sherry L. Sandy, 47, of Mount Vernon Avenue, is charged with two counts of drug theft, one pertaining to Fentanyl and the other to Midazolam, aggravated possession of Fentanyl and possession of Midazolam between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30, 2012. Midazolam is a sedative.
HMHP has no record of Sandy as a hospital employee, but she was a nurse anesthetist working for an outside entity and no longer works at St. Elizabeth, Creighton said.
Martin P. Desmond, an assistant county prosecutor, said the four stole the drugs for their own use. They did not traffic in the drugs, and there is no evidence they conspired with each other in the thefts, he added.
St. Elizabeth Health Center employs 640 nurses. The combined total of nurses working at St. Elizabeth in Youngstown and Boardman, St. Joseph Health Center in Warren and HM Home Care is 1,212, Creighton said.