Police: Hospice Worker Stole, Sold Drugs

January 13th, 2011 by Staff

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Police have arrested and charged a Community Hospice worker with drug trafficking and drug possession.
According to a police report, Alicia Fowler, a licensed practical nurse at the Ramona Boulevard facility on the Westside, stole morphine, OxyContin and Xanax tablets from dead patients at the center.
The investigation began after staff members noticed some of the bags of morphine appeared to be missing some of the liquid, according to the report.
Police said they discovered Fowler had been stealing the morphine from the bags using a syringe.
Investigators said that after Fowler was arrested, she admitted to diverting the drug for the past six months, according to the police report. Police said she also told them she became addicted to the drugs after she underwent surgery in 2009.
Police said they found a prescription pill bottle in Fowler’s car with several different pills in it, including morphine tablets. They said when she was arrested Monday, they found a needle and a syringe in her pockets, and she had already injected the morphine she stole that day.
Fowler has been fired from the facility, according to a statement released by Community Hospice.
“Community Hospice identified a discrepancy in medications and was able to determine the individual responsible for the discrepancy,” the statement reads. “The information was provided to the Jacksonville Sherriff’s Office for appropriate action.”
“We are confident that this situation has been resolved appropriately, and that at no time was the care of our patients adversely affected by this incident,” John Campbell, director of human resources, said in the statement.
Jon Radulovic, of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, also commented on the arrest.
“One thing the hospice industry does not tolerate is this sort of malfeasance,” Radulovic said. “This particular employee was not jeopardizing patient care, and people who’ve been served in the past shouldn’t have to worry whether there might have been a problem with their loved on.”

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