Impaired doctor reprimanded

August 24, 2018

STAMFORD — A former Stamford Health doctor has been fined after she was accused of coming to work impaired.

Dr. Kim Zeh was reprimanded and fined $7,500 this week by the state Medical Examining Board. Zeh was accused of coming to work at a Stamford Health urgent care center in 2017 impaired, due to alcohol or opiates she ingested to alleviate post-surgical pain, according to state records.

Zeh was sent home and did not see any patients that day. State records did not indicate the name of the Stamford urgent care center.

Results of a chemical dependency evaluation were negative and Zeh was found safe to practice medicine, the order said.

Zeh, who specializes in emergency medicine, did not admit wrongdoing but chose not to contest the accusations, the order said.

According to Christina Scott, a spokeswoman for Stamford Health, Zeh has not worked for the health network since the incident.

“Stamford Health is very concerned about patient safety, so in a case like this, the hospital took swift action,” Scott said.

Zeh could not be reached for comment on Friday.

Two other doctors were reprimanded by the medical board this week, including a Norwich physician for failing to keep his prescription pad secure.

In addition to not providing adequate security of his prescription pad, Dr. John Paggioli had pre-signed a blank prescription for a patient and held controlled substances in his office for various patients, a consent order said.

Though he denied any wrongdoing, Paggioli did not contest the allegations, the order said.

“He absolutely learned from this,” the doctor’s Hartford lawyer, Hilary Fisher Nelson, told the board. “He has implemented a system that is safe.”

The discipline stemmed from a 2016 investigation by the Drug Control Division of the state Department of Consumer Protection that began when a pharmacist reported a possible forged prescription in Paggioli’s name, records show. He has since passed three unannounced state inspections, records show.

In 2016, the medical board fined Paggioli $4,000 for failing to secure his prescription pads, leading to several fraudulent prescriptions being taken to local pharmacies.

The board also reprimanded Dr. Stephen Harris, a Cheshire internal medicine physician, for discarding patient files in a dumpster when he closed his medical practice in Waterbury in January, state records show. An anonymous tip led to the investigation and the state Department of Public Works retrieved the records from the trash that day.

Harris, who did not contest the allegation, will have his license suspended for six months, the order said. He was ordered to take courses in ethics and patient confidentiality during the probation.

This story was reported under a partnership with the Connecticut Health I-Team (c-hit.org).

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