Complaint: LPN took, emailed photos of Ocala nursing home patients


Published: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.

The Florida Department of Health has filed an administrative complaint against a Silver Springs nurse, accusing him of taking pictures of two patients at the Ocala nursing home where he worked and then emailing the photos to a friend.

Donald Edward Berry, 24, was a licensed practical nurse (LPN) at Oakhurst Care and Rehabilitation Center in May, which is when the alleged wrongdoing took place, the complaint said.

The DOH accuses Berry of engaging in “unprofessional conduct” by “violating the confidentiality of information or knowledge concerning a patient.”

The DOH has asked the Florida Board of Nursing to suspend or permanently revoke Berry's license and impose any other disciplinary measures it deems appropriate.

“As a healthcare provider we are prohibited from providing information concerning current and former employees of our nursing center,” wrote Bernadette Bell in an email statement on behalf of Patrick Ladehoff, an administrator at Oakhurst. “I can assure you that in a situation involving any employee allegations, we consider it to be a top priority and take swift and appropriate measures to ensure the safety our residents. As part of our hiring process, we strictly follow background screening policies which was done in this situation.”

Berry's nursing license has been suspended since July for a different reason: testing positive for cocaine in a pre-employment drug screen.

“Respondent (Berry) failed to provide a valid prescription and legitimate medical reason for using cocaine,” state records showed.

The Oakhurst pictures were taken on May 7, the state alleges. The drug test was taken on or about May 11 at the New Horizon Rehabilitation Center in Ocala.

A spokesperson from the DOH said Berry's case is scheduled for final disposition before the Board of Nursing in the coming months.

Contact Vishal Persaud at (352) 867-4065, vishal.persaud@starbanner.com or on Twitter @vishalpersaud.

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