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Published: Saturday, 6/7/2008

Former hospice nurse yields license

A nurse who resigned last week from the Hospice of Northwest Ohio facility in South Toledo after she was suspected of stealing liquid pain medication has voluntarily given up her state nursing license, a state board of nursing official said.

Mary E. Mitchell, 51, of Maumee, identified by hospice officials and a Toledo police report as the suspect in the theft of drugs, has not been criminally charged.

Lisa Ferguson-Ramos, compliance manager at the Ohio Board of Nursing, said Ms. Mitchell faxed the board Thursday a request to have her license placed in an inactive status. Her attorney, Charles R. Hall, Jr., could not be reached.

Ms. Ferguson-Ramos declined to say if Ms. Mitchell is being investigated by the board, but said no disciplinary action has been taken against her.

Hospice officials monitored the amount of drugs Ms. Mitchell administered to her patients from April 1 to May 22.

The pain medication that was stolen is an injectable liquid packaged in a premeasured vial. Patients are given their prescribed dosage. The remaining medication is to be disposed.

Hospice officials alleged that Ms. Mitchell, who worked as a registered nurse at the hospice for about two years, administered the prescribed dosage to patients, then took the remaining medication. None of the patients at the 24-unit facility at 800 South Detroit Ave. was believed to have been harmed as a result of the actions.

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