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VT medical board weighs liability of director overseeing improper prescriptions at UVM

Burlington Free Press, September 27, 2011

Medical Practice Board panel member Russell Davignon held up a 5-page document detailing 153 prescriptions for opiate medications that a former University of Vermont physician assistant had written for 12 patients at the student health center in 2008 and 2009. What Davignon, a Montpelier surgeon, wanted to know was why so many of the lines designating the supervising physician for the prescriptions had been left blank. He said he believed the blanks should have contained the name of the center's director, Dr. Jon Porter. Davignon, the only physician on the three-person panel, also said it looked like a newly hired interim medical director, Dr. A. Evan Eyler, was in some cases identified as the supervising doctor before she was actually given that task. Bennett at first tried to explain how he had put together the document, but soon retreated as Davignon held his ground. "If there is an error there on a date, that is our fault," Bennett said. The exchange Monday afternoon came at the end of more than six hours of testimony in a hearing about the quality of oversight by one of UVM's top officials, Porter, who is director of UVM's Center for Health and Wellbeing.