Another Health Worker Busted for Painkillers

July 2009

Earlier this week, Kristen Diane Parker, a surgical technician at Rose Medical Center and another facility in Colorado Springs, found herself in the middle of a potentially massive hepatitis C outbreak after stealing liquid Fentanyl, a painkiller, and replacing what she took with used syringes filled with saline solution. Now another health worker, nurse Marguerite Irene Furgerson, is causing a stir, this time at Hospice and Palliative Care of Northern Colorado. Furgerson is accused of using the names of several patients to get Vicodin or Hydrocodone with forged prescriptions over the last eight months, according to 7News. Furgerson, 29, of Milliken, admitted to police that she is "heavily addicted" to the painkillers. The Greeley Tribune reports that Furgerson slipped through the cracks meant to protect patients. She previously worked at North Colorado Medical Center, where she was reported for stealing a patient's pills; the hospice reportedly did not receive notice before it hired her because of a paperwork issue. Meanwhile, fear has gripped many of Rose's patients: 5,700 may have been exposed to hepatitis C, a liver-harming condition that Parker has, writes The Denver Post. State health officials have confirmed 10 cases of hepatitis C at Rose, and hundreds of other patients at the Audubon Surgery Center in the Springs could be infected, reports The Associated Press.