Copyright CtWatchdog.com 2012
A Naugatuck Valley Community College instructor used patients’ X-rays from nearby Saint Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury as teaching tools, without permission from the patients, many of whom were identified by name, date of birth, and included physician notes, according to a former student.
NVCC and Saint Mary’s hospital said the practice was stopped recently after the former student in the radiology technicians’ program blew the whistle on the college.
The student, Jose Pinto of Waterbury, told CtWatchdog as well as the federal Department of Health & Human Services Boston office, that the students were told to keep the practice a secret by the teacher.
His letter to the Boston office said he confronted the program director about the practice and he told CtWatchdog that the director told him to keep it a secret.
NVCC officials said the teacher and program director are still employed at the college.
The teacher, Tony Santos, is also a part-time radiology technician at the hospital, and had a computer password to the medical records that permitted him to access the data from his computer at the college.
Pinto said Santos used a projector connected to a computer to show the x-rays on a screen. Students were not allowed to take photographs during the classes.
NVCC and Saint Mary officials declined to answer most questions about the matter, including how long the practice had taken place, and whether or not the instructor and program director, James Pronovost, had been disciplined. They said the matter is still under investigation.
They did not deny any of the student’s accusations.
“We are in communication with the other parties, and issues and concerns are being addressed. This is still an open matter and we will have no other comments till the matter is officially closed,” said school provost James Troup, who declined to make the two staffers available for comment, and said he is the only person from the school who could say anything about the matter. CtWatchdog was unable to reach Santos at the college or hospital.
“We appreciate you respecting our position that I am the sole contact for the college.”
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