The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

October 10, 2013

Nurse charged in drug scam

By Karen Blackledge
The Daily Item

LEWISBURG — DANVILLE — A Valley Township registered nurse attempted to fill prescriptions for herself intended for Geisinger Medical Center patients Aug. 2 and 3, Mahoning Township police said.

Christina Marie Kreski, 28, of 270 McCracken Road, was arraigned by Montour County District Judge Marvin Shrawder and released on $15,000 unsecured bail.

Mahoning Township Cpl. Chad Thomas was contacted Aug. 6 by Scott Bitting, security services manager at Geisinger, who reported Kreski was suspected of diverting Oxycodone and Ibuprofen after she obtained and filled or attempted to fill prescriptions for herself for hospital patients. She was a registered nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit at Geisinger.

It could not be determined whether she still works at Geisinger.

Police charged her with attempting to fill prescriptions for Oxycodone on Aug. 2 and 3 and fraudulently obtaining a prescription for Ibuprofen on Aug. 2.

According to the charges, prescriptions for Ibuprofen and Oxycodone in the name of a patient were taken to be filled Aug. 2 at the Danville CVS Pharmacy. A prescription for Oxycodone in the same patient’s name was taken Aug. 3 to be filled at the Danville Weis Markets Pharmacy. Only the Ibuprofen prescription was filled.

Kenny Diep, a pharmacist at the Weis Markets, provided a description of the person with the prescriptions to Thomas and attorney general’s office agent Duane Musser. Police obtained a surveillance video from the CVS Pharmacy on Aug. 12. Maureen Lloyd, NICU operations manager, identified Kreski in the video, police said.

Geisinger’s EPIC record system showed Kreski tried 10 times to print or printed prescriptions from the same patient Aug. 1 and 2.

Following a six-month audit of medication administered by Kreski, numerous irregularities were found in the administration of morphine, police said.

As a result, the Geisinger Diversion Investigative Team questioned Kreski, who denied taking morphine from the hospital but said she printed prescriptions in a patient’s name, signed the prescriptions with the name of Dr. Zechariah Spychalla and wrote a DEA number on the prescription without knowing Spychalla’s number.

She voluntarily submitted to a drug screen Aug. 6. Musser obtained a search warrant from Shrawder for the test results, which were positive for Oxycodone and Oxymorphone.

Thomas and Musser interviewed Kreski on Sept. 30 at her home. She told them she tried to fill an Oxycodone prescription at CVS and a second Oxycodone prescription the next day at the Weis pharmacy. Pharmacists refused to fill them.