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Convicted Felon Doctor Hired to Work with Rhode Island’s Vulnerable Population

Another recent hiring situation demonstrates the clear importance of comprehensive background checks and the vital information they provide for employers.

Dr. Andrew Stone had lost his medical license as a result of a felony conviction for repeatedly exposing himself to young boys. While his license to practice medicine was reinstated years later, and while the hospital stands by its decision, it begs the question – should a person with this type of criminal history be working with a vulnerable population?

According to Cynthia Lussier, president of United Nurses and Allied Professionals Local 5019, the union that represents groups of Rhode Island registered nurses, “This union’s first priority will always be the care and safety of our patients and members. The details surrounding Dr. Stone’s criminal conviction, subsequent suspension and later reinstatement of his license to practice medicine in Rhode Island are extremely troubling, however, UNAP Local 5019 has no information beyond what has been reported by news organizations,” said Lussier. “Hospital administrators must be transparent and forthcoming regarding this matter to address reasonable concerns from patients, their families and staff.”

A thorough vetting process, which could include criminal records checks, medical sanctions searches, license verifications, and news and publications searches should be used to properly vet job applicants. If there was more consideration to this information in this case, it could have helped the state avoid the embarrassment and media attention of placing the vulnerable population at risk.

As the country continues to face increasing measures to put the formerly incarcerated back to work despite their past convictions, it must be balanced with the legitimate concerns of the community. In performing background screenings, Hire Image understands this crucial balance, as well as the needs of employers to protect their businesses, other employees, and customers, or even patients, as in this case. If you have any questions or concerns about how to do so, please contact us to speak with a representative.

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