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Former nurse supervisor accused of getting oxycodone by fraud

Kathleen Kirby, 61, was arrested by DEA, fired by Baptist Hospital of Nassau

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FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. – A former nurse supervisor at Baptist Medical Center of Nassau has been arrested and charged with obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.

Kathleen Anne Kirby, 61, was arrested on Wednesday by the Nassau County Sheriff's Office and the Drug Enforcement Agency after an investigation into suspicious patient pain medication activity by Kirby was conducted.

She was fired from her job at the time of her arrest.

Detectives said the investigation began on Oct.  16, 2018, after officials with Baptist Medical Center of Nassau contacted police.

Investigators said they reviewed drug databases, electronic records, security video and patient records and conducted interviews to determine if Kirby acted alone.

DEA investigators said no other employees were involved in the theft of controlled substances.

Detectives said that, between January 2018 and October 2018, Kirby obtained at least 134 oxycodone dosage units in current patients' names and diverted them for her own personal use.

News4Jax spoke to her next-door neighbor of 10 years, who didn't want to be identified but said, “I was shocked. She’s always been really sweet to me. I knew she was a nurse which, I admire nurses. I have a special place in my heart for nurses, this is not exactly what they’re supposed to be doing. She was just always really sweet to me, it’s just surprising, it really is shocking. You don’t want to see anybody get fired especially for something like this, it’s sad to me.”

Baptist Medical Center Nassau issued the following statement regarding Kirby's arrest:

"We take concerns regarding employee misconduct seriously, and take prompt action whenever we identify suspicious activity related to controlled substances.  As a result, the team member was immediately terminated at the time of the incident in October 2018. We appropriately communicated to local law enforcement and cooperated with their investigation. This event involved one former employee and to our knowledge patients were not affected. We hope Ms. Kirby will seek appropriate care."  

About the Authors:

Lifetime Floridian anchors weekends and reports weekdays on issues in Nassau and Baker counties and beyond.