Story Summary

Springettsbury dentist put patients at risk for Hepatitis and HIV

Gross Dentist

On April 29, the Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry temporarily suspended Dr. Jacqueline A. Marcin’s license to practice dentistry.  Through its review, the state found that Marcin did not attempt to sterilize some of her instruments between uses.

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Dirty Dentist Still Dealing With Former Patients With Medical Issues

The York County dentist whose license was suspended by the State Board of Dentistry for not following appropriate infection control procedures has applied to have her suspension stayed. Investigators discovered Dr. Jacqueline A. Marcin did not follow appropriate procedures to properly clean, disinfect or sterilize devices at her York dental office, located at 1820 E. Market St. As a result, her patients were advised to undergo testing for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Dr. Marcin is entitled to apply for reinstatement as per the agreement she signed with the board last month.

The board next meets next Friday, July 19th, at 9 a.m., at 2601 N. 3rd Street, Harrisburg, the former Polyclinic Hospital building.  The board presumably will vote on whether to stay the suspension as requested at that meeting, though that is not a 100% guarantee.

See her application for reinstatement here.

Patients of York County dentist Dr. Jacqueline Marcin are receiving a letter from her following a state health investigation into her practice.

An inspector found Dr. Marcin wasn’t properly sterilizing instruments. The Pa. Department of Health is urging patients who had work done beyond a routine cleaning to be tested for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.

Perry Capurro and his seven-year-old son, Lucas, are two of those patients.

Capurro says based on what Dr. Marcin’s attorneys have said, he expected to have no issues getting his out-of-pocket costs for the blood work reimbursed by Dr. Marcin. He recently got bills that have left him with over $800 in out-of-pocket costs.

In her letter, Dr. Marcin urges patients to submit their information to a mailing address, and “I will do my best to reimburse you.”

Capurro says he’s frustrated there’s no guarantee, especially since he was out of work last month.

“In this case, I don’t know what we’re going to do because this is putting a very hard financial strain on our budget,” said Capurro. Both his and his son’s tests came back negative. But, Capurro said his doctor advised them to get tested again in six months.

FOX43 reached out to Dr. Marcin’s attorney, Frank Marshall to get some clarification on the reimbursements. In an email, he said, “We suggest the patient follow the instructions the letter to obtain reimbursement. I am not at liberty to discuss the particulars of the case at this time as the matter continues to be pending.”

Early last month, the state’s dental board approved a consent agreement with Dr. Marcin that eventually could allow her to resume practicing on a probationary basis if she fulfills certain obligations, such as changing sterilization practices (she says she already has), completing continuing education requirements and be monitored periodically by another dentist.

In her letter, Dr. Marcin writes, “I hope to resume practice and to provide excellent dental care with the highest level of patient safety in the very near future. I am sorry for any inconvenience. It is my hope to see you as a patient again in the near future.”

Perry Capurro says he and his son won’t go back.

“Too little, too late,” Capurro said.

When news of the health department’s investigation broke, agency officials said at the time no patients had tested positive for blood-borne illness.

On Wednesday, a department spokeswoman declined to say if that was still the case, citing state law.

“The department is following up on any results we have received. That’s not to say that there are positives at this time directly associated with this case specifically. In order for us to determine if any results are directly affiliated with the infection control lapses at Dr. Marcin’s office, we have to do further investigation on a case-by-case basis,” said department spokeswoman Aimee Tysarczyk.

She added the department has responded to about 1,000 calls received to a hotline established for Dr. Marcin’s patients.

“The last 16 days we have been doing everything we can to comply with what the state wants us to do. And seeking out immediate testing for myself and my son Lucas,” said Perry Capurro. Capurro and his 7-year old son had to get tested for Hepatitis c, Hepatitis B, and HIV after receiving a notice from the State Department of Health.

Their tests came back negative, but the Capurro’s aren’t in the clear yet. They have to be re-tested again in six months.

The department of health found that Dr. Jacqueline A. Marcin, a dentist in York County, wasn’t sanitizing her tools before re-using them. “Being older there’s an almost automatic trust relationship with a physician or a doctor or a care provider. That not only are these people licensed and insured and educated but that they are going to do the right thing,” said Perry Capurro.

Perry and his son Lucas have had difficulty coping with the news. He says Lucas has had nightmares, and doesn’t want to go to a dentist. “His reaction was shock, kind of disbelief, he didn’t really understand what was going on. I would say a little afraid, fearful, a lot of questions. He had built a really great relationship [with her] over the last two years,” said Perry Capurro. “He still has a lot of questions and still has a lot of concerns. he’s still not sure about a lot of things.”

Perry says he hasn’t received a lot of support from anyone handling the matter. He is also waiting to hear if Dr. Marcin will be reimbursing him for the testing.

Health officials say no patients have tested positive for any illnesses.

Dr. Marcin’s license has been suspended.

The Pennsylvania Board of Dentistry voted to accept an agreement with the York County dentist that could allow her to practice dentistry again.

Under the agreement accepted, Marcin’s license remains suspended. Her office in Springettsbury Townhip is closed.

She can complete a series of requirements and then ask to resume practicing on a probationary basis for five years. Those requirements include: a 20-hour course on infection control; completing recommendations of an infection control consultant who’s already visited her office; additional hours of continuing education; cooperate with Department of State investigations; agree to random office inspections; agree to be overseen by a practice monitor who’s unaffiliated with her office.

The Pennsylvania Board of Dentistry voted Friday to accept an agreement with York County dentist Dr. Jacqueline Marcin that could allow her to practice dentistry again.

The vote came a few days after state investigators revealed she wasn’t sterilizing tools properly. The Department of Health asked patients who had work done by Dr. Marcin beyond a routine cleaning to be tested for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV. The recommendation applies to patients dating back to 1994.

Health officials say no patients have tested positive for any of those illnesses.

Under the agreement accepted Friday, Marcin’s license remains suspended.Her office in Springettsbury Townhip is closed.

She can complete a series of requirements and then ask to resume practicing on a probationary basis. Those requirements include: a 20-hour course on infection control; completing recommendations of an infection control consultant who’s already visited her office; additional hours of continuing education; cooperate with Department of State investigations; agree to random office inspections; agree to be overseen by a practice monitor who’s unaffiliated with her office.

The probationary period would be for five years.

During the hearing, which Marcin did not attend, her attorneys pointed out she’s had a good record until now. They also pointed out she graduated first in her class from dental school.

A former employee called investigators to complain about a pay issue. But, when an investigator went to Marcin’s office, the sterilization issue was discovered.

Her attorneys said she and her staff members already have taken an eight-hour course in infection control and passed with high marks.

“Practices that were called into question were immediately addressed and remediated by Dr. Marcin and her staff,” said Marcin’s attorney, Frank Marshall. He read from a statement and declined to answer questions on camera. He asked Fox43 to email him. When he responds, we’ll post his answers.

Members of the Board of Dentistry questioned Marcin’s skills as a dentist, saying part of demonstrating those good skills is following appropriate infection control measures. Another board member noted dentists are expected to adhere to good practices when as soon as they’re licensed, not when they’re caught.

Board chairperson Dr. Lisa Poole Deem questioned how Marcin could have graduated at the top of her class but not known proper sterilization techniques.

The board went into executive session to discuss the case behind closed doors. Members voted to accept the agreement without any no votes.

Following the hearing, board members wouldn’t explain their decision-making process.

“The only comment that I can make is that the board is charged solely with protecting the interests of the public, and that all of our decision making is informed keeping that charge in mind,” said Dr. Deem.

Fox43 asked her, “If you guys are tasked with determining whether Dr. Marcin can practice again, is there any kind of reassurance you can give to the public if indeed she does?”

She responded, “From my understanding, the consent agreement will be made public, and then you can decide that on your own.”

CB050016

Pennsylvania Academy of General Dentistry (PAGD) National Trustee Dr. Richard Knowlton, DMD, MAGD, today released the following statement regarding the risk of infection, considering the recent warning by the PA Department of Health for patients treated by a York general dentist:

“Infection control, safety and proper management of hazardous materials in dental offices are critical and basic to patient care. Dentists are required to establish and follow protocols mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), but unfortunately in very rare instances lapses in protocol can lead to an incident like the one in York.

“Patients should be encouraged to ask questions about the safety measures put in place at their dental office so you feel confident that the standard of care, and the law, is being followed.”

PAGD has a fact sheet available for patients called “Protection from Infection” on its website, www.pagd.org.  PAGD provides continuing education for dentists across the state on dental issues, including infection control. In addition, the US Department of Labor provides information through its website, www.osha.gov.

“The importance of infection control in dentistry can prevent transmission of infections among patients and dental healthcare workers,” Dr. Knowlton said. “OSHA mandates yearly training for all dental offices. In order for our dental teams to stay up dot date with the latest information, PAGD provides continuing education on this and many other topics.”

Local News
06/04/13

York County dentist under investigation

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is advising patients of a York County dentist that they might be at risk for infection after an investigation discovered the dental facility did not follow appropriate infection control procedures.

jacquelinemarcin3

from jacquelinemarcin.com

To date, the investigation has found Dr. Jacqueline A. Marcin did not follow appropriate procedure to properly clean, disinfect or sterilize devices at her York dental office, located at 1820 E. Market St.

As a result, the Department of Health is recommending hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing for current or former patients who had dental procedures performed directly by Dr. Marcin, such as fillings, tooth removals, denture fittings and other procedures.

Testing is not currently advised for patients who only received routine cleanings or checkups performed by other staff members. Patients should see their doctor to discuss testing options.

jacqulinemarcinoffice

“We understand that patients of Dr. Marcin might be worried in light of this news,” Secretary of Health Michael Wolf said. “We have not received any related reports of disease transmission or illness at this time. However, as a precautionary measure, we are recommending current or former patients of Dr. Marcin get tested.”

The departments of Health and State conducted a joint, unannounced site visit of Dr. Marcin’s dental practice on April 24. The Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry temporarily suspended Dr. Marcin’s dental license on April 29.

jacquelinemarcindentaloffice

“We worked with the Department of State to immediately address the infection control problems and prevent any future potential exposures,” Wolf said. “And although this is an ongoing, complex investigation, we feel it is extremely important to provide Dr. Marcin’s patients with information so they can better protect their health. We will continue to share relevant developments as needed to protect the public’s well-being.”

A special, toll-free hotline has been set up by the Department of Health for this investigation. Dr. Marcin’s patients can call 1-855-265-4613 for more information.

Hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV are serious medical conditions that may not cause any outward symptoms in infected patients for many years. Visit the Department of Health’s website at www.health.state.pa.us to learn more.

“Obviously, we know that that may sound a little bit scary. But, I think it’s important for (patients) to know that at this point in time that’s just a precautionary measure. We’re making this recommendation out of an abundance of caution,” said Aimee Tysarczyk, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Health. She added the department has not heard from any patients who’ve been diagnosed with any of the diseases mentioned.

Marcin and her attorneys did not respond to requests for comment from Fox43.

Bill Fabrizio is one of Marcin’s patients and plans to see a doctor Wednesday.

“It’s a common consensus that you trust your doctor, you trust your dentist, just automatically,” said Fabrizio. “I’m going to have to go back again tomorrow. And, hopefully, my insurance will pay for it because it’s a necessary thing. I’m not going to take a chance.”

CB050016

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is advising patients of a York County dentist that they might be at risk for infection after an investigation discovered the dental facility did not follow appropriate infection control procedures.

jacquelinemarcin3

from jacquelinemarcin.com

To date, the investigation has found Dr. Jacqueline A. Marcin did not follow appropriate procedure to properly clean, disinfect or sterilize devices at her York dental office, located at 1820 E. Market St.

As a result, the Department of Health is recommending hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing for current or former patients who had dental procedures performed directly by Dr. Marcin, such as fillings, tooth removals, denture fittings and other procedures.

Testing is not currently advised for patients who only received routine cleanings or checkups performed by other staff members. Patients should see their doctor to discuss testing options.

jacqulinemarcinoffice

“We understand that patients of Dr. Marcin might be worried in light of this news,” Secretary of Health Michael Wolf said. “We have not received any related reports of disease transmission or illness at this time. However, as a precautionary measure, we are recommending current or former patients of Dr. Marcin get tested.”

The departments of Health and State conducted a joint, unannounced site visit of Dr. Marcin’s dental practice on April 24. The Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry temporarily suspended Dr. Marcin’s dental license on April 29.

jacquelinemarcindentaloffice

“We worked with the Department of State to immediately address the infection control problems and prevent any future potential exposures,” Wolf said. “And although this is an ongoing, complex investigation, we feel it is extremely important to provide Dr. Marcin’s patients with information so they can better protect their health. We will continue to share relevant developments as needed to protect the public’s well-being.”

A special, toll-free hotline has been set up by the Department of Health for this investigation. Dr. Marcin’s patients can call 1-855-265-4613 for more information.

Hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV are serious medical conditions that may not cause any outward symptoms in infected patients for many years. Visit the Department of Health’s website at www.health.state.pa.us to learn more.

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