| The Providence Journal
CRANSTON – Dr. Andrew C. Stone, a physician who lost his license to practice medicine in Rhode Island in 2008 after exposing himself to boys at a YMCA in Seekonk, has been named the chief of medical services at state-run Eleanor Slater Hospital, which has a main campus at the Howard complex and the Zambarano unit in Burrillville.
Stone’s license to practice was reinstated in February 2015, years after pleading guilty to four felony counts of open and gross lewdness and receiving a four-month sentence in the Bristol County House of Corrections, according to records on file with the Rhode Island Department of Health’s Board of Licensure and Discipline.
After the sentence, Stone “spent three months of in-patient treatment and evaluation” at a rehabilitation center in Texas and “has spent almost seven years of continuous participation in the treatment and monitoring program of the Physicians Health Committee,” during which he “has spent hundreds of hours in group therapy, individual psychotherapy and psychiatric treatment,” according to a filing by the Licensure Board in 2015, when it reinstated his license.
The reinstatement order also stated that Stone’s “personal life is stable; [he] has been continuously employed for seven years by the same company in the food service industry and his employer has written to the Board attesting to his character. He has remarried, has a second child, and has built a substantial support system, including his wife, who is also a physician.”
Among the conditions of reinstatement that the board imposed is limiting his practice only to adults and continuation of monitoring and treatment at Miriam Hospital’s Men’s Health Center.
In a statement to The Journal, Randall Edgar, spokesman for the state Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals, which operates Slater, said that “earlier this year, BHDDH and Eleanor Slater Hospital leadership initiated a comprehensive review of the hospital’s footprint and staffing structure.”
“When two of the hospital’s physicians recently stepped down from their positions,” he wrote, “the BHDDH and ESH medical teams conferred to redistribute clinical responsibilities with a compressed staff. Pending further reform and restructure of the hospital over the coming months, Dr. Stone has stepped up to support hospital-wide clinical care under the direction of BHDDH’s Department-wide Chief Medical Officer, Brian Daly.
“Dr. Stone is highly regarded for his work at Eleanor Slater Hospital and other hospitals. Dr. Stone is triple board certified — in internal medicine, pulmonary medicine and addiction medicine. To be hired at ESH, he had to be credentialed by the hospital’s Medical Executive Committee, which is a requirement under various licensing and oversight agencies, such as the Joint Commission and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
“The committee vote was unanimous. Dr. Stone maintains an active medical license, which requires extensive vetting and re-credentialing every two years. As the State Mental Health Authority, BHDDH believes in and promotes rehabilitation and recovery for all Rhode Islanders.”
Stone’s new position was first reported by NRI NOW, a web site that serves northern Rhode Island.
According to the site, Stone’s promotion was announced d by Daly in a note to staff, a copy of which NRI NOW said it had obtained.
“It has become clear that as we move to reconfigure the hospital and also continue to negotiate the pandemic, leadership support is needed,” Daly was quoted as saying.
Slater Hospital has a long history of troubles, dating back at least to 2015, when Gov. Gina Raimondo announced plans for sweeping reforms of management and day-to-day operations, as The Journal reported.
More recently, The Journal this June reported on the hospital’s financial problems, including a budget deficit estimated to be as high as $45 million. That followed the May resignation of chief operating officer Cynthia “Cindy” Huether. Her departure came without public explanation.