Former Atrium nurse accused of stealing fentanyl from Charlotte hospital

A former nurse at Atrium Health is accused of stealing fentanyl while on the job.

Katherine Rupert faced a judge for the first time on Wednesday. Outside of court, Channel 9′s Hunter Sáenz asked Rupert for her side of the story.

“I’m not interested in talking about anything,” she told him.

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According to the State Bureau of Investigation, Rupert was arrested on Tuesday for the incident they say happened in April 2023. In a warrant, they accuse the former nurse of stealing fentanyl from the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, which is where she worked.

It’s not clear if Rupert or someone else was using the fentanyl she’s accused of stealing.

“It’s such a shock to the system,” said Christine Zazzaro, the president and CEO of McLeod Centers for Wellbeing.

The McLeod Centers is an addiction treatment clinic.

“Healthcare providers, whether it be doctors or nurses, are held to a standard higher than maybe your neighbor or someone else,” Zazzaro said.

She personally isn’t surprised by the news based on the wild ways some try to get the addictive drug.

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“I think it’s more prevalent than we even know,” Zazzaro said.

She and her colleague Lindsay Blackmon are focused on treatment.

“I’ve had clients of all ages, all ethnicities, all races, all genders,” Blackmon said.

“The best practice is to offer treatment on demand,” Zazzaro said.

In court Wednesday, Rupert told a judge she hired an attorney. She faces a felony charge of embezzling or diverting a controlled substance.

Sáenz asked Atrium Health multiple questions about the case. All they would say is that Rupert has not worked for them since last April, which is when this all started.

>> If you or someone you know is battling addiction, we have a list of resources here:

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