Review underway after CU-Denver student posed as medical student at Denver Health

Posted at 12:38 PM, Apr 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-22 00:58:45-04

DENVER – Denver Health Medical Center has suspended all badge access for students and learners after a CU-Denver student got unauthorized access at the hospital by posing as a medical student.

The student, Vanessa Loznik, was banned from the Denver Health campus, and the hospital says it is working to pursue legal action against her.

According to Denver Health, Loznik portrayed herself as a medical student and interacted with at least one patient, though she never had access to medical records and a qualified provider was present during the single interaction.

“We’re currently investigating the extent to which she interacted with our patients,” a spokesperson told Denver7.

But Denver Health said she had the same access to various parts of the hospital as medical students -- access that allowed her into areas with patients. 

Loznik’s Facebook page says she works as a research scientist at CU Anschutz and studies neurosciences at CU-Denver. However, the university said she is actually a freshman biology major who enrolled in January.

The hospital says it is working to re-verify all student credentials and that it has advised all staff to challenge anyone without a hospital badge. It said it was still trying to figure out how she got the access in the first place.

“We take this matter very seriously and are urgently reviewing how this occurred,” Denver Health said in a statement. “We will be modifying our credentialing procedures and are actively investigating the extent to which this person interacted with our patients.”

CU-Denver offered a statement on the allegations Friday afternoon, saying that Loznik’s work at the hospital was not part of her coursework:

Leadership at the University of Colorado Denver has been made aware that an undergraduate student currently enrolled at CU Denver had unauthorized access at the Denver Health Medical Center. Her involvement at Denver Health was not connected with her coursework at the university. However, we are taking this matter extremely seriously and are actively investigating these allegations.

Denver District Attorney’s Office spokesman Ken Lane said Denver Health reported the incident on Thursday.

“We’ll work with [Denver Health] to determine the facts to see if...there’s anything criminally actionable,” Lane said.

The DA’s Economic Crime Unit will handle the case because they investigate issues such as fraud and identity theft, said Lane, who could not discuss details of the Lozik case.

“Hypothetically, the fraud could take the form of you’re posing as someone else, whether it’s a medical professional or anybody – they have a lot of staff at Denver Health, they’re not all doctors or nurses,” Lane explained.

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