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Joint Investigation Leads to Unlicensed Activity Arrest in Pembroke Pines
April 17, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 17, 2014
Contact: Communications Office
TALLAHASSEE—The Florida Department of Health’s Ft. Lauderdale Unlicensed Activity (ULA) Unit announces that a joint investigation with the Pembroke Pines Police Department, Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO), and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has led to the arrest of Alejandra Tobon for the unlicensed practice of medicine, a 3rd degree felony punishable by up to one year in jail.
“Unlicensed practice of a health care profession reflects a complete disregard for the well-being and safety of Florida’s families,” said Dr. John Armstrong, State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health. “This arrest demonstrates the Department’s commitment to partner with other enforcement agencies to protect the health of all Floridians.”
Based on information received from the Department’s Ft. Lauderdale ULA office, a joint operation was conducted on April 16, 2014. Pembroke Pines Police Department, BSO, and FDA executed a warrant at 1200 NW 154th Avenue in Pembroke Pines. Upon entering the home, the team found Tobon in the act of performing plasma transfer, a cosmetic procedure. They also discovered two elaborate exam rooms, containing a total of four examination tables, drugs, and medical equipment used for different cosmetic procedures, such as skin rejuvenation, Botox, filler, vitamin injections, plasma therapy, and carboxy therapy.
The Department has several resources to combat unlicensed activity:
- Consumers are encouraged to visit www.FlHealthSource.gov, where they can conveniently view the license information of their health care practitioner.
- Complaints may be filed anonymously by completing and mailing the complaint form on the Department website, or by calling 1-877-HALT-ULA or 1-888-419-3456.
The Florida Department of Health’s Unlicensed Activity Program protects Florida residents and visitors from the potentially serious and dangerous consequences of receiving medical and health care services from an unlicensed person. The Division of Medical Quality Assurance (MQA) investigates and refers for prosecution all unlicensed health care activity complaints and allegations. The Unlicensed Activity Unit works in conjunction with law enforcement and the state attorney’s offices to prosecute individuals practicing without a license. In many instances, unlicensed activity is a felony-level criminal offense. More importantly, receiving health care from unlicensed people is dangerous and could result in further injury, disease, or even death.
Working in conjunction with 22 boards and six councils, MQA regulates seven types of facilities and 200-plus license types in more than 40 healthcare professions. MQA evaluates the credentials of all applicants for licensure, issues licenses, analyzes and investigates complaints, inspects facilities, assists in prosecuting practice act violations, combats unlicensed activity, and provides credential and discipline history about licensees to the public.
The Department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.