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Joint Investigation Leads to Arrest in West Palm Beach

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

May 18, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2015

Contact: Communications Office
(850) 245-4111

JOINT INVESTIGATION LEADS TO ARREST IN WEST PALM BEACH

TALLAHASSEE—The Florida Department of Health’s (DOH) West Palm Beach Unlicensed Activity (ULA) Unit announced that their joint investigation with Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office has led to the arrest of Yousef Abuelhawa for the alleged unlicensed practice of dentistry, which is a third degree felony and punishable by up to five years in jail.

The joint operation was conducted at “Best Grillz in Town,” 1941 S. Military Trail, West Palm Beach, Florida, at the Sunshine Flea Market. On May 15, law enforcement issued a search warrant for the premises and an arrest warrant for Yousef Abuelhawa for practicing dentistry without a license by manufacturing and fitting dental molds to make custom teeth fittings. Abuelhawa is not a licensed dentist in the state of Florida. Also on May 15, the West Palm Beach (Jupiter) office served a notice to cease and desist and an unlicensed activity citation to Yousef Abuelhawa in the amount of $1638.00. A second notice to cease and desist and citation was hand served to Abuelhawa in the amount of $1138.00 for operating “Best Grillz in Town,” an unlicensed dental lab.

The department has several resources to combat unlicensed activity:

  • Consumers are encouraged to use the department’s website www.flhealthsource.com 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 Florida Department of Health’s Web site or calling 1-877-HALT-ULA.

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.

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The mission of the Florida Department of Health and MQA is to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. 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. Visit www.flhealthsource.com for additional information about MQA.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.floridahealth.gov.