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Joint Investigation Leads to Arrest and Conviction in Martin County
August 04, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 04, 2014
Contact: Communications Office
TALLAHASSEE—The Florida Department of Health’s West Palm Beach Unlicensed Activity (ULA) Unit announces that an earlier joint investigation with the Martin County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) that led to the arrest of Lynnette Blake has now resulted in conviction. Blake was convicted on August 1, 2014, of all counts against her, and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
On August 6, 2013, in response to complaints filed by several victims, a search warrant was executed by MCSO at Back to Eden, the business establishment where Blake worked. Blake told members of the Department and MCSO she was a naturopathy doctor and practiced naturopathy medicine. Blake stated she was a member of the Pastoral Medical Association and exempt from Florida laws requiring licensing for healthcare professions. Several interviews were also conducted of arriving patients and two of the patients stated Blake placed tooth bleaching substances into their mouths.
As a result of this investigation, the Department also issued Blake a Cease and Desist Order for the Unlicensed Practice of Medicine, Notice to Cease and Desist for the Unlicensed Practice of Naturopathy and Dentistry. In addition, the Department issued Blake three Uniform Unlicensed Activities Citations.
The Florida Department of Health’s unlicensed activity program protects Florida residents and visitors from the potentially serious consequences of receiving 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.
DOH has several resources to combat unlicensed activity:
- Consumers are encouraged to use DOH’s Web site, 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 DOH Web site or calling 1-877-HALT-ULA or 1-888-419-3456.
The mission of the Florida Department of Health and MQA is to protect, promote & 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 http://www.flhealthsource.com for additional information about MQA.