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BREAKING: Pennsylvania Health Department Shuts Down Suspected Brigham-Affiliated Clinic

Tara Murtha

The Pennsylvania Department of Health issued an order Monday against Philadelphia reproductive health clinic Integrity Family Health for failing to disclose its affiliations with rogue abortion provider Dr. Steven Brigham and an umbrella group that includes Brigham-affiliated clinics.

Read more of Rewire‘s articles on Steven Brigham here.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Bureau of Facility Licensure and Certification issued an order Monday against Philadelphia reproductive health clinic Integrity Family Health for failing to disclose an affiliation with American Women’s Services, an umbrella organization that includes clinics affiliated with rogue abortion provider Dr. Steven Brigham, and with Brigham himself. The document immediately suspended the commonwealth’s approval of operation and ordered that no abortion-related services of any kind can be offered at Integrity after Friday, November 29.

The document, signed by the department’s deputy secretary for quality assurance, Anna Marie Sossong, is addressed to Kimberly Glunt, who is identified as president of Integrity Family Health.

From the order:

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You are hereby notified that the Pennsylvania Department of Health … is issuing an order against Integrity Family Health d/b/a Integrity Family Planning … pursuant to the Abortion Control Act. … As a result of Integrity’s failure to disclose, on its application for registration as a Class A ambulatory surgical facility performing medical and surgical abortions, a current affiliation and/or business association with Steven Brigham, the Department has determined that Integrity is in serious violation of the ACA [Abortion Control Act] and the HCFA [Health Care Facilities Act].

The order states that the health department called the phone number affiliated with Integrity on October 25 and determined that it led to the call center for American Women’s Services, the name of a business affiliated with Brigham. Department surveyors also determined that Integrity’s medical director, Dr. Eric Yahav, had at least one prior address at Brigham’s clinics in New Jersey.

The suspension order was accompanied by an “order to show cause why Integrity’s ACA registration and HCFA approval to perform abortions should not be permanently revoked.”

An appeal “specifically admitting or denying” the allegations must be filed within 30 days.

Earlier this month, as reported by Rewire, the health department launched an investigation of the Bustleton Avenue clinic based on a suspicion of affiliation with Brigham.

Brigham has encountered legal and licensure problems in multiple states. Brigham permanently gave up his medical license in Pennsylvania while under investigation in 1992. In 2004, according to state health department spokesperson Aimee Tysarczyk, the department “permanently banned” Brigham and any entity in which Brigham has a “controlling ownership or equity interest” from registering a facility as a freestanding abortion clinic in Pennsylvania.

As previously reported, the Philadelphia’s Women’s Center discovered the possible connection on October 21 after a patient reported receiving “substandard care” at the new facility. Jen Boulanger, communications director for the Women’s Centers, spent years compiling complaints against Brigham in her previous role as executive director of Allentown Women’s Center before discovering the possible link last month.

“We are very pleased that the department of health is investigating complaints seriously and is taking swift action to prevent a reoccurrence of substandard care providers opening in the state of Pennsylvania,” Boulanger told Rewire.

Rewire‘s request for comment from Brigham’s lawyer, Julia Gabis, went unreturned.

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