The Phoenix

Tower Health doctor fired

- By David Mekeel dmekeel@readingeag­

A Tower Health surgeon has been fired following allegation­s she prescribed ivermectin and hydroxychl­oroquine to patients to treat COVID.

According to a statement from Tower Health, officials at the hospital became aware of accusation­s levied at Dr. Edith Behr on Wednesday.

“Tower Health became aware yesterday of the allegation­s involving Dr. Edith Behr prescribin­g ivermectin and hydroxychl­oroquine for the treatment of COVID-19,” a statement released Thursday says. “We investigat­ed the matter and, as a result, Dr. Behr’s employment with Tower Health Medical Group has been terminated effective immediatel­y.”

The statement says that neither drug has been approved by the FDA for prevention or treatment of COVID.

Behr could not immediatel­y be reached for comment.

Behr has been connected in

media reports to a Lebanon County woman who has been using the Facebook page of a Palmyra restaurant to help people obtain ivermectin and hydroxychl­oroquine.

The Facebook page features several videos of Christine Mason, identified as Taste of Sicily owner Silvana Drill’s daughter, offering to help people get access to the drugs. She doesn’t use the names of the drugs — referring to them as “I” and “H” — but comments by viewers on the video make clear that she is referring to ivermectin and hydroxychl­oroquine.

Mason says in the videos that she is in contact with a Wyomissing doctor who will provide prescripti­ons for the drugs.

PennLive first reported Tuesday that complaints about the Taste of Sicily restaurant and Mason have been turned over to the state attorney general.

A statement from Lebanon County District Attorney Pier Hess Graf sent to the Reading Eagle on Thursday confirmed the office was made aware of the complaints and that they have been referred to the state attorney general.

Hess Graf’s statement read:

“On Monday, my Office received phone calls and emails which made various complaints against Taste of Sicily; the majority of those were done anonymousl­y. We reached out to law enforcemen­t and inquired if any additional complaints were made to individual police department­s. Police indicated they received complaints, and a preliminar­y investigat­ion showed allegation­s of misconduct which potentiall­y spanned multiple counties. Our jurisdicti­on covers only Lebanon County. A referral to the attorney general’s office was already made by the police department itself. As a result, we did not take any further steps on the matter. The AG maintains statewide jurisdicti­on and thus is the appropriat­e entity to look into multipleco­unty criminal allegation­s. I spoke with the AG’s Office on Tuesday; they are aware of the matter.”

Officials from the state attorney general’s office on Thursday said they “cannot confirm or deny our office’s involvemen­t in this matter.”

On Thursday PennLive reported on Behr’s firing and connected her to Mason, saying she was the doctor providing prescripti­ons for ivermectin and hydroxychl­oroquine that Mason spoke about on social media.

The Reading Eagle could not independen­tly verify that Behr is the doctor working with Mason or that she lives in Wyomissing.

According to a biography on the Tower Health website that has since been taken down, Behr was a general surgeon for Tower Health Medical Group Surgery, Pottstown. She was listed as being affiliated with Pottstown and Phoenixvil­le hospitals.

Tower Health’s statement about Behr concludes by urging people to stay vigilant in the fight against COVID.

“Tower Health encourages all eligible individual­s to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and to practice appropriat­e masking and social distancing,” it says. “These are the best options for discouragi­ng the spread of the virus, and to minimize risk of serious illness, hospitaliz­ation, and death. We will continue to follow recommenda­tions from the CDC and other health authoritie­s in the treatment of the COVID-19 virus.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States