It is with indescribable sadness that I must announce that on August 31, 2018, I will open my office at 2829 Atlantic Avenue in Atlantic City, for the last time. My mission 15 years ago was to create a beautiful and bright medical home that would provide the highest level of pediatric care for the children and families of Atlantic City. It was my goal to gain the trust of the multi-generational families who had trusted Brighton Pediatrics to care for their children prior to me and to provide them with even greater resources. I am honored that I was given the privilege to be their doctor, their advocate, and to provide comprehensive evidenced based medicine, so families could feel empowered by a medical support system that was in place to assist them in the care of their children – medically, socially, and personally.
The closing of the Atlantic City office is the result of an arbitrary opinion of an employee of the Vaccines for Children Program (VFC) within the New Jersey Department of Health (DOH). This opinion is not supported by any CDC or DOH requirement. For 15 years, the DOH and VFC Program fully documented, both verbally and in written detail, that Brighton Pediatrics maintained perfect compliance with all CDC and DOH requirements, regulations, and policies. The remedy ordered by VFC would have resulted in an unfounded, subjective, indisputably incorrect assertion and unjust penalty, none of which was in the best interest of the families and children in our community. As a result, I felt I had no choice but to defend the community, Brighton Pediatrics, and myself in a legal action against VFC and the DOH.
As explained by our legal counsel, this lawsuit is the first time in New Jersey or any other state where a citizen has sued a Department of Health and asserted their right to due process in a court of law. VFC had previously declared that I had no constitutional or statutory right to a hearing. In the spring, our case for an injunction against the VFC and the DOH in the New Jersey Superior Court was successful. This was the first time in history a Department of Health was stopped from imposing sanctions on a citizen before their right to a trial and this ruling was upheld in the Appellate Court. We now await trial before a New Jersey Administrative Law Judge, where I will be given the opportunity to provide irrefutable facts, evidence, and testimony to defend against the arbitrary accusations that gave rise to the dispute.
Because of my refusal to compromise the highest level of healthcare for every child, it has unfortunately become unsustainable for our Atlantic City location to remain open. We understand the difficult reality that many of our Atlantic City families may be unable to join us in the Egg Harbor Township office. To those families, I pledge my utmost commitment to assist you in a thoughtful and smooth transition of your medical care to wherever or whomever you choose. To seek assistance regarding the transition of your child’s care to a new medical home, please call the Atlantic City office at 609-348-4813. To obtain information about VFC vaccinations received or the present availability of vaccines, please contact the Atlantic County Division of Public Health located at 201 Shore Road, Northfield, New Jersey.
The entire staff of Brighton Pediatrics would like to welcome all of our families to join me, Dr. Barry Kessler, and our dedicated Nurse Practitioners to our office located at 3069 English Creek Road in Egg Harbor Township. This office will continue to provide a medical home for our families that reflect my core values and exemplary standards of care for all children. To schedule an appointment in Egg Harbor Township, please call 609-383-3800.
Very truly yours,