Lawmaker: “Include ILADS in upcoming New York TBD meeting”
Press release from the office of New York Assemblymember Didi Barrett:
As the Hudson Valley continues to fight an epidemic of Lyme and tick-borne diseases (TBDs), Assemblymember Didi Barrett called on NY State Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker to include a globally-recognized TBD research organization at his Medical Grand Rounds – Tick-borne Diseases: An Update on Trends, Diagnostics, and Emerging Infections meeting in Buffalo this March, after the organization was not invited.
Doctors affiliated with the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS), a well-respected organization with an international following that includes leading Lyme-literate physicians, state that the Medical Grand Rounds conversation does not appear to represent the full scope of available research, diagnostics, and treatment of Lyme and TBDs.
ILADS’ Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation process is widely used by leading practitioners, including the World Health Organization, the American College of Physicians, and National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence.
ILADS doctors also include prominent, independent specialists from the Hudson Valley, including member of the federal HHS Tick-Borne Diseases Work Group Dr. Richard Horowitz, a board-certified internist and director of the Hudson Valley Healing Arts Center, as well as renowned physicians Dr. Stephen Bock and Dr. Kenneth Liegner.
“To not include all of the best available thinking and information on Lyme and tick-borne diseases leaves New York ill-prepared to address this fast growing epidemic,” said Assemblymember Barrett.
“If our healthcare leaders are being responsible about caring for the many New Yorkers struggling with Lyme and TBDs and assessing the trends, diagnostics, and co- infections, ILADS should certainly be part of the conversation.”
Assemblymember Barrett recently announced a new social media campaign designed to raise awareness and educate the community about ticks and their infections, as well as engage the public to boost advocacy efforts.
The campaign, dubbed “#GetTickedOff,” includes a push for legislative, policy and budgetary actions. In addition, Assemblymember Barrett is sponsoring several pieces of tick-related legislation, including a bill to mandate tick warning signs at state-owned parks and trails (A.8829).
Tick-borne illnesses impact at least 300,000 Americans a year, yet receive less than $30 million per year in federal funding for research. In contrast, Congress has appropriated $1.1 billion for research on the Zika virus, which affects fewer than 1,000 Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
- February 7, 2018 at 7:55 am
Let the NYS Department of Health know that you agree with NYS Assemblymember Didi Barett that excluding physicians from the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) from the upcoming Grand Rounds meeting on Tick-Borne Diseases is unexceptable. Questions and comments about Grand Rounds can be sent to: GrandRounds@health.ny.gov
- February 8, 2018 at 4:10 am
It would be even more effective to first write your NYS Senator and Assemblymember to express your concerns. Then write to Grand Rounds to inform them that you have contacted your legislators and asked them to take action on this issue.
- February 12, 2018 at 8:55 am
On Sunday February 11th, I spoke with NYS Assemblymember Didi Barrett and she has not received any response from NYS Commissioner of Health, Dr. Howard Zucker regarding her request that an International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) affiliated physician be included in the roster of speakers at the upcoming Grand Rounds meeting on tick-borne illnesses.
In addition to writing your NYS Senator and Assemblymember, Assemblymember Barrett recommends that NYS residents contact Commissioner Zucker and express your concerns directly. Let Commissioner Zuckerman know that you have also contacted your New York State legislators and asked them to take action on this issue.
Questions and comments about Grand Rounds can be sent to: GrandRounds@health.ny.gov
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