Feds Setting up Tick-Borne Diseases Working Group Nominations are in; advocates cross fingers that the right people will be chosen

By Phyllis Mervine
At publication time, circumstances have changed. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has resigned his position, and the future of the Tick-borne Diseases Working Group is now in a state of flux. The following article gives background on the issue. Watch our blogs for news of future developments.

O n July 17, 2017, the Federal Register announced that the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) was soliciting nominations for appointments to the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group set up by the 21st Century Cures Act, which passed last December. The announcement stated:

The Secretary of Health and Human Services is responsible for ensuring the conduct of and support for epidemiological, basic, translational, and clinical research related to vector-borne diseases, including tick-borne diseases.

The Working Group will assist in this effort. The Working Group will consist of representatives of appropriate federal agencies and non-federal entities who represent diverse scientific disciplines and views. The Working Group will provide expertise and review all efforts within the Department of Health and Human Services related to all tick-borne diseases, to help ensure interagency coordination and minimize overlap, and to examine research priorities.

Nominations were due by August 16. A number of individuals and organizations, including LymeDisease.org, submitted nominations. The choice is now up to the HHS Secretary and, presumably, advisors.
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