Maine ID doctor to replace Wormser on federal Lyme panel
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced the appointment of Robert Smith, MD, MPH, to the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group.
He will fill the slot left vacant after Dr. Gary Wormser withdrew. (Wormser left the panel after widespread outcry from the Lyme disease community over his financial conflicts of interest.)
Dr. Smith will join Dr. Dennis Dixon as a co-chair to the Vaccine and Therapeutics Working Group Subcommittee.
HHS posted the following information about Dr. Smith on its website:
Dr. Smith is Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Maine Medical Center, and Director and co-founder of the Vector-Borne Disease Laboratory at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute. He has also served as Medical Director of the HIV care program at Maine Medical Center since its inception in 1992.
In 2009, he served as Chair of the external review panel of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Lyme disease program, and, in 2011, as an Invited Reviewer for the Institute of Medicine’s workshop report Critical Needs and Gaps in the Understanding, Prevention, and Resolution of Lyme and other Tick-borne Diseases.
He is an author of more than 40 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on tick-borne diseases, and has conducted more than 20 grant-supported studies of ticks and the diseases they transmit.
His recent research includes investigations into the determinants of emergence of tick-transmitted diseases, the clinical spectrum of newly recognized infections, and interventions to lower human risk.
The next meeting of the TBD Working Group is scheduled for February 12. Like all of the group’s meetings, it will be livestreamed to the public. More details here.
- January 20, 2018 at 1:23 pm
- January 20, 2018 at 2:59 pm
This is not great news. Read this and weep:
- January 22, 2018 at 7:08 am
- January 21, 2018 at 9:51 am
I agree with what Lou comments. I read the article he attached. Robert Smith is a cohort of Wormser. Truly sad. We get rid of one Wormser just to have another appointed. Oh well. I don’t expect much good will happen from the working group .
- January 22, 2018 at 7:04 am
I think we all got a little too excited – me included- to get Wormser off. If he would have stayed on- he would have been forced to publicly state as is bias misinformation. The focus got away from what we’re really trying to accomplish.
- January 22, 2018 at 7:26 am
Thank you for the details.
- January 22, 2018 at 7:34 am
The article quoted was from 2007. I haven’t viewed his more recent research, but I believe it would be more pertinent. So, much research has become available since then. I am however, quite certain he will be pushing for a Bb vaccine, which will do nothing to fix this huge environmental problem. The ticks and pathogens will continue to march across the USA unabated as they have for over 44 years. Tick populations must be reduced and their ability to transmit TBDs must be blocked! Tick research for these issues has been ignored yet promises fruitful solutions! It i time and the time is now; STOP TICKS TO STOP DISEASE!
- February 4, 2018 at 9:00 am
Jill……Hi, we’ve met before…you right on target…I, years ago came up with some TickRid programs only to be ignored… You will find at MDJunction-lymegroup my posts at least look at the past 12… I touch on exactly what needs to be done PRONTO by the TBD Working Group…the rest will fall into place if the order is followed…it’s rather simple…but I have a feeling all that is going to happen…is talk….talk…talk about all the things we’ve already known decades ago…..We need ACTION now…yesterday…and I know how to do it and get it…the question is..will the gov’t allow simple programs-rules-laws to happen right away…no red tape….again it’s so simple…no red tape needed….just some ACTION now! don’t you hate when it’s so easy…you can taste it…yet those who have the power to make it happen…are……DUH…I think I need a drink and a 1000$ plate of food….
- January 22, 2018 at 7:57 am
I found a number of studies where he was one of the authors about such topics as: dogs with anaplasmosis and Bb, babesia in Maine, birds and the strains of Bb, POW, arthritis in children and adults, CSF, and this – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20695287. So he seems rather broadly experienced and interested.
- January 22, 2018 at 11:57 am
I am Daniel. I am from Poland. I and my familly wait for good News us results of working group.
- January 22, 2018 at 2:51 pm
I have chronic Lyme. Before I was finally diagnosed by a lyme literate doctor I was told there was nothing wrong with me. One infectious disease doctor told me that I must of had some type of virus and that the severe fatigue was a lingering effect.
How can the IDSA just blow alll of us off saying we r making this up- it’s all in your head. Do they really think a person like me and you enjoys feeling like death!!
- January 24, 2018 at 12:20 pm
Gregory, Your comments really struck home. Because I look well, despite my advanced age (nearly 89), primary comes back with “manage your stress”. UGH – I don’t stress at all until I get ready to visit him and not much then. Stressing only makes it more difficult to make good decisions and ruins the day.
I had classic Lyme’s symptoms but the rash and pimple in the middle had no “bull’s eye” so – for him – no bull’s eye no Lyme’s. Later I read only 10% actually have the bull’s eye and some no rash at all.
Your last paragraph says it all. It wasn’t until I began to feel better after 18 months, looking back was horrifying to review and remember how ill I really was. I had begun to think the feeling like death “warmed over” was the new elderly normal. The unrelenting fatigue with no end in sight was unbelievable and difficult to describe.
If the symptoms weren’t so vague and sometimes fleeting, likely we would be treated for unrelated illnesses, doing no good at all. Being told it is all in our heads, take a tranquilizer, etc. Not helpful. Lyme’s frequently makes our minds like sieves, and making decisions to push our physicians harder to look for more in depth research on their part – doesn’t seem to be happening in the general medical population. So few think outside the box at all.
So far, I haven’t found a Lyme literate doctor here in TX but have found some patients who went to CA for diagnosis and treatment.
It would be helpful if we had more recent research papers published. Most I read are at least 10 years plus old.
Good luck Gregory and others who suffer only to be silenced by the uninformed medical community.
I don’t know what it is going to take to wake up the medical community. Keep pressing on is the best we can do.
And no, we certainly do not enjoy feeling like death warmed over!!!
- January 26, 2018 at 9:58 am
Good direction to go. Unless we do the studies, undertake a rigorous scientific protocol in understanding the processes, the multiple infections, the chronic aspects of these diseases we will continue to be harmed un necessarily from tick vector diseases.
We invite you to comment on our Facebook page.
Visit LymeDisease.org Facebook Page