A Forum on Tick-Borne Diseases — What’s NEXT?
Monday, May 21
Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs
Honorary Chairman: Congressman Chris Gibson
A Special Invitation
Congressman Gibson invites all individuals, communities, organizations or enterprises with interests pertaining to Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases to join him for a unique public forum he will host on Monday, May 21 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Zankel Music Center at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs.
The event, entitled A Forum on Tick-Borne Diseases – What’s NEXT?, seeks to focus public awareness on the future of these difficult diseases. A group of speakers, leaders in their fields, will present forward thinking, problem-solving proposals to a panel of policymakers from both private and public sectors about what can reasonably happen NEXT to advance the cause of improving the lives of people suffering with Lyme disease and other TBDs.
Pamela Weintraub, renowned author of Cure Unknown and executive editor of Discover, will be the keynote speaker for this event. Pam will speak to the multi-dimensional nature of this extraordinary subject, from the patients to the politics, from the science to suppositions that define this stunning medical debacle.
Dr. Richard Horowitz, an internationally renowned clinical physician and consultant in the field of Lyme and tick-borne diseases, who has been working with patients for over 20 years, will present a proposal for a paradigm-shifting approach to the diseases that could encourage new perspectives, new synergies and new research in this difficult subject. He has seen the evolution of the diseases from the clinical perspective.
Dr. Daniel Cameron, former president of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society, an active clinical physician, researcher and vocal advocate for Lyme patients and improved Lyme policy in the U.S., will speak to the extreme difficulties the current medico-political environment imposes on the doctors who aggressively treat Lyme disease.
Dr. Kenneth Liegner, a board-certified internist with additional training in pathology and critical care medicine, practicing in Pawling, NY, has been actively involved in diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease and related disorders since 1988. Dr. Liegner will present his ideas for a comprehensive plan for dealing with the spectrum of problems that are the “Lyme issue.”
Lorraine Johnson, J.D., MBA, one of the best known and most highly regarded advocates for Lyme patients, is an attorney advocate on issues related to the medico-legal and ethical aspects of Lyme disease and has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles on this topic. She is the chief executive cfficer of LymeDisease.org, and is a director and an officer of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society. She will speak on the Burden of Illness, an in-depth study of what the costs are to people who have Lyme and other tick-borne diseases and to their communities. She will recommend research paths forward to address these issues. Johnson authors the Lyme Policy Wonk blog, on the lymedisease.org site.
Holly Ahern, associate professor of Microbiology at SUNY Adirondack, will present the findings of her 2011 research study on the number of cases of Lyme disease that go uncounted in our “official” statistics. Most cases of Lyme disease are NOT reported and this number of “invisible” cases ultimately will have a significant impact on all our communities. Multiplying the “undocumented” cases with the financial burdens of the disease foreshadows a public health crisis on the horizon.
Dr. Ahmed Kilani, president, founder and director of Clongen Labs, will discuss new laboratory methods to enhance the detection sensitivity in the testing process.
Dr. David Leiby, head of transmissable diseases at the Red Cross, will speak on the concerning and challenging issue of Babesiosis now being found in the blood supply.
Dr. Edward Breitschwerdt, DVM of North Carolina State University, will address the emerging challenges of Bartonella, one of the co-infections that is being observed with increasing frequency.
Lyme victims, their families and friends, advocacy groups, medical professionals, business professionals, government agencies, policy makers, and others associated with these diseases or their impact on people are urged to attend to both hear what the speakers are proposing as well as to demonstrate to the public, government and the media that there are a LOT of victims of tick-borne diseases.
There is no cost to attend the forum. Information about how to pre-register can be found at www.lymenext.org.