Rhode Island Lyme Resolution Passed by Senate

The RI Resolution S0711  introduced by Senator Stephen Archambault (RI 22-D), which was amended on the floor, requests the RI Department of Health to increase public awareness of Lyme activities that expose people to ticks, educate on symptoms of Lyme and importance of early detection, and to update physician protocols with regard to early detection and treatment.

The resolution notes that delayed treatment can lead to more severe and persistent symptoms that are more difficult to treat. It points out Chapter 37.5 of title 5 provides for insurance coverage for the treatment of Lyme disease. This is in reference to a law that the Lyme Disease Association Inc. worked on in Rhode Island with the newly formed Lyme Disease Association Rhode Island Chapter to achieve its passage in 2004.

No mention was made of the law the Lyme Disease Association and Rhode Island  advocates had gotten passed in 2002 preventing the RI Medical Board from prosecuting physicians for long term treatment.

The newly passed Resolution is now in effect.

2021- S0711 as amended (PDF)


See info on steps in passage of Resolution


Persistent Lyme Symptoms: A Survey of RI patients

In a recent study conducted by Vargas et al., patients suffering from self reported post-Lyme treatment symptoms at the Lifespan Lyme Disease Center in Rhode Island took part in completing both a demographic and medical survey, the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS)-29 v2.0, and other short-form PROMIS measures of cognitive function, sleep disturbance, and fatigue.

Findings from this sample of patients showed that this group of patients reported more severe symptoms than the general population as well as reporting higher than other clinical sample groups including cancer patients and chronic pain patients, and for symptoms of fatigue, women reported higher than men. 

Read the full text article here

Read more on persistent Lyme symptoms here.



RI Education Curriculum Bill Enacted

Chapter 087
2010 — H 7418 SUBSTITUTE A
Enacted 06/16/10


Introduced By: Representatives Jackson, Gallison, Martin, A Rice, and Edwards
Date Introduced: February 09, 2010

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

SECTION 1. Short title – The Act shall be cited and known as the “Beth Bowley Coen
Lyme Disease Educational Act.”

SECTION 2. Legislative Intent – It is the intent of the general assembly to afford all
Rhode Island children all the protection possible from contacting Lyme disease.

SECTION 3. Legislative findings – Whereas the general assembly finds that Rhode
Island ranks fourth (4th) in the nation in the incidence of Lyme Disease; and
Whereas, the general assembly has further found that: (a) That Lyme disease is a serious
threat to the health of all Rhode Islanders; (b) That the best defense that Rhode Island children
have against contracting Lyme disease is awareness and prevention; and (c) That a structured
program for Lyme disease awareness and prevention is absent from Rhode Island’s mandated
health curriculum.

SECTION 4. Chapter 16-22 of the General Laws entitled “Curriculum” is hereby
amended by adding thereto the following section:

16-22-25. Lyme disease awareness and prevention program. — The department of
elementary and secondary education shall, in collaboration with the department of health, make
Lyme disease awareness and prevention resources available for all public school students in the

SECTION 5. This act shall take effect upon passage.

LC01197/SUB A/2

RI Governors Commission on Lyme

The Rhode Island Governors 2001-2001 Commission on Lyme and Other Tick Borne Diseases  prepared a report in September 2003 available for public record.  On page 9 are details of a public hearing held on April 8, 2002 in which Pat Smith, President, Lyme Disease Association, and Brian Fallon, MD, Director of the Lyme Disease Research at Columbia University testified.  Please click here for pdf