Lyme Awareness Press Conference

2013-05 SmithPressConfPatTo raise awareness about Lyme & other tick-borne diseases in New Jersey, the NJ based national non-profit Lyme Disease Association, Inc. (LDA), in cooperation with Congressman Christopher H. Smith (NJ-4), hosted a press conference on Tuesday, April 30. In a press conference packed with TV, radio, and print media from throughout New Jersey, Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-4) spoke about his federal Lyme bills (HR 610, HR 611) to establish a federal tick-borne diseases advisory committee and to provide much needed funding for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases research to combat their spread throughout the country. Jim Occi, MA, MS, from University of Medicine & Dentistry, a member of LDA’s Scientific & Professional Advisory Board, featured a poster of three types of ticks that produce much of the disease in New Jersey, the deer tick, lone star tick, and American dog tick. He explained their three stages, larvae, nymph, and adult, and how they feed at each stage on people and other animals. Pat Smith, LDA President, presented LDA programs, including research grants awarded by LDA. She then broke out the case numbers and underreporting issues, problems with testing, costs, and highlighted the problems of children with Lyme in the schools. Michael Meddis, MPH, Monmouth County Public Health Coordinator and George Newberry, Wall Township Committeeman and Former Mayor, also spoke. A number of Lyme patients and advocates also attended.

Congressman Smith Opening Remarks

Coverage From Press Conference

Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-4)
Marking Lyme Disease Awareness Month
Congressman Smith, LDA, UMDNJ and local officials promote prevention, research, treatment – Congressman urges action on Lyme Disease legislation, says more research needed

NJ 101.5 – Lyme Disease Remains Major Issue In NJ [AUDIO] Asbury Park Press – Smith urges comprehensive approach to Lyme disease

LDA Press Release

April 29, 2013


Press Conf. Set for Tuesday, April 30 @ 1 pm – Public Invited

Lyme Disease Awareness Month Kick Off

New Jersey-3rd in nation in Lyme case numbers, children at highest risk
To raise awareness about Lyme & other tick-borne diseases in New Jersey, the NJ based national non-profit Lyme Disease Association, Inc.(LDA), in cooperation with Congressman Christopher H. Smith (NJ-4), is hosting a press conference on Tuesday, April 30 @ 1 pm – Public Invited.

The event will take place at the Wall Township N.J. Municipal Building, on Tuesday, April 30, 2013, at 1:00PM . Address is 2700 Allaire Rd, Wall, NJ 07719 (behind the Wall police station and Wall library). Click here for directions. The following individuals will be present to speak and answer questions:

Congressman Christopher H. Smith, co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Lyme Disease Caucus, will discuss federal legislation on Lyme and tick-borne diseases and the work he has been doing in Washington to prevent the spread of Lyme disease, which the CDC says is on the rise and is still underreported. CDC ranks NJ as 3rd in Lyme case numbers.

James Occi, MA, MS is a Research Teaching Specialist at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey whose expertise in microbiology and medical entomology has spanned 20 years. His expertise in tick-borne diseases began as a MS thesis collecting and identifying ticks and analyzing them for infectious agents by PCR and fluorescent antibody. As an offshoot of this work, he developed a seminar for the lay public as well as health-care professionals and lectured extensively throughout the state for years. Jim is on LDA’s professional and scientific advisory board. He will discuss ticks and prevention

Patricia V. Smith has been president of the Lyme Disease Association, Inc. (LDA) for 16 years. She is former chair of the NJ Governor’s Lyme Disease Advisory Council, and testified last year in DC at the Lyme hearing in the US House of Representatives Foreign Relations Global Health Subcommittee chaired by Congressman Smith. Children are at the highest risk for acquiring the disease and she has been an advocate for children with Lyme, utilizing her experience as former president of the Wall Board of Education. She will discuss the spread, research, and impact upon patients.