Legislation Will Create 21st Century Workgroup for Disease Elimination and Reduction
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced her legislation (S.2115) to help find a vaccine to prevent the deadly EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) disease has passed the State Senate.
The bipartisan measure will create the 21st Century Workgroup for Disease Elimination and Reduction within the state Department of Health. The group, comprised of experts in diseases, infection and public health, will be tasked with pushing for the development of effective vaccines against diseases, including EEE, West Nile Virus and Lyme. Included in the new State Budget is $100,000, secured by Senator Ritchie to fund the new workgroup.
Video Now in Schools, Available on Senator Ritchie’s Website
In an effort to help protect people in Central New York from the deadly EEE virus, State Senator Patty Ritchie has teamed up with the Oswego County Department of Health and SUNY Oswego to create an educational video to teach the public about the dangers of EEE.
“When it comes to EEE, we can’t do enough to prevent and protect people from this deadly disease. It’s my hope that this video will make more people aware of the dangers and teach them how to properly protect themselves and their loved ones.”
“Through recent tragedies, we’ve seen that our region is particularly susceptible to EEE and I’m proud to collaborate with the Oswego County Department of Health as well as SUNY Oswego to help fight the bite.”
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced Central New Yorkers helped to “fight the bite,” disposing of nearly 4,000 waste tires at free events that took place at several locations throughout Oswego County this past weekend.
The recent event was the second of two made possible through $275,000 in the new State Budget that Senator Ritchie helped secure. As a result of the two events—which were hosted in conjunction with Oswego County—nearly 10,000 waste tires were disposed of, with the $5 fee for each tire being waived.
Teams with County Sheriff, Ogdensburg PD to Host Free Prescription Drug Disposal Event July 22nd
State Senator Patty Ritchie is inviting residents of St. Lawrence County to clean out their medicine cabinets and drawers and bring their unused, unwanted and expired prescription medicines to a special event for free, safe disposal.
Senator Ritchie is teaming with St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells and the Ogdensburg Police Department to sponsor the free event next Tuesday, July 22, from 4 to 6 pm, at the Ogdensburg Fire Station, 718 Ford Street.
“Nearly everyone has leftover, unwanted or expired prescription drugs lying somewhere around the house,” Senator Ritchie said. “But these pills can pose a danger to children and pets, they can find their way into the hands of pill abusers, and improper disposal threatens our water, lakes and streams. Events like this allow people to get rid of unneeded medicine in a safe and responsible way.”
“Pill abuse has been directly linked to the growing problem of heroin usage across the US, and there have been a number of stories nationally involving abusers who break into homes, especially those belonging to seniors, in search of unused drugs,” said Sheriff Wells. “Properly disposing of drugs you no longer need or want helps keep these pills from getting into the wrong hands."
Thousands of individual pills totaling more than 150 pounds were disposed of at State Senator Ritchie’s “Shed the Meds” event, held Tuesday in Ogdensburg.
Hosted in conjunction with the Ogdensburg Police Department and the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, the event provided residents with a safe, responsible way to dispose of unwanted, unused and expired prescription medicines, which can pose a danger to children and pets. In addition, improper disposal can also pollute lakes and streams. Among the pills disposed of were painkillers, opioids and narcotics—substances which are often times the gateway drugs for addiction to illegal substances such as heroin.
“The thousands of prescription pills disposed of at my “Shed the Meds” event will go a long way towards our goals of preventing drug abuse, keeping our drinking water clean and stopping pills from getting in the hands of children or being consumed by pets,” said Senator Ritchie.
Special Funding Will Aid Organizations in Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence Counties
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $50,000 in special funding to help victims of domestic violence in Central and Northern New York.
“Whether it’s physical or psychological, anyone can become a victim of domestic violence; and often times, it’s difficult for the individual being harmed to seek help,” said Senator Ritchie.
“That’s where our local organizations that assist victims of domestic violence come in. They lend a helping hand, and give individuals the courage to get back up on their feet. I’m pleased to provide this funding to these vital organizations, and commend them for the work they do to promote safety in our communities.”
Teams With Law Enforcement, Local Hospitals to Host Events in August and September
State Senator Patty Ritchie is inviting people who are looking to dispose of expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs to attend three “Shed the Meds” events she will be hosting in Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties.
Last month, thousands of individual pills totaling more than 150 pounds were disposed of at a similar event held in Ogdensburg. Her upcoming events are being hosted in conjunction with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, River Hospital, Alexandria Bay Police Department, Carthage Area Hospital, Carthage Police Department, St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, Govuerneur Hospital and Gouverneur Police Department.
“Unused, expired and unwanted prescription drugs pose a number of risks—including acting as the gateway drugs for other substances such as heroin, getting into the hands of children and potentially polluting water through improper disposal,” said Senator Ritchie.
Funding Will Aid PFC Joseph Dwyer Peer Support Program for Veterans, River Community Wellness Program
In an effort to support active duty military and veterans, State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $185,000 to aid men and women suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other combat related illnesses.
The special funding will be split between Watertown’s VETS Peer to Peer Outreach Center—an organization running the PFC Joseph Dwyer Peer Support Program for Veterans, which was established in part through a grant secured by Senator Ritchie—and Alexandria Bay’s River Community Wellness Program, based at River Hospital.
“Our soldiers make the ultimate sacrifice, putting their lives on the line to protect our freedom,” said Senator Patty Ritchie. “Many troops who have served in combat zones return with wounds we cannot see and as a result, struggle with PTSD as they try to reacclimate themselves with life at home.”