Majority Leader Flanagan Appoints Senator Pam Helming to the State Senate's Task Force on Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases

May 26, 2017

Senate is Continuing Its Efforts to Prevent and Raise Awareness of Lyme’s Spread Across The State

New York State Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan today announced the appointment of Senator Pam Helming (R-C-I, Canandaigua) to the Senate Task Force on Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases. The Task Force is charged with improving prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of these diseases to better protect the health of New Yorkers and their families. 

Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan said, “It’s an honor to appoint Senator Helming to this vital Senate Task Force - - her contributions will help to better identify issues and resources to help the Finger Lakes region prevent Lyme’s spread. From the start in 2013, the Task Force has worked determinedly on enhancing research, prevention, diagnosis and treatment for harmful tick-borne illnesses.”

Senator Helming said, “The Finger Lakes region has seen a significant increase in cases of Lyme and tick-borne diseases in recent years. As the State Senator who represents a large portion of the Finger Lakes, I believe it is vital that the State ramp up prevention efforts to protect residents against the spread of these horrible diseases. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Task Force to identify and implement solutions that directly address this growing problem.” 

While the Northeast United States continues to be one of the hardest-hit regions for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, the Senate has been actively working to reverse this trend. This year alone the Task Force successfully secured $400,000 in the state budget for research, education, and prevention efforts. 

The Task Force will continue to engage stakeholders and develop legislation to address Lyme disease. It will build upon past legislative successes, including two new laws passed last year that requires the Department of Health to design a Lyme and tick-borne disease prevention program, and requires the state to create age-appropriate educational materials that would be readily available to schools. Students will learn how to identify ticks, the procedures for safe removal, and the best practices for protection from ticks.

For more information about the Task Force’s ongoing efforts to combat Lyme and Tick-Borne diseases, please visit: https://www.nysenate.gov/committees/task-force-lyme-and-tick-borne-diseases

Senators Involved