Kinderhook, NY - Today, Congressman John Faso (NY-19) announced that Dr. Richard Horowitz, M.D., a resident of Hyde Park in Dutchess County, and Ms. Patricia V. Smith were named to theU.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) new Tick-Borne Disease Working Group. Congressman Faso had recommended these individuals as experts to be included on the working group in February 2017 to the HHS Secretary.
“As the rate of tick-borne related illnesses continues to grow, we must improve the federal response to prevention, treatment and research. I am pleased with the appointment of Dr. Horowitz and Ms. Smith to the Working Group as I am confident that their expertise and experience will help ensure that the federal government is more effectively combating and treating tick-borne related illnesses,” said Faso.
The Working Group was established by the 21st Century Cures Act to improve federal coordination of efforts related to tick-borne diseases. There are 14 members of the Working Group consisting of 7 “Public Members” and 7 “Federal Members”. Dr. Horowitz and Ms. Smith are among the Public Members. Members are tasked with reviewing all HHS efforts related to tick-borne diseases and to provide feedback to help reduce redundancy in programs, examine research priorities and identify other unmet needs. The Working Group will hold its inaugural public meetings on Dec. 11, 2017 and expects to issue its first report to the HHS Secretary and Congress by December 2018.
Public Members Richard Horowitz, M.D. Member, World Health Organization’s Ad Hoc Committee for Health Equity
Patricia V. Smith President, Lyme Disease Association
Tick-borne diseases, including Lyme disease, are a growing epidemic in the United States and have afflicted more than 380,000 Americans in 2015 alone. In the 19th Congressional District, Dutchess County had the most new reported cases of Lyme disease from 2000-2014 in New York. Columbia County had the most new cases per capita, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Congressman Faso is a member of the House Lyme Disease Caucus and is the sponsor of H.R. 4333, the “Lyme Disease Research Stamp Act”, a bipartisan bill that would help raise money and awareness for Lyme disease and related tick-borne illness research.