U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Tick-Borne Disease Alliance (TBDA), and Weill Cornell Medical College Host NYC Forum on Silent Epidemic of Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases on Monday, March 11th

Forum Will Address Issues Facing Hundreds of Thousands Afflicted with Lyme and Other Tick-Borne Diseases & Public Health Threat Posed By These Diseases

New York, NY (March 7, 2013) ─ U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) are partnering with the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance (TBDA), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness, supporting initiatives and promoting advocacy to find a cure for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, and Weill Cornell Medical College to host a forum to raise awareness and build support in the fight against the silent epidemic of tick-borne diseases, including Lyme, from 10:30 a.m. -- 1:30 p.m. Monday, March 11th at Weill Cornell Medical College, 1300 York Ave.

Lyme disease is the second most common reportable disease in the Northeast. In 2011, more than 24,000 confirmed cases of Lyme disease were reported in the U.S., with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stating they believed only 10-12 percent of all cases had been reported.

Distinguished speakers at the event are U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Weill Cornell Medical College's Dean Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher and Co-Chairman of TBDA David Roth.

The forum will also include a panel of doctors, experts, advocates and patients who will offer their insight in ways to combat Lyme and other tick-borne diseases:

  • Dr. Brian Fallon, director of the Center for Neuroinflammatory Disorders and Biobehavioral Medicine; director of Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center, Columbia University
  • Dr. Roy Gulick, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, Weill Cornell Medical College; attending physician, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
  • Dr. David Leiby, head of Transmissible Diseases at American Red Cross
  • John McPherson, nationally syndicated cartoonist, creator of the "Close to Home" comic, and patient advocate
  • Dr. Richard Ostfeld, disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

The event will be available via live-stream at tbdalliance.org and weill.cornell.edu/tickborne.

Also, a satellite hearing will be held at SUNY Ulster in Stone Ridge, N.Y.

About the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance (TBDA)

The Tick-Borne Disease Alliance is dedicated to raising awareness, promoting advocacy and supporting initiatives to find a cure for tick-borne diseases, including Lyme. As part of its efforts, TBDA is embarking on a quest to develop a reliable diagnostic tool as a first step toward eradicating the diseases. Working with others in the tick-borne disease community nationwide, TBDA seeks to raise public awareness through education and create a unified voice for advocacy regarding the current epidemic in order to make a real difference. More information about TBDA, Lyme and tick-borne diseases, and prevention and protection can be found at http://www.TBDAlliance.org.

Weill Cornell Medical College

Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University's medical school located in New York City, is committed to excellence in research, teaching, patient care and the advancement of the art and science of medicine, locally, nationally and globally. Physicians and scientists of Weill Cornell Medical College are engaged in cutting-edge research from bench to bedside, aimed at unlocking mysteries of the human body in health and sickness and toward developing new treatments and prevention strategies. In its commitment to global health and education, Weill Cornell has a strong presence in places such as Qatar, Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Austria and Turkey. Through the historic Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, the Medical College is the first in the U.S. to offer its M.D. degree overseas. Weill Cornell is the birthplace of many medical advances -- including the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer, the synthesis of penicillin, the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S., the first clinical trial of gene therapy for Parkinson's disease, and most recently, the world's first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally conscious brain-injured patient. Weill Cornell Medical College is affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, where its faculty provides comprehensive patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The Medical College is also affiliated with the Methodist Hospital in Houston. For more information, visit weill.cornell.edu.