In June 2014, Gov. Tom Corbett signed a new law creating a statewide Lyme disease task force to make recommendations to the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) within one year regarding a wide range of surveillance, prevention, education, and information collecting measures.
At the recommendation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED), John Goldman, MD, a leading infectious disease expert at PinnacleHealth in Harrisburg, was appointed to the task force.
“Lyme disease is clearly increasing in Pennsylvania and I think it is extremely important that we increase patient and physician awareness of the disease, how to prevent Lyme, and the proper ways to treat it,” said Dr. Goldman. “I look forward to working with the task force to address these very important issues,” he said.
“Dr. Goldman has extensive experience in treating Lyme disease and post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome, and he has testified on the subject at legislative committee hearings,” said PAMED President Bruce MacLeod, MD, in a letter to DOH.
“Dr. Goldman is an acknowledged expert on Lyme disease, and I am confident that he would be an asset to the task force and your work in attacking this potentially debilitating disease,” he said.
The task force stablished by Act 83 of 2014 is tasked with:
- Surveillance and prevention of Lyme disease, including updating policies to recognize symptoms of Lyme disease
- Raising awareness about the long-term effects of the misdiagnosis of Lyme disease
- Development and dissemination of information for various audiences – the general public, health care professionals, school administrators and faculty, parents and students, and visitors to state parks
- Collaborating with the Department of Environmental Protection to test ticks, provide test results, and publish infection rates on its public accessible website
- Determining the role of schools in the prevention of Lyme disease, including, but not limited to, prompt reporting of tick removals to State officials
“Public education and monitoring are critical elements of the effort to reduce the incidence of Lyme disease,” said Dr. MacLeod. “We’re excited about working with DOH on this project. I also want to thank Dr. Goldman for his efforts in helping legislators get this right,” he said. “His contributions were significant.”