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Denver Mom of Chronically Ill Child Becomes First Caregiver to Chair the U. S. Dept of Health and Human Services Congressionally Directed Federal Tick-Borne Disease Working Group

·5 min read

Group to Find Inventive Approaches to Counter Rising Tick-Borne Illnesses

DENVER, Colo., Aug. 28, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the appointment of Holiday Goodreau, executive director of the LivLyme Foundation and chief executive officer/co-inventor of TickTracker, as co-chair of the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group (Working Group).

Congress established the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group in 2016 as part of the 21st Century Cures Act to provide subject matter expertise and to review federal efforts related to all tick-borne diseases to help ensure interagency coordination and minimize overlap, and to examine research priorities. The focus of the group’s effort is the development of a report to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and Congress on the findings and any recommendations of the Working Group for the federal response to tick-borne disease prevention, treatment and research, as well as how to address gaps in these areas. The Working Group is required to submit a report every two years.

“It is truly an honor to see we TVs in this leadership capacity as this country and the world continue to fight against tick-borne diseases,” said Ms. Goodreau. “As my daughter, Olivia, says about her fight against the illness, ‘I was recruited by a tick.’ In so many ways that same tick recruited me as well, as I continue to advocate for finding a cure and effective treatments for my daughter and the millions of people across the globe suffering from Lyme disease. The work ahead is daunting, but having the support of the federal government, private partnerships, advocacy groups, doctors, scientists, and patients in this fight will surely elevate the conversations and actions that are needed in the fight against tick-borne diseases.”

Ms. Goodreau is a part of a new team of Working Group members who were officially sworn in by the Assistant Secretary for Health, Dr. Rachel Levine during the August 26, 2021 meeting. Ms. Goodreau and Linden Hu will co-chair the Working Group, which will produce the third and final report to the HHS Secretary and Congress. The Working Group members are:

New Public Members

  • Holiday Goodreau (Co-Chair): Executive Director, The LivLyme Foundation; CEO / Co-Inventor, TickTracker (Englewood, CO)

  • Linden T. Hu, MD (Co-Chair): Vice Dean for Research and Professor of Microbiology, Tufts University School of Medicine (Medford, MA)

  • Monica E. Embers, PhD: Professor of Immunology, Tulane University Health Sciences; Director of Vector-Borne Disease Research; Head of Education and Training, Tulane National Primate Research Center (New Orleans, LA)

  • Elizabeth Maloney, MD: President, Partnership for Tick-Borne Disease Education; President, Partnership for Healing and Health, Ltd. (Wyoming, MN)

  • Jennifer Platt, DrPH, MSPH: Co-Founder, Tick-Borne Conditions United; CEO, Founder, TickWarriors (Pittsboro, NC)

  • Sunil Sood, MBBS, DCH, MD: Chairman, Department of Pediatrics; Attending Physician, South Shore University Hospital; Professor, Zucker School of Medicine (Bay Shore, NY)

  • Kirby Stafford, PhD, MS: Chief Scientist, State Entomologist, NE Regional Center for Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases, State of Connecticut (New Haven, CT)

Regular Government Employees (Federal Members)

  • Charles Benjamin (Ben) Beard, PhD: Deputy Director, Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

  • CAPT Rebecca Bunnell, MPAS, PA-C: Senior Advisor, Learning and Diffusion Group, Innovation Center, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

  • Dennis M. Dixon, PhD: Chief, Bacteriology and Mycology Branch, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH)

  • Robert J. Miller, PhD: Office of National Programs, National Program Leader, Veterinary, Medical, and Urban Entomology, Co-NPL for Crop Entomology, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

  • CDR Todd Myers, PhD, HCLD (ABB), MB (ASCP): Scientist, Office of Counterterrorism and Emerging Threats, Office of the Chief Scientist, Office of the Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

  • Leith Jason States, MD, MPH (FMF): Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

  • Gabriela Zollner, PhD: Program Manager, Deployed Warfighter Protection (DWFP) Program, Armed Forces Pest Management Board (AFPMB), Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Acquisition) (DoD)

About Holiday Goodreau

Holiday Goodreau is the Executive Director of the LivLyme Foundation whose mission is to provide funding for Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease treatment and research, while delivering tick education and awareness around the globe. She is a co-creator of the free global app, TickTracker, allowing users to report and track ticks in real-time with the use of geo-location, and she is a Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease advocate.

Ms. Goodreau is an inaugural member of the United States Health and Human Services (HHS), Tick-Borne Disease Working Group “Access to Care and Patient Support” subcommittee. She also serves as a peer reviewer for the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program for Tick-Borne Disease Research as a consumer advocate and is a board member of the MSIDS (Multiple Systemic Infectious Disease Syndrome) Scientific Research Board in New York. She was selected as a 2019 Fellow for The Gratitude Network, which involved a 12-month leadership development program for those dedicated to serving children and youth.

Ms. Goodreau’s advocacy work has led her around the country where she has presented at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Boy Scouts of America, Gates Foundation, Microsoft, Chan Zuckerberg Institute, Stanford University, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Duke University and University of New Haven. In her ongoing efforts to find a cure for her daughter’s diagnosed Lyme disease in 2011, Ms. Goodreau continues to work for Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease patients and their families through her extensive advocacy work.

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CONTACT: Holiday Goodreau LivLyme Foundation 303-942-1704 holiday@livlymefoundation.org