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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Activism » Urgent! Virginians: Dr. Protection Bill

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Author Topic: Urgent! Virginians: Dr. Protection Bill
R62
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If you live in VA please contact your representatives immediately.

This bill is currently in committee and soon to come out dead or alive. Please, if you are in Virginia, contact your representatives and most importantly at this moment, contact the members of the committee even if they are not your representatives. Instructions in the link below. Just click and follow. We are at a crucial stage and this is very time sensitive. Thank you!!

http://www.natcaplyme.org/index.php


Download the Press Release Here

http://www.natcaplyme.org/downloads/NatCapLyme-VA-HB-512-Press-Release.pdf


Press Release

For Immediate Release:

CONTACT: Monte Skall- 703-821-8822

New Lyme Law Proposed to Protect Virginia Doctors Treating Lyme Disease

U.S. Physicians Fear Losing Medical License for Treating Lyme Aggressively

(Richmond, VA) - A new bill, introduced in the Virginia House of Delegates by Tom Rust, Delegate, 86th District (R), seeks to protect physicians in Virginia who provide extended antibiotic therapy to patients diagnosed with chronic Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. Currently doctors treating Lyme disease aggressively with long term antibiotics are targeted by medical boards and insurance companies and face losing their license.

Lyme disease is the fastest growing infectious disease in the United States today. This disease, caused by the bite of a tick, has reached epidemic levels in many counties in Virginia. Most experts agree that reported cases are likely to represent only a tenth of the actual number of cases.

Delegate Rust introduced this bill to empower physicians to provide effective, desperately needed patient care. "Doctors should be able to treat patients based on their best medical judgment, without fear of retaliation. " Delegate Rust added, "If Lyme disease is untreated or not treated aggressively it can have far-reaching implications - not only for patients' health but also for healthcare costs, disability compensation and worker productivity. These costs far exceed the expense of paying for therapeutic antibiotics to treat the infection and its symptoms."

The National Capital Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Association, an organization with over 1800 members, including affiliated chapters across the state in Central Virginia, Fairfax, Hampton Roads, and the Shenandoah Valley endorses the bill. Executive Director Monte Skall said, "House Bill 512 is necessary to improve treatment options for patients. Our hotline receives dozens of calls every day from patients seeking a doctor knowledgeable in the treatment of tick-borne diseases, often reporting they have had to drive hundreds of miles to receive care, frequently out-of-state. I am confident that passage of HB 512 will result in many more physicians willing to treat Lyme patients with the standard of care they believe most appropriate. "

Dr. Samuel Shor, an internist in Reston, Virginia who studies, researches and treats Lyme disease said: "physicians are finding, and the literature supports, the need for long term antibiotic therapy when treating certain cases of Lyme disease. The treatment guideline limited to four weeks of antibiotic treatment is seriously flawed. In fact, a two year investigation by the Connecticut Attorney General resulted in a reevaluation of that guideline, yet it remains the de facto standard." "It is interesting, " he noted, "doxycycline often used for the treatment of Lyme disease is commonly used long-term by dermatologists for acne."

When detected early, the disease is considered curable with a limited course of antibiotics, typically 30 days. Unfortunately, diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease are often hindered by the limited sensitivity of current tests, and physician lack of awareness of the prevalence of the disease in Virginia.

Early symptoms of Lyme may include headache, stiff neck, fever, muscle aches, and fatigue. If left untreated, the disease is thought to become chronic with more serious complications such as: joint pain and swelling; heart disease; neurological problems such as Bell's Palsy; dizziness; irritability; ADHD-like symptoms; cognitive dysfunction; and muscle weakness.

For more information on HB 512, please contact Monte Skall at 703-821-8822 or visit the NatCapLyme website at http://click. icptrack. com/icp/relay. php?r=17833244& msgid=308693& act=9F9Z& c=241665& destination= http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.natcaplyme .org%2F

[ 01-20-2010, 11:51 PM: Message edited by: R62 ]

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R62
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URGENT!! IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED! ALL VIRGINIANS!

BILL CURRENTLY IN COMMITTEE!!

Please pass on!!

DOCTOR PROTECTION BILL

This Bill is in committee. This committee can make or break the bill. We need all Virginians to contact members of the committee and encourage them to support this Bill 512.

More information on Bill 512:

http://www.natcaplyme.org/index.php?module=Pagesetter&func=viewpub&tid=10&pid=1

To email the committee members for HB 512, you can cut and paste the following addresses into the "to" section of your email and copy and paste the Sample Letter in the link (scroll to bottom). It might be best to copy and paste each member in a separate email to avoid Spam Folders:

[email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]

SAMPLE LETTER
----------------------------------------- Copy Text Blow ----------------------------------
Copy the text below by highlighting it and right-clicking to Copy the text.
Then paste it in your word processing program, add your information, and e-mail it to your delegate.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am writing to make a most important request for your support. Please support Bill H.B. 512, introduced by Delegate Tom Rust, and consider becoming a cosponsor. This bill addresses the critical aspects of diagnosis and treatment of Lyme and tick-borne diseases and deserves bipartisan support.

Lyme disease has become a problem of epidemic proportions in Virginia. Many of your constituents are afflicted with chronic forms of tick-borne diseases. Without the protection afforded by this legislation, treatment options for these victims are severely restricted and many infected with tick-borne disease are unable to obtain proper treatment. This bill is desperately needed to provide physicians with the protection they need to treat based on their legitimate, good-faith medical judgment.

I have read the language of this bill and recognize how clearly this bill is designed to help my loved ones, friends and me. I am asking you to cosponsor and commit your support to Bill H.B. 512.

Thank you for your help and support.

Sincerely,
Your Name
Your Address
Your Contact Information

[ 01-21-2010, 11:17 AM: Message edited by: R62 ]

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Robin123
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One little change above - second line of the rep list - make sure it's [email protected] - a dot is needed btn virginia and gov
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R62
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Thanks, Robin123.
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R62
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URGENT!!

Virginia Legislative Action Alert & ``Heads Up''

http://www.natcaplyme.org/index.php

Doctor Protection Legislation

http://www.natcaplyme.org/index.php?module=Pagesetter&func=viewpub&tid=10&pid=1

Delegate Rust believes that H.B.512, bill relating to long-term antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease, will come before Subcommittee #1 of the Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions this coming Monday, January 25, at 5 pm.

To move forward, the H.B. 512 must be approved by the subcommittee. It is critical that all do the following:

CONTACT your Virigina Senator and Delegate and ask that they support H.B. 512 and become a co-sponsor. You can find their names and contact information on the NatCapLyme website.

COME to Richmond Monday and join the NatCapLyme lobbying effort. Visit your Senator and Delegate and tell them how important it is that they support H.B. 512. Tell them you personal story with Lyme disease and how hard it is to find a doctor who will treat chronic Lyme.
ATTEND the Subcommittee #1 hearing at 5 PM. The meeting room is the 4h floor West Conference Room. If we get a good turnout, there will not be enough room for everyone in the committee room, and that is fine if we're so strong in numbers that we're pouring out into the hallway. This committee is chaired by Del. O'Bannon (a doctor). It's members are: O'Bannon (Chairman), Nutter, Peace, Bell, Richard P., Garrett, Spruill, Howell, A.T.

* * * IMPORTANT NOTE * * * IMPORTANT NOTE * * * IMPORTANT NOTE * * *

WE WILL NOT KNOW FOR SURE that Monday is the day until sometime Friday. Make plans NOW, but remain flexible. We're sorry, but that's the way the Virgina House of Delegates works. We cannot change that,

BUT WE CAN CHANGE HOW LYME TREATING DOCTORS ARE TREATED IN VIRGINIA.


* * CHECK FOR UPDATES * * CHECK FOR UPDATES * * CHECK FOR UPDATES * *

http://www.natcaplyme.org/index.php

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

National Capital Lyme & Tick-Borne Disease Association

[email protected]
www.natcaplyme.org
Phone & fax: 703-821-8833


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


This message was sent from NatCapLyme to [email protected] It was sent from: National Capital Lyme Disease Association, P.O. Box 8211, McLean, VA 22106.

http://www.natcaplyme.org/index.php

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R62
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Congressman Frank Wolf Endorses VA H.B. 512

Congressman Frank Wolf (R, VA) wrote Delegate Tom Rust today endorsing his bill, H.B. 512, the bill relating to long-term antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease.

Thank You Congressman Wolf!

View Letter Here:

http://community.icontact.com/p/natcaplyme/newsletters/events/posts/congressman-frank-wolf-endorses-va-hb-512

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

National Capital Lyme & Tick-Borne Disease Association
[email protected]
www.natcaplyme.org
Phone & fax: 703-821-8833
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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R62
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Virginia Legislative Action Alert

MONDAY HEARING POSTPONED

View Press Release Here"

http://community.icontact.com/p/natcaplyme/newsletters/events/posts/virginia-legislative-action-alert-monday-hearing-postponed


Delegate Rust advised today that the hearing on H.B.512 has been postponed. Several Lyme disease bills have been proposed and he believes that Chairman O'Bannon has postponed the hearing until next Monday so they may be consolidated under Delegate Rust's bill and considered together.

At this writing, everything else is the same, except we will need our strong showing the following Monday, February 1, at 5 PM.

REMEMBER!

To move forward, the H.B. 512 must be approved by the subcommittee. It is critical that all do the following:

CONTACT & EMAIL SUBCOMMITTEE MEMBERS AND ASK THAT THEY SUPPORT H.B. 512 AND BECOME A CO-SPONSER. These 7 people have the power to make or break our bill. It's members are: O'Bannon (Chairman), Nutter, Peace, Bell, Richard P., Garrett, Spruill, Howell, A.T.

http://community.icontact.com/p/natcaplyme/newsletters/events/posts/virginia-legislative-action-alert-monday-hearing-postponed


Also:

CONTACT your Virigina Senator and Delegate and ask that they support H.B. 512 and become a co-sponsor. Ask them to let the subcommittee members know of thier support. You can find their names and contact information on the NatCapLyme website by clicking on the following green button.

COME to Richmond Wednesday JANUARY 27 and join the NatCapLyme lobbying effort. Visit your Senator and Delegate and tell them how important it is that they support H.B. 512. Tell them you personal story with Lyme disease and how hard it is to find a doctor who will treat chronic Lyme. It is always best to try and make an appointment with your delegate, but if they can't schedule you in, meet with their legislative assistant and come walk the halls with us. We will be concentrating our efforts on Subcommittee #1 members. Meet up location and time to be announced this Sunday.

ATTEND the Subcommittee #1 hearing FEBRUARY 1 at 5 PM. The meeting room is the 4th floor West Conference Room. If we get a good turnout, there will not be enough room for everyone in the committee room, and that is fine if we're so strong in numbers that we're pouring out into the hallway. This committee is chaired by Del. O'Bannon. Chairman O'Bannon is a physician specializing in neurology.

To find more e-mail addresses and information click the green button:

http://community.icontact.com/p/natcaplyme/newsletters/events/posts/virginia-legislative-action-alert-monday-hearing-postponed


* * * IMPORTANT NOTE * * * IMPORTANT NOTE * * * IMPORTANT NOTE * * *

Make plans NOW, but remain flexible. Dates may change again. We're sorry, but that's the way the Virgina House of Delegates works. We cannot change that, BUT WE CAN CHANGE HOW LYME TREATING DOCTORS ARE TREATED IN VIRGINIA.

* * CHECK FOR UPDATES * * CHECK FOR UPDATES * * CHECK FOR UPDATES * *



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

National Capital Lyme & Tick-Borne Disease Association
[email protected]
www.natcaplyme.org
Phone & fax: 703-821-8833
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Dawn in VA
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Bumping up.
Let's overload the health committee members' inboxes! Roar!

--------------------
(The ole disclaimer: I'm not a doctor.)

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Lyme-VA
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H.B. 512 Lobby Day - Come to Richmond!!!!

http://community.icontact.com/p/natcaplyme/newsletters/events/posts/virginia-lobby-day-come-to-richmond

Come to Richmond this coming Wednesday, January 27th and join the NatCapLyme lobbying effort for H.B. 512!

(Subcommittee Hearing for H.B. 512 is still projected for Monday, February 1st at 5:00pm)
We will meet at 10:00am this Wednesday outside of Delegate Rust's office located at:

Capitol Office

General Assembly Building
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 698-1086
Room Number: 820

It is always best to try and make an appointment with your delegate in advance. If that is impossible you can visit the other offices with us. Here is a link to the list of Delegates and their phone numbers.

Click Here to find out who is your delegate.

http://community.icontact.com/p/natcaplyme/newsletters/events/posts/virginia-lobby-day-come-to-richmond

We will be concentrating our efforts on the members of the Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee and Subcommittee #1.

The bill has been referred to Subcommittee #1. It is critical that this subcommittee vote favorably on the bill.

Subcommittee #1 members are:

Chairman:O'Bannon, John M., III
Members:Bell, Richard P.
Garrett, T. Scott
Howell, Algie T., Jr.
Nutter, David A.
Peace, Christopher K.
Spruill, Lionell, Sr.
If one of these members aboveimportant it is to support is you delegate please try to make an appointment for Wednesday. Visit your delegate and tell him how important it is that they support H.B. 512. We will visit offices from 10-12 and from 1-3.

If your delegate is not a member of this committee, contact the delegate from your district and ask that they let the committee members know they support this bill.
Please let us know if you will be coming. E-mail [email protected] or call 703 821-8833

We will be driving 3 cars from Northern Virginia for people who would like rides.

Google directions from North, South, and West.

Send this to anyone going to Richmond. Once the map comes up, click on Get Directions.

Link: Map to Commonwealth of Virginia General Assembly

http://community.icontact.com/p/natcaplyme/newsletters/events/posts/virginia-lobby-day-come-to-richmond

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

National Capital Lyme & Tick-Borne Disease Association
[email protected]
www.natcaplyme.org
Phone & fax: 703-821-8833
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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MorningSong
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Contacting my delegate today for his support and for him to contact subcommittee. Praying this passes.
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IMHisda
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Frank Wolf is so cool. I hope y'all win this battle- teach us something here in NC

--------------------
RV

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Lyme-VA
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http://community.icontact.com/p/natcaplyme/newsletters/events/posts/come-to-richmond-monday-its-important


If there was ever a time your presence makes a difference, it is now!

SAVE THE DATE---NEXT MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1 at 4:30 pm in Richmond VA

THIS IS OUR TIME TO FIGHT FOR CHANGE!

BEING IN RICHMOND MEANS A VOTE FOR DOCTOR PROTECTION

LYME DISEASE DOCTOR PROTECTION VIRGINIA BILL

H.R. 512

This bill will protect you, your family and your doctor

Delegate Rust's Virginia H.B. 512, will provide physicians with the option of treating Lyme disease with antibiotics for more than four weeks without fear of disciplinary action. Many of you have contacted your delegates in support of H.B. 512 and your delegates have heard your voices. In response, 11 delegates have signed onto the bill.

BUT

We are still opposed by a significant force - THE IDSA.

The American Lyme Disease Foundation has signaled its opposition to H.B. 512. It asks that it not pass out of Subcommittee.

You can show our elected representatives that Virginians support HB 512 and oppose the ALDF. Please join us in Richmond! Your presence is necessary and will have an impact. Your presence speaks better for you than any witness can!

Please RSVP if you will be attending on Monday. We can't let them win!!


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GETTING TO RICHMOND on Monday, February 1st for Sub-Committee #1 Hearing

LEAVE THE DRIVING TO US!

If we get a significant response, we will charter a bus to Richmond for Monday's subcommittee meeting.

Please, let us know that you will join us right away!

For only $20, the bus would depart from a Northern Virginia location and would drop you off in front of the General Assembly Building. Please email us and let us know if you would be interested in taking bus. We could also have a bus from other locations in Virginia.

If you will be traveling to Richmond on your own accord, please meet us at 4:30pm sharp in the courtyard in front of the Public Entrance to the General Assembly Building located at 910 Capitol Street, Richmond, Virginia.

To RSVP and reserve a spot on the bus e-mail or call your reservation by 5 PM tomorrow, Friday January 29th

Please email [email protected] or call 703-821-8833


Google directions from North, South, and West.

Link: Map to Commonwealth of Virginia General Assembly

Send this to anyone going to Richmond. Once the map comes up, click on Get Directions.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

National Capital Lyme & Tick-Borne Disease Association
[email protected]
www.natcaplyme.org
Phone & fax: 703-821-8833
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Dawn in VA
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I'm so PO'd that I can't be at the hearing tonight!! Know that I am with you all in thoughts, prayers, and with all appendages crossed that it goes well and the room will be packed. My great hubby will be there on my behalf.

Love and hugs to everyone!

Go team go!

--------------------
(The ole disclaimer: I'm not a doctor.)

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MorningSong
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Does anyone know how the hearing went. Checked Natcap and Facebook but there are no updates as of yet. Was not able to attend but this was on my heart and in my prayers.
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MorningSong
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Just found a partial update:

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=101&typ=bil&val=hb512&Submit2=Go

Looks the the subcommitte is recommending 2011 voice vote. Not sure what a 2011 voice vote means hopefully meaning the House will get to vote on this.

If anyone has any updates and how things went, please let us know.

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Dawn in VA
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It was not passed or denied, but has been cast as a "layover", meaning that it will be addressed again during next year's Assembly (hence, "2011").

--------------------
(The ole disclaimer: I'm not a doctor.)

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Karen Mc
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I know Im a dumn dumn but is what ya'll are trying to say is...

nothing was done pro or con wise....just basically all of them being able to wait another year before addressing it thus ANOTHER year of NOTHING being done???? [Frown] [bonk] [confused] [shake]

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Dawn in VA
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Yup.

--------------------
(The ole disclaimer: I'm not a doctor.)

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Tincup
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I just got a second to come look at the VA bill progress and am sorry to see the bill was shelved. I guess in the home state of the IDSA, that is shameful in itself, but perhaps is to be expected?

Interesting that.. "The American Lyme Disease Foundation has signaled its opposition to H.B. 512. It asks that it not pass out of Subcommittee."

I believe this is the first time I've seen them come out of the woodwork to kick patients directly. Usually it is the IDSA in all their glory that do the actual beatings.

If anyone has a copy of that letter it would be nice to see. I can use it to perhaps get us some help, if you want to send it.

I noticed more cosponsors were gotten for the bill. Geeze! My English today isn't "there".. but you know what I mean.

Good work on that!!! I know it took a lot of effort to do... so thumbs up!

And what I keep telling myself when projects don't go as I'd like... which may be of some comfort...

"Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want."

And in the process many were educated.

And sorry, I have to laugh at myself now....

Our Maryland legislators should be the most educated folks on the planet for all the times our efforts had to be killed when things turned sour.

Anyone know what PA is doing on their efforts lately. And NH? I just don't have time to check them all, but would love to know.

[Big Grin]

--------------------
www.TreatTheBite.com
www.DrJonesKids.org
www.MarylandLyme.org
www.LymeDoc.org

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Karen Mc
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Tincup, Dawn and others


From what I can tell... It looks like although we didnt win we weren't defeated either...

It now gives us a year to step up our efforts to get MORE people educated and involved...right???

What better way than to get people to continually
send letter to our delegates

When and where did H.B. 512 come from... Why was it just quickly brought up that we must go rally for it?

Seems like now that we know it has been "shelved" until next year that GIVES US a WHOLE year to get our ducks in a row and work on getting people involved. NOT waiting until a week BEFORE the bill comes up again to rally people.

Granted we should push for that "last minute" push but it seems like we should be working towards the "prize" all the while.

I know a year seems like a lifetime (especially when you get my age-lol)

BUT it WILL be here before we know it!

Im so new to all this and I truly want to say THANK YOU to ALL of you that better understand the "ins and outs" of this stuff and continue to educate us.

God Bless.

Karen (:

P.S.

Just to throw it out there....

May, of course is Lyme Awareness Month...

Well...

2 years ago I didn't have a clue that it was

1 year ago (last May--dud)--I was so deathly sick
I didn't know WHAT the crap was wrong with me..

Fast forward to this May.

I have been diagnosed with Lyme, Bab and Bart. not to mention what else that I hadn't had the money to get tested for to confirm.

SOOOO......

I've been thrown in the mix of all this whether I want to or not

Guess my point is....

None of us know what will lay ahead of us from 1 year to the next.

SO lets set our sites on 2011 being a record GREAT year for Virginians with Lyme and work towards helping the other states in 2010.

As long as I have breath in my body and the Lord willing I plan on making a difference. Our children and others deserve it.


P.S.S.

Ok, ok, so Tim Kaine only proclaimed Lyme Awarness Month in 2009...but you get my drift

[bonk]

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Tincup
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While doing some research tonight I noticed there were 5 Lyme related bills submitted in Virginia for the 2010 session? IF I am reading this right?

Can that be? If so... do you know what happened to the others?

Thanks!

See them here....

http://tiny.cc/B2tLS

[Big Grin]

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Dawn in VA
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TC, I had not heard of/read all of those bills either. Maybe Monte can comment. I dunno.

I think one of the keys for next year is that, as Karen stated perfectly, we must be well organized and stick to the facts when the hearing comes up again. More docs present, more biological facts, and keep the focus on the bill itself, not the many other things that also need to be focused on (education for doctors, emotional involvement, etc). While these are our passions, as they are what guide us through this journey of changing WHAT WILL INDEED BE CHANGED, we can't loose sight of the original mission.

You guys are all AWESOME!!!!!!!!!

Reckon we'll see if we have to move in another direction or not as time passes...

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(The ole disclaimer: I'm not a doctor.)

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tdtid
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For those of you that may have been present for this hearging, would you be able to comment on some of the things from this particular news article?

http://community.intellicontact.com/p/natcaplyme/newsletters/events/posts/report-on-the-virginia-house-of-delegates-committee-hearing

"As soon as Dr. Shor completed his statement, it became clear that several members of the subcommittee had been prepped by the medical society with questions. The committee took at least another 15 minutes with very tough questions that appeared to come directly from the bill's detractors, including the medical society and the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA)."

We on the NH Lyme Bill committee are trying to learn from other states and would be very interested to know what some of these "tough questions" are specifically.

We go in front of the House on Wednesday and trying desperately to be totally prepared.

Can anyone help?

Cathy

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Tincup
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Hey td...

I was not there.. couldn't make it. But my bet is they used their standard blah blah blah arguments.

I hope someone who was there can share.. but in the meantime I am sending you an email with talking points so you may be better prepared.

Hope it helps.

[Big Grin]

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pmerv
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One of the things they typically say is that they should not be legislating longterm treatment.

They also say they don't want the Medical Board's hands tied when it comes to prosecuting MDs who might not be practicing according to accepted standards.

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Phyllis Mervine
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tdtid
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Thank you TC and pmerv.

I do think we are going at it at a bit of a different angle since we are stressing that we are NOT asking them to decide our treatment ie long term abx and are trying not to focus on actual treatments.

We are asking them to give doctors the FREEDOM to treat the way they have been trained.

Obviously it goes a lot deeper than this, but we have had a lot of outside input to help us not allow the loop holes.

Thank you everyone that have also written privately with guidance. We appreciate all the help available. THANK YOU.

Cathy

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"To Dream The Impossible Dream" Man of La Mancha

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