LuAnn I. Hart, BS1, Rebecca Raymond, MPH2, P. Bryon Backenson, MS1, Madhu Anand, MPH3, Mark VanDeusen, MA1, and Dennis J. White, PhD1. (1) Arthropod-Borne Disease Program, New York State Department of Health, 632 Corning Tower, ESP, Albany, NY 12237, 518-473-4264, firstname.lastname@example.org, (2) Bureau of Child and Adolescent Health, New York State Department of Health, 227 Corning Tower, ESP, Albany, NY 12237, (3) Regional Epidemiology Program, New York State Department of Health, 651 Corning Tower, ESP, Albany, NY 12237
New York State reports over 30% of the nation's Lyme disease cases annually, with more than 5,000 cases reported during 2004. Over 97% of these cases were reported by 13 local health departments (LHDs). Based on incidence rates exceeding the Healthy People 2010 standard of 9.7 cases per 100,000, funds have been awarded to these LHDs to aid in prevention efforts. In 2004, representatives from the funded LHDs were brought together to examine different strategies and messages used in public education materials that had been aimed at preventing tick-borne diseases, particularly Lyme disease. Over 21 different public education materials were in use by the LHDs and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) in public education materials. We established a volunteer workgroup to develop an education message that would be accepted and used statewide. As a result, an innovative graphic and slogan was created and pretested: "Be Tick Free." An educational campaign was initiated in May 2005 by all funded counties and NYSDOH. The coordinated campaign included the orchestrated release of PSAs; a proclamation by the Governor; and multiple press events. As a result, messages regarding tick borne disease prevention are being delivered to the public residing and working in the most affected areas of the state in a consistent and coordinated manner for the first time. It is expected that these consistent messages will have a greater impact on promoting behaviors that prevent tick bites and enhance early detection of Lyme disease and other tick borne diseases.
Keywords: Infectious Diseases, Collaboration
Related Web page: www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/environ/lyme/home.htm
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA