The Lyme-bearing deer tick at several stages of development | CDC image
The Lyme-bearing deer tick at several stages of development | CDC image

Senator Ken LaValle announced last week that he has secured $75,000 in state funding to fight Lyme and other tick-borne diseases on the East End through programs at Southampton Hospital’s Tick-Borne Disease Resource Center.

Another legislation, co-sponsored by Senator LaValle, to educate and increase awareness among students of the diseases, has passed both the Senate and Assembly and will be sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo for consideration.

Doctors from Southampton Hospital have spent the past year making presentations on the symptoms and treatment of tick-borne diseases throughout the East End.

“The public need for education and access to diagnosis and treatment of tick-borne illness continues to grow on the East End,” said  Robert S. Chaloner, President and Chief Executive Officer of Southampton Hospital. “We are grateful for Senator LaValle’s assistance in obtaining a New York State grant of $75,000 for the second year in a row. This funding will continue the mission of Southampton Hospital’s Tick-Borne Disease Center to provide the best possible information and to promote collaboration within the medical community on the North and South Forks.”

“With the continuing high incidence of these tick-borne illnesses, we need to work to eradicate the diseases and end the transmission to individuals,” said Senator LaValle. “Southampton Hospital’s Tick-Borne Disease Resource Center has led the way in educational outreach for the public on both the North and South Fork. Additionally, they support programs for elementary-aged children to make them more aware of the issues, have run medical symposia on the topic, and are participants in a National Institute of Health study for diagnosis of the Lyme disease. I am pleased that we are able to gain state support for these vital programs.”

Senate bill S5804 , which Mr. LaValle co-sponsored, would require the state to create age-appropriate educational materials that would be readily available to schools to assist students in identifying ticks, the procedures for their safe removal, and best practices for protection from ticks.

Materials would be available to schools and libraries at no cost and would be available to the general public upon request.

New York State has invested $1.7 million dollars for research, education and tick-borne disease prevention efforts over the past three years.

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at

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