“Hospital aims to reduce tick-borne illnesses”
“The snow is still on the ground I have already found three ticks –one engorged on my puppy.” stated Hospital Spokesperson Cheryl McGrattan. And she is not alone. According to staff working at Littauer’s Perth Primary Care Center, local residents are already asking about tick bites. While the area braces for another busy tick season, Nathan Littauer is getting people ready with some tools needed to fend off Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. While the message is still “get outside”, the hospital is helping people enjoy the Adirondacks safely.
The hospital has partnered with the one of the most astute resource groups in the US, The Tick Encounter Center out of Rhode Island. “Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home is proud to partner with the TickEncounter Resource Center. We have combined our resources to provide our neighbors and visitors with the most reliable strategies for preventing tick bites and tick-transmitted diseases.” explained Cheryl McGrattan.
Last year, the hospital brought a world-renowned tick expert to the region. Thomas Mather, PhD appeared in sold-out town hall meetings. Continuing on that momentum, the hospital has launched a multi-media program aimed at preventing tick bites in the first place.
The hospital has launched a “tick widget” on their home page. The widget brings the surfer to a micro site complete with identification resources, video and additional information related to the prevention of tick bites. It also explains the “Top ten things to know about ticks”. Cheryl McGrattan explains, “So now if someone finds a tick they can literally log onto to nlh.org and identify the type of tick.” Only deer ticks are known to transmit Lyme disease.
“We are no stranger to the outdoors.” stated Laurence E. Kelly, Hospital President and CEO. “As a full-service hospital located at the foothills of the Adirondacks, we are also no stranger to ticks. That is why we have launched a comprehensive community education program with TickEncounter to safeguard our residents and our region’s visitors. Our provider’s share our message of tick bite prevention.”
The hospital gift shop is also selling Sawyer premium permethrin spray. The spray is recommended by Dr. Mather as one of the best defenses against tick bites, “As a treatment for clothing, Permethrin clothing insect repellent does not harm fabrics and is odorless after dried. Use Permethrin on clothing by itself or with skin-applied repellents to create the ultimate protective, armor-like insect barrier. Permethrin-treatments on clothing are non-toxic to humans and are registered for use by the U.S. EPA.”
The hospital is also distributing shower tick cards for free to local camp grounds and summer camps. The shower cards show the areas of the body to check for tick bites and it also contains tick identification images. “It is important that we encourage people to look for ticks on their skin daily as it typically takes 24 hours for the tick to pass on anything threatening.” stated Dr. McBiles, Chief of Staff at Littauer. Summer camp counselors are encouraged to get a shower card by emailing the hospital at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The hospital will also be using their powerful social media channels to inform the public about the importance of tick-bite prevention.
Lastly, the hospital also has resources now available to providers in the Emergency Center for quick and more accurate tick identification.
Dr. McBiles, Chief of Staff at Littauer explains, “We want people to enjoy all this region has to offer. And ticks should not prevent anyone from enjoying the outdoors. But we also want to be a resource to anyone who is striving to be tick-bite free.”
To find our tick widget, log onto www.nlh.org. In the right hand corner is a button with the image of a tick and the words, “Got ticks?”
Community organizations like summer camps and campgrounds can email a request for a Tick Shower Card to the hospital at email@example.com.