News Release


For More Information:

William R. Steinhaus
Dutchess County Executive
Telephone:  (845) 486-2000
, FAX: (845) 486-2021,

Dr. Michael Caldwell, Commissioner of Health
(845) 486-3421

Rob Ostrander, Press contact for Rep. Sue Kelly
(202) 225-5441

March 19, 2001


Steinhaus and Kelly Announce Major Federal Grant to Study Reducing Deer Tick Population in Dutchess County

Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus along with Congresswoman Sue Kelly today announced the award of a federal grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to the American Lyme Disease Foundation (ALDF) to conduct a scientific study to reduce the number of deer ticks in targeted areas in Dutchess County. The ALDF will be partnering with the Dutchess County Department of Health (DCDH) and the Institute of Ecosystem Studies (IES) in Millbrook.

The CDC grant to prevent Lyme Disease in the United States, entitled, "Developing and Evaluating a Community and Population Based Intervention Program to Prevent Lyme Disease Combined with a Novel Approach to Reduce Vector Tick Populations" will be awarded in the amount of $300,000 in the first year of a three-year grant. It is potentially renewable for an additional three years. The ALDF was awarded one of these very competitive grants.

Since 1986, a total of 9,753 persons in Dutchess County have been confirmed to have Lyme disease. The study will pre-select two areas in Dutchess County. The study area will have a targeted educational effort for the residents, as well as the placement of "Four Poster Deer Feeders". The Deer Feeder, a USDA-ARS patented device is used to apply a topical acaricide (tick killer) to the head and shoulder of deer as they feed. The feeders are proposed to be in place this summer. The feeders will be maintained on a year-round basis to help control all species of ticks found in the area. It is hoped that with the targeted educational efforts (population-based strategy) and the use of the "Deer Feeders" (vector (tick) population reduction) that there will be a meaningful reduction in human cases of Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections.

County Executive Steinhaus remarked, "This grant is a major achievement for our area. It is an acknowledgement by the federal government that Lyme Disease is a major public health problem in Dutchess County and rewards our long-term commitment to local partnerships with other leaders in the fight against Lyme Disease."

"This project is an important weapon in our battle against Lyme disease in Dutchess County," said Rep. Sue Kelly, Chair of the Congressional Lyme Disease Caucus. "Increasing public awareness is important, but itís not enough. We need to attack this problem at its source. This plan seeks to reduce the overall tick population in our region. It is my hope that as a result of this federal assistance, fewer residents will be struck by this terrible disease."

Steinhaus noted the effort is a unique collaboration. This novel approach will be realized with the partnership of the ALDF based in Somers, New York, directed by David L. Weld; the IES based in Millbrook, New York with Co-Principal Investigator Dr. Rick Ostfeld; and the DCDH under the direction of Commissioner Michael C. Caldwell, MD, MPH.

Dr. Ostfeld, the leader of the field component stated, "Iím excited we will be able to put the ecological knowledge we have gained over the last ten years to work in reducing the number of Lyme disease cases in the county." David Weld commented, "I am delighted we have been funded for this effort. Our collective efforts to understand and fight Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses have been ongoing for many years. This new opportunity allows us to enhance our ongoing partnership. We can make a difference and decrease the Lyme disease burden in Dutchess County with this new federal funding. Education, habitat modification and novel methods of killing ticks will all be combined in an integrated management plan under this program."

Commissioner of Health Caldwell noted, "The Dutchess County Health Department has been committed to the fight against Lyme disease for many years. Our successful application for CDC funding now adds a new and exciting chapter to our efforts and puts us closer to eliminating Lyme disease from our community. My staff and I look forward to working even harder and more closely with our friends at ALDF, IES and dedicated community volunteers."

Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus will be joined by Congresswoman Sue Kelly to make a major announcement regarding a new public health initiative, this Monday, March 19, 2001 at 10:30 a.m. in the Dutchess County Executiveís Conference Room, 6th Floor, 22 Market Street, Poughkeepsie, New York.


2001 Press Releases