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ACTION ALERT: March 2, 2000

ACTION ALERT: March 2, 2000

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Posted by Cheryl on March 02, 2000 at 18:19:58:


March 2, 2000

Many of you have asked for an update on what you could be doing to help the efforts here in NY regarding the investigations of physicians treating Lyme Disease. Below you will find the up-to-date suggestions. These requests are for everyone, no matter where you live. Thank you for your efforts thus far. We must keep the pressure on so that the OPMC changes its procedures. This will ultimately help not only today's Lyme patients, but future Lyme patients and sufferers of other illnesses as well. Those patients could be yourself or people in your family. Thank you again for your continued interest and effort.

In December, Dr. Ansel Marks, Executive Secretary of the Office of Professional Medical conduct, in response to the investigations of Lyme treating physicians, wrote that 2-3 weeks of antibiotics is adequate to cure Lyme. This letter makes it clear that the OPMC considers the prescribing of more than 2-3 weeks of antibiotics to be medical misconduct. They are investigating AND CHARGING doctors who violate this extremely biased and unscientific standard of care. Their methods, which allow an investigation based on unsubstantiated complaints and force doctors into an investigation without knowing the charges against them, are inherently unfair. They can view patient records without the consent of the patient. Charges unrelated to the original complaint can be added at any time during the investigation. The result of these actions is that doctors are forced to limit their care out of fear of being investigated. Thus the Department of Health, in the body of the OPMC, is limiting the treatment of Lyme patients to 2-3 weeks.

Below is a list of legislators to be writing to. Some have just been added to the list, some were on previous lists. Even if you have written to some of them already, which I know most of you have, it is time to write again and follow-up. Don’t worry if you can’t remember what you wrote in the first letter, or even if you wrote. Dr. Burrascano, one Lyme treating physician who has helped thousands of patients and is currently being charged, has asked that we now focus on the way the OPMC operates. He writes:

“Currently, when they receive a complaint, that allows them access to MD's (and YOUR) charts. Then, they are free to go after the doctor for anything they find- even if it has nothing to do with the original charge, which is always kept secret. This is one example of the lack of due process inherent in the OPMC system. Why are physicians in New York exempt from their constitutional rights? What I am suggesting we all do is to write again to the Governor and senators and assemblymen in New York to have them change this immediately. What is most pressing right now is to restrict the scope of OPMC investigation and penalties to only the original allegation, and not have free reign to be able to trump up new charges whenever they want to attack an individual physician.”

What is most important from the grass roots is to bring passion to the issues. It is your letters that WILL overcome the resistance of lawmakers. Your letters are extremely important. If you can, get your friends and family to write as well.

Your letters should include any or all of the following:
1. Your story
2. Your objection to the investigation procedure (discussed above)
3. Your objection to the DOH limiting treatment to 2-3 weeks
4. Your struggles with insurance companies over treatment coverage
5. The details of having one doctor dismiss a diagnosis or treatment followed by positive lab confirmation with another doctor.

If your letter includes #3 and/or #4, (insurance issues and/or diagnosis/treatment denial by a physician) please send a copy of your letter to FAIM (Foundation for the Advancement of Innovative Medicine) at the following address:

PO Box 410
Kinderhook, NY
attn: Monica Miller
FAX: 518.758.7967
[email protected]

You can also write to other senators and assemblymen throughout the state, whomever you choose. Write to your own representatives, either in NY or out of state. NY lawmakers are found at:

Those out of state:

Or by calling the League of Women Voters:
(202) 429-1965 National
(518) 465-4162 in NY

"Letters to the editor are impossible to overuse. We clip them and circulate them through the office like gossip sheets of what's going on. The press represents an overall buzz in the community."
-Congressional Aide

We must create that buzz!

Please continue to write letters to the editors of various newspapers and magazines. Some addresses are found below. Your letter may get published, but regardless it will put the pressure on for the paper to do a full story. Your letters should be unique for each paper. Only Dr. Burrascano has given permission for his name to go to the press.

You can also distribute the Press Release found at:

We still need people to be meeting with their legislators. I have made several requests for people in NY (especially Nassau, but anywhere in the state is good) to contact me about this, and no one has. The numbers of LYME-PAC are small, and we need much more help. Pretty please, if you live in NY State, email me about meeting with your assemblyperson or senator. If you do not, you can still arrange to meet with your representatives to discuss the Lyme issues and tell your story. After meeting with your local reps, you can keep them informed of new developments or the stories of other people.

Those who received reply letters from senators and assemblymen, please send to Monica at: [email protected] or at the above address for FAIM.

Thank you everyone for your work so far. Please keep it up, we are only in the beginning stages and need to make it clear we are not going away.

Cheryl =o)
[email protected]

Lobbyist Monica Miller writes, “Please write original letters. Tell your story and why this matters to you. Your personal words are valued more than a hundred form letters... Snail mail is preferred but use email if you must. At this time, please focus on the following lawmakers”:

Hon. Vincent L. Leibell
New York Senate
Putnam, parts of Dutchess (eastern), Westchester (northern) District:
802 LOB
Albany, NY 12247
[email protected]

Hon. Stephen M. Saland
New York Senate
Columbia, part of Dutchess
946 LOB
Albany, NY 12247
[email protected]

Hon. Nicholas A. Spano
New York Senate
Part of Westchester District
509 LOB
Albany, NY 12247
[email protected]

Hon. Thomas P. Morahan
New York Senate
Rockland and part of Orange District
808 LOB
Albany, NY 12247
[email protected]

Hon. William J. Larkin, Jr.
New York Senate
Parts of Orange, Ulster District:
915 LOB
Albany, NY 12247
[email protected]

Hon. Michael A.L. Balboni
New York Senate
( Part of Nassau District)
Room 803 LOB
Albany, NY 12247
[email protected]

Hon. Joel Miller D.D.S.
New York Assembly
Room 531 LOB
Albany, NY 12248
[email protected]

Hon. Kemp Hannon
Chairman Senate Health Committee
Room 609 LOB
Albany, NY 12247
[email protected]

Hon. Richard Gottfried
Chairman Assembly Health Committee
Room 822 LOB
Albany, NY 12248
[email protected]

Hon. Sam Colman
New York Assembly
(He authored the 1994 NYS alt med law)
Room 939 LOB
Albany, NY 12248
[email protected]

These addresses are just some suggestions. Please write to other papers as well.

Editor, The New York Times
229 West 43rd St
NewYork, NY 10036

Editor, New York Newsday
235 Pinelawn Road
Melville, NY 11747-4250

Editor, New York Daily News
450 West 33rd Street
New York, NY 10001

Editor, The New York Post
1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036

The Village Voice
36 Cooper Square
New York, NY 10003
Att: Ron Plotkin

You might also like to write to NY Magazine in response to:

Editor, New York Magazine
444 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10022-6999
[email protected]


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