News Release, St. Mary’s County Public Information Office

Leonardtown, MD – On June 11, the St. Mary’s County Department of Aging and Human Services’ Northern Senior Activity Center was recognized with a Program of Excellence Award: Honorable Mention in the Nutrition and Health Promotions Category from the Maryland Association of Senior Centers (MASC) for Lyme Action Tool Kits.

The MASC Programs of Excellence Awards contest is designed to honor and promote outstanding efforts made by senior centers to enhance program offerings for their members. The Lyme Action Tool Kit received praise from MASC for its “wide impact and level of resources provided to the community…For a very low cost, it managed to tackle three approaches to dealing with Lyme disease, from awareness to action to advocacy. The comprehensive community-based approach for preventing and managing Lyme disease is admirable and essential to improving public health.”

The kits were developed to fill a public education and outreach niche for the complex issue of tick-borne disease. MarieNoelle Lautieri, Northern Senior Activity Center Operations Manager and Facilitator of the Lyme Disease Support and Discussion Group, learned that the senior community was asking for direct and specific instructions about this topic and produced the tool kit for those not comfortable using, or without access to, the Internet.

The tool kit’s message was “What you need to know and what you can do.” An infographic with clear visual and action-specific instructions promoted educational resources, how senior centers and libraries help, where caregivers can get support and detailed how local laws, legislation and efforts relate to this topic. The lime-colored kit included an awareness bracelet and brochures from Lyme-literate organizations. The kit provides suggestions that can be used whether someone is diagnosed with Lyme, caregiving for someone sick, or just looking for concrete information.

Toolkits are available free of charge to those 50 years of age or older, one per person. The Department has received seven MASC award since 2005.

For more information, visitwww.stmarysmd.com/agingor call 301-475-4200, ext. 71050.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...