"Mass Gen Lands LD Expert" 
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 "Mass Gen Lands LD Expert"

From Robynn's Lyme List: http://www.***.com/



Mass. General lands Lyme disease expert
Hospital recruits physician away from NEMC

By Liz Kowalczyk, Globe Staff, 5/14/2002

Dr. Allen Steere, the physician who discovered Lyme disease and later
traveled with bodyguards to protect himself from angry patients, has been
recruited away from New England Medical Center by Massachusetts General

Steere, chief of rheumatology and immunology at NEMC, has worked at the
hospital for more than 15 years. Chief executive Dr. Thomas O'Donnell, who
is unhappy about Steere's departure, said his recruitment is a sign of
increasing competition between Boston's teaching hospitals for top
physicians and researchers.

''It's so difficult to recruit from out of town right now because of the
high cost of living here, that more and more people are going from
institution to institution,'' O'Donnell said. ''Certainly I was a little
disappointed he was moving on after we gave him all the support we did, a
publicist, and personal protection.''

Steere, who declined to comment on his departure, discovered the
Lyme-causing bacteria in Old Lyme, Conn., in 1975. The tick-born infection
strikes more than 12,000 people annually, mostly in the Northeast. Patients
and colleagues initially praised Steere for his discovery, but it wasn't
long before some Lyme sufferers turned against him.

During the early 1990s, Steere began to believe that many people don't
actually suffer from chronic Lyme disease, and don't need long-term
antibiotics to treat it, but rather have other problems such as chronic
fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, or psychiatric illnesses. He began to
receive death threats and during the past several years NEMC paid for Steere
to travel to national meetings with bodyguards.

Dr. Dennis Ausiello, physician in chief at Mass. General, said the hospital
conducted a national search for a physician to direct the hospital's
clinical rheumatology and allergy program and oversee research, and Steere
was the best candidate. He starts July 1.

He will run a lab with eight to 12 researchers. Ausiello would not disclose
Steere's salary or financial package, but he said he might be earning less
at Mass. General than at NEMC, where he was chairman of a department.

Steere, who is currently a Tufts School of Medicine professor, will become a
full professor at Harvard Medical School, for which Mass. General is a
teaching hospital.

''At the most senior level, we still recruit a lot of people from out of
town,'' Ausiello said. ''But academic medicine in general has become more
competitive. Does that play out on the local level? Yes, of course.''

This story ran on page D3 of the Boston Globe on 5/14/2002.
? Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company.

Fri, 05 Nov 2004 23:12:18 GMT
 "Mass Gen Lands LD Expert"
Another Globe article- quotes Steere- and Steere was *wrong*- with long-term
antibiotic therapy Evan White is 100% today.


HEADLINE: Lyme disease victim asks panel for help
SOURCE: The Boston Globe
DATE: August 6, 1993, Friday, City Edition
BYLINE: By Joel P. Engardio, Contributing Reporter

A frail, 14-year-old boy whose body has been ravaged by Lyme Disease held a
Senate panel in sympathetic awe yesterday as he pleaded for help in finding a

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the committee chairman, and many others in the hearing
room appeared moved by Evan White of New York, who Kennedy described as a
"brave, young man."

White, weighing only 80 pounds and bound to a wheelchair, usually does not have
the strength to speak, and communicates to his mother with barely audible words
and hand gestures.

But when his mother, Ruchana White, offered to translate for her son, he tried
to push her away to speak on his own. He managed to whisper into the
microphone. His mother repeated his words.

"We can't think. We can't sleep. We need you," he said of victims of the
disease. "We need everybody to work together to tell everybody how we feel."

Kennedy removed his glasses, wiped his eye, and after a pause, leaned forward
and spoke to the young witness.

"Of all the testimony today, those few words of yours will be the most
powerful," Kennedy said with a slight quaver in his voice. "You said it right.
I think the best way we can thank you is to make sure we do something about it
like you asked us."

Kennedy's Labor and Human Resources Committee was looking at the relatively new
and mysterious disease caused by bites from tiny deer ticks. First discovered
in Connecticut in 1976, Lyme Disease is highly concentrated in the Northeast,
although cases have been reported in 44 states. One of the "hot spots" of the
disease is Nantucket.

According to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, more than 9,600 Lyme
Disease cases were reported last year compared to about 500 in 1982. The
disease starts with flu-like symptoms and, if untreated, can progress to
conditions that affect the heart, nervous system and joints. Often, a slowly
expanding red rash will appear signaling a possible tick bite.

Some controversy has emerged over the treatment and diagnosis of Lyme Disease,
generating a few heated exchanges at the hearing. Many of the victims
complained they had trouble discovering the source of their strange illness,
and many doctors had dismissed their complaints as psychological while they
continued to suffer.

But Dr. Allen Steere, a professor at New England Medical Center in Boston, told
the panel Lyme Disease has become a "catch-all" diagnosis for difficult to
treat conditions. The chronic Lyme Disease many victims claim to have is rare,
Steere said, and the disease can be successfully treated early with 30 days of

"Confusing Lyme Disease with other illnesses runs the risk of taking Lyme
Disease research efforts down the wrong track and wasting scarce resources,"
Steere said.

Shouts of "He's wrong, he's wrong!" came from the audience in protest to
Steere's words. Many wore green ribbons on their chest to symbolize solidarity
in fighting the disease.

"If the doctor really looked around and saw all the children like Evan, he
would know they are chronically and critically ill," Mrs. White said. "He
cannot minimalize it because the people are here to testify it is happening and
it is everywhere."

Steere said he did not mean to say people like Evan do not have a problem, but
that Lyme Disease misdiagnosis is common. He said in 17 years of Lyme Disease
research he has not seen a case like Evan's.

When Sen. Howard M. Metzenbaum, an Ohio Democrat, pointed out that Steere's
testimony contradicted what others had been saying, the crowd erupted in

"This testimony has been a clarion call. We ought to get off our butts and do
something about this," Metzenbaum told the audience, many of whom had the
disease or know someone who does. "We just owe it to you to try to find an

Sat, 06 Nov 2004 02:13:49 GMT
 [ 2 post ] 

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