Maine natives to serve on federal tick-borne disease task force

Sat, 04/28/2018 - 7:30am

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced Paula Jackson Jones as one of 53 individuals who have been selected to serve on one of six subcommittees of the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group.

A Nobleboro native who graduated from Nobleboro Central School and Lincoln Academy, Jackson Jones, is the president and co-founder of Midcoast Lyme Disease Support & Education (MLDSE). Recently, she was nominated by members of her subcommittee to fill the vacant co-chair position on the Access to Care Services and Patient Support subcommittee. A survivor of late stage neurological Lyme, complicated by four tick-borne disease co-infections, Paula is no stranger to the plight patients go through to get properly diagnosed and treated. Her patient advocacy role and steadfast commitment to raising awareness and education while providing support and access to care for Maine's Lyme Community highly qualified her for this position.

Other subcommittees will cover:

  • Disease Vectors, Surveillance, and Prevention
  • Pathogenesis, Transmission and Treatment
  • Testing and Diagnostics
  • Vaccine and Therapeutics
  • Other Tick-Borne Diseases and Co-Infections

These subcommittees were established by the Working Group members during the December 12, 2017 meeting to assist them in identifying and reviewing information that provides the background, context, and evidence needed to develop the report to Congress and the HHS Secretary as required by the 21stCentury Cures Act. 

Dr. Kristen Honey, a Portland native whose father, Tim Honey, was former city manager of Portland, serves as vice chair on the Working Group. Dr. Honey is a senior policy analyst in the White House Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President, Washington D.C. She is also a senior research scholar at Stanford University and member of the Stanford University Lyme Disease Working Group. In 2015 to 2016, Dr. Honey co-founded Lyme Innovation and led data-driven innovations for invisible illness, mental health, and suicide prevention from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The Tick-Borne Disease Working Group was established on August 10, 2017 to provide expertise and review all HHS efforts related to tick-borne diseases to help ensure interagency coordination and minimize overlap, examine research priorities, and identify and address unmet needs. In addition, the Working Group will report to the Secretary and Congress on their findings and any recommendations for the federal response to tick-borne disease prevention, treatment and research, and addressing gaps in those areas.

For more information about the HHS Tick-borne Disease Working Group and Subcommittee work,  visit