Tick Borne Illness Past Projects
The Tick Borne Illness project continues to run under the overview of the Dukes County Commission.
Below is a highlight of the successes compiled by the initial 2011 grant.
Rural Health Scholars Program
During the summer of 2011, a team of rural health scholars (nursing and pharmacy students from the University of Massachusetts) conducted 945 surveys on ferries, at the high school, at ESL classes and at local churches about tick-borne illness. The work complemented hours of interviews with Island health care workers and pharmacists also conducted by the students.
Deer Density Aerial Survey
In 2013, as part of the tick-borne illness prevention initiative, the Martha's Vineyard Boards of Health orchestrated an island wide aerial survey to collect deer herd density figures. Data from the aerial survey verified Massachussets deer herd estimates at a figure of roughly fifty deer per square mile on Martha's Vineyard, a relatively high number when compared to just nineteen deer per square mile on the mainland.
Protecting our Children DVD
In 2013, the Island Boards of Health created an informative DVD and brochure to help parents better protect their children from tick-borne illnesses. School nurses distributed the DVD and brochure, produced in English and in Portuguese, to island students grade K-8. A copy of the brochure can be obtained from your town's board of health agent.
Grade School Education Program
During the 2014 school year, the Martha's Vineyard Boards of Health created and tested a ground breaking High School Peer to Peer Education program on the island of Martha's Vineyard. Board of Health agents educated high school students about tick borne illness. Using their knowledge, the high school students then created an educational platform to teach to the 6th grade classes across the island.