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january webinar

Taking a Bite Out of Alpha-Gal Syndrome: How to Prevent and Manage Tick-Borne Food Allergy

This webinar will provide an overview of Alpha Gal Syndrome (AGS) – the tick-borne condition that upon a tick bite and exposure to galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose (“alpha-gal”) renders patients allergic to mammalian meats and products that contain mammalian-derived ingredients (e.g. pharmaceuticals and vaccines).

Participants will hear an overview of the leading science and information. They will learn about diagnosis and testing and the key areas of support required for AGS patients of all ages, with a focus on dietary needs and how to be an ingredient detective. The presenters will review pharmaceutical considerations (over the counter and prescription medications, vaccines) and social challenges faced by the patient in the workplace and school, with friends/family, and with their health care team.

January 31, 2024
1:00 p.m. EST

Tina Merritt, MD TBC United, Chairwoman
Jennifer Platt, DrPH Co-Founder, TBC United
Beth Carrison, INHC CoFounder, TBC United

Tina Merritt, MD, Chairwoman, TBC United

Dr. Tina Merritt, MD Dr. Merritt is a practicing allergist & Immunologist in Bentonville, AR. Dr. Merritt graduated from University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine in 1996 and has been in practice for more than 20 years. She currently practices at Allergy & Asthma Clinic of Northwest Arkansas. Dr. Merritt is nationally known for her research on Alpha-gal Syndrome, and helped developed a test to evaluate these allergic reactions. Dr. Merritt continues her passion to help those with Alpha-gal Syndrome, through many avenues, including her participation with the Arkansas Alpha-gal Task Force.

Jennifer Platt, DrPH, Co-Founder, TBC United

Jennifer Platt, DrPH, a native of the Ozarks, is a public health and program development expert. During her doctoral studies in public health at the University of North Carolina in 2011, Dr. Platt contracted Ehrlichiosis and later developed alpha-gal syndrome. Her personal experience led her to create TickWarriors, LLC in 2016, an eco-friendly tick protection program for humans, pets, and properties. The need for education and awareness prompted Dr. Platt to co-found Tick-Borne Conditions United (TBC United) in 2018 with Beth Carrison. Since then, Dr. Platt has been an active representative of the alpha-gal syndrome community across the United States, serving as a member of the Congressionally-directed Tick-borne Disease Working Group. The group submitted its report to Congress in early 2023.

Beth Carrison, INHC, Co-founder, TBC United

Beth Carrison has been managing over 30 different food allergies for her family since 1996, and both of her sons were diagnosed with Lyme Disease. Unfortunately, Beth was also diagnosed with two tick-borne conditions - Lyme Disease and Alpha-gal Syndrome. This first-hand experience has given her a unique perspective on both tick-borne conditions and anaphylaxis. Since her diagnosis, Beth has been passionately contributing her time to aid others in the Alpha-gal community through individual connections and speaking engagements across the United States. In 2019, Beth Carrison was appointed as a patient advocate to the federal 2020 Alpha-gal Syndrome Subcommittee, which serves the federal Tick-Borne Disease Working Group (TBDWG) under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). She is also an active participant in other tick coalitions, such as the Center for Lyme Action, where she serves as the 2024 New England Representative, seeking funding commitment for the VANISH Act. Beth also serves as a board member for the Tick JEDI Coalition, advocating for the implementation of Tick Education in public school curriculums nationwide.