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  • Writer's pictureJessica Crawford

Focus On Lyme Patient Forum -2018

This year Focus On Lyme hosted the very first Lyme disease Patient Forum in Arizona. We brought the top researchers and clinicians to local patients, caregivers and doctors. We are so excited to share these videos with you about the latest research and evidence-based therapies in Lyme and associated tick-borne diseases.


Mary Beth Pfeiffer

Investigative Journalist & Author

Mary Beth Pfeiffer, author of “Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change,” has been a journalist for four decades. In the last five years, Pfeiffer has emerged as the nation's leading investigative reporter on Lyme disease, attracting national and international attention and winning seven awards for her groundbreaking articles. Judges who awarded her the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi Award called her articles, "Exhaustively reported...a great example of explanatory journalism on a matter of public health concern using both well-chosen expert sources and ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances.”

A graduate of Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Pfeiffer began her career at the Staten Island (N.Y.) Advance, her hometown newspaper. She reported for 30 years for the Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal, a small daily newspaper that supported her research.

Pfeiffer’s articles have been underwritten by the Fund for Investigative Journalism, Kaiser Family Foundation for Health, and the Open Society Institute, which named her a Soros Justice Media Fellow in 2004. The fellowship led to the publication in 2007 of her first book, “Crazy in America: The Hidden Tragedy ofthe Criminalized Mentally Ill,” which has been acclaimed as a testament to the inhumanity of prison solitary confinement. She has written for The New York Times Magazine, Village Voice, Boston Globe, Miami Herald, Hartford Courant, Des Moines Register, Newsday, and USA Weekend magazine.

She resides on a country lane in Ulster County, N.Y., with her husband, Robert Miraldi, an author and journalism professor.


Ronald Stram, MD

Stram Center for Integrative Medicine

Founder, Medical Director

Ronald Stram, M.D. has 25 years in emergency medicine, which prompted him to establish the Stram Center over 10 years ago to meet the holistic and preventative care needs to reduce debilitations associated with chronic disease. The Stram Center’s integrative approach utilizes a medical environment that focuses on the social, emotional, physical and spiritual needs of individuals with chronic health conditions to promote positive healing.

Dr. Stram offers Lyme disease testing and treatment, IV therapies, integrative and functional medicine as well as holistic medicine, herbal medicine, supplemental therapy and clinical nutrition. He is a Member of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS), Society for Integrative Oncology and the America College of Emergency Physicians.

Stram Center for Integrative Medicine I I

Delmar, NY I 518.689.2244

Bennington, VT I 802.445.3152


Monica Embers, Ph.D.

Tulane National Primate Research Center

Assistant Professor

Monica E. Embers obtained her Ph.D. in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine where she studied immune responses to Papillomaviruses. She made the transition to the study of bacterial pathogenesis when performing her postdoctoral research on the Lyme disease spirochete at the Tulane National Primate Research Center (TNPRC). She subsequently joined the faculty at the TNPRC. Her research program regarding Borrelia burgdorferi and Lyme disease is designed around two major foci: (1) antibiotic efficacy against Lyme disease; and (2) immunodiagnosis for B. burgdorferi infection and cure. The first research goal is to examine, using xenodiagnosis, the efficacy of antibiotic treatment during disseminated B. burgdorferi infection in the nonhuman primate model of Lyme disease. The second goal is to develop a quantitative multi-antigen test that expands detection limits and helps to distinguish persistent infection from clinical cure. By transmitting Lyme disease to nonhuman primates by tick, and studying the natural course of infection, her group hopes to facilitate a better understanding of the clinical quandaries of human Lyme disease, including effective diagnosis and treatment.


Garth Ehrlich, Ph.D.

Drexel University, College of Medicine

Professor of Microbiology & Immunology and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Dr Ehrlich is Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Drexel University College of Medicine. He also directs both the Center for Genomic Sciences (CGS) and the Center for Advanced Microbial Processing (CAMP) within the Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease, and the Core Genomics Facility within the Clinical and Translational Research Institute.

Dr. Ehrlich founded the MDx Division at UPMC and used these experiences to author the first text book/lab manual for infectious disease (ID) MDx. With a team, he founded the Association for Molecular Pathology and re-wrote much of our understanding of chronic bacterial pathogenesis. He is respected for his knowledge of microbial infections and biofilm associations, the Distributed Genome Hypothesis for his rubric of Bacterial Plurality and computational methodology for a non-biased, top-down approach to prioritize the annotation of hypothetical genes.


Holly Ahern, MS, MT(ASCP)

State University New York Adirondack

Professor of Microbiology

Holly Ahern, MS, MT(ASCP) is a professor of microbiology at SUNY Adirondack where she teaches courses in microbiology and general biology to science majors and health science students. Ahern has a B.S. degree and national board certification (American Society of Clinical Pathologists - ASCP) in clinical laboratory science, and an M.S. degree in Molecular Biology from the University at Albany (SUNY).

Ahern is the recipient of awards for both teaching (SUNY Adirondack President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching) and scholarship (SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship). Named an ASM/NSF Biology Scholar in 2008, Ahern is actively involved in the scholarship of biology education, to improve teaching and learning through evidence-based practice. She is an author of articles published in scientific and trade journals, and laboratory textbooks and textbook ancillary materials that have national distribution.

As a result of her family’s personal battle with Lyme disease, Ahern co-founded the non-profit organization, Lyme Action Network, which advocates for Lyme disease concerns, particularly patients’ rights and the need for increased funding for Lyme disease research. Ahern is an organizer of Congressional forums on Lyme disease for Congressman Chris Gibson (R-NY19) in 2012, and for Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY21) in 2015. She currently serves on the advisory board for the NY State Senate Task Force on Lyme and Tick-borne Diseases chaired by Senator Sue Serino of Dutchess County.


Debi Murphy, PA-C

AZ Good Health Center

Debi graduated from Mountain State University, where she earned her Physician Assistant degree in 1996. She recently moved to Arizona with her physician husband Jonathan. In her life before PA school Debi was a certified Cytopathology Technologist who reviewed thousands of biopsy specimens and PAP smears.

Debi is registered as a Physician Assistant by the Arizona Medical Board and is board certified by the NCCPA (National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants) in Family Practice since 1996. She is particularly interested in women’s healthcare, as well as in asthma and allergy management. She has studied Bio-Identical Hormone replacement at several national educational seminars. She attended the 2003 American College for the Advancement of Medicine's Metal Toxicology and Chelation courses.

She and her husband Jon live in Gilbert and have two poodles, Lady and Kadie.


Phillip Battiade, HP

Infusio – Beverly Hills, AZ

Philip Battiade is a British-born, Naturopath with over 20 years of medical experience, specializing in the treatment of chronic syndromes, most specifically Lyme disease, rehabilitative medicine, and biological cancer therapies. Philip has established himself as a foremost expert on holistic, foundational and integrative medicine and has gained widespread recognition as the founder and developer of the Infusio Treatment Concept.

Philip has studied at some of the world’s most prestigious universities which include the University of London, University of Heidelberg, and the McKenzie Institute in Germany. He’s worked as a medical consultant and practitioner around the globe and has developed an international network of some of the world’s leading specialists which include Dr. Vineet Gupta, Dr. Jaco van der Walt, and Dr. Leigh Erin Connealy.

In 2011, Philip developed the “Infusio Concept” which incorporates modern medicine into a “spa-like” environment most optimal for healing using his “ Five Steps to Health". The Five Steps include Immune Modulation, substitution, Detoxification, Disease-Specific treatment, and Mind-Body Medicine. He founded the first Infusio clinic in Frankfurt, Germany (2011) and in 2015, built Infusio Beverly Hills, in California. Patients with Lyme disease, cancer, CFS, Fibromyalgia, joint injuries, and chronic pain have found success in this all encompassing, multi-level approach.

Philip and his team of experts are dedicated to staying ahead of the curve in the development of regenerative medicine and providing the utmost care for patients.


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