TOWN OF FLORIDA—The Montgomery County Public Health Department issued tick kits and Lyme disease informational materials to Alpin Haus staff Friday in hopes of increasing their public outreach efforts this summer.
“Partnering with Alpin Haus makes sense, as they are a conduit to disseminating information to people who we may not have access too,” Public and Mental Health Director Sara Boerenko said. “Their customer base is those interested in outdoor recreational activities who are at risk of coming in contact with ticks,” Boerenko said.
Boerenko and Amanda K. Bearcroft, an LPN in the Public Health Department, whose position focuses on communicable disease outreach, provided Alpin Haus with tick kits, including tweezers, band aids, a magnifying glass, “how to remove a tick” card, alcohol swabs, and a “tick identification” card. They also provided information on Rabies and mosquito related illnesses to have available for customers.
Bearcroft said 2021 is predicted to be another year where ticks are worsening due to an increase in temperatures and precipitation which create milder winters, earlier springs, and an increase in humid weather during summer months.
Bearcroft said ticks thrive in humidity and require a climate with high humidity to stay hydrated, so a wet year can boost populations and increase the number of places they can live. Ticks also require a warm temperature to quest (ticks will reach out their front legs to seek a host to latch on to) and the warm summer weather makes it easier for ticks to be more active and find a suitable host. Another factor to worsening ticks, Bearcroft said, is the growing deer population.
“This partnership is a good fit,” Alpin Haus Sales Manager Ryan Heck said. “Everything we do here is recreation related, we see hundreds of people a week and many of our customers will be up camping in the Adirondacks, with their pets too, so it’s great to help promote tick awareness.”
Bearcroft said Public Health hopes to increase awareness and education to not only the many patrons who visit Alpin Haus, but their employees who participate in outdoor recreational activities.
“Creating community partnerships is a large part of what we do here at the Montgomery County Public Health Department,” Bearcroft said. “Public health works to promote, improve, and protect the health of communities, so the idea of approaching Andy and his team at Alpin Haus, a business which is not only one of the largest outdoor recreation stores in the Northeast, but one who was named one of the Capital Region's Healthiest Employers, was a given!”
Staff from Montgomery County’s Public Health Department pictured Friday with Alpin Haus employees after delivering tick kits and Lyme disease information.
Left front, Alpin Haus Business Manager Kyle Smith, Public Health LPN, Amanda K. Bearcroft and Public and Mental Health Director Sara Boerenko. Left back, Alpin Haus Business Manager James Bearcroft, Alpin Haus Parts and Rental Manager Seth Hidde, Alpin Haus Sales Manager Ryan Heck and Ollie Heck.