On the Move with Swimmer’s Itch

On June 22, 2016, a significant event occurred here in our backyard. The Michigan Swimmers Itch Partnership (MSIP), in conjunction with SICON, LLC. presented a conference specifically pointed at the problem of swimmer’s itch. Experts from the United States, Canada gathered to discuss and explain their research and attempts at dealing with the swimmer’s itch problem.

This Conference was held at the Roscommon High School Auditorium. A meeting of the Michigan Swimmer’s Itch Partnership was held in the morning (9:30 am) followed by a panel discussion and Q&A session. The participants were as follows:

  • Harvey Blankespoor, Dr. Curtis Blankespoor, Ron Reimink – SICON LLC.
  • Patrick Hannington – University of Alberta, Canada
  • Eric Loker – University of New Mexico
  • Tom Raffel – Oakland University, Michigan
  • Rex Lowe – Bowling Green State University, Ohio
  • Anna Dick – RTI International

This is the first time that such a diverse and established group of scientists have gathered to discuss this worldwide emerging health issue. The Lake Leelanau Lake Association was represented by its president (George Prewitt), vice president (Nick Fleezanis), member at large (Doug Van Dyke), and our lake biologist (Wayne Swallow). The lake association was one of the many sponsors of the event. Also in attendance were Tom Fountain (Environmental Health director) and Dr. Joshua Meyerson (Medical Director) of the Benzie/Leelanau District Health Department.

After the panel discussion and Q&A, the participants moved to the Dragonfly House (SICON headquarters and lab) for a SI demonstration.

Rob Karner addresses the group
Rob Karner addresses the group

Mark Smith

Grew up in Petoskey, so perhaps one of the few people in Leland who headed south to end up “Up North”. Graduated from U of M. Taught in Scotland for 10 years, came back to Leland in 1989 and taught English for 25 years at Leland Public School. Still teach part time for NMC. My lovely wife is named Marjory – three grown kids (two living locally) and three grandkids. We live on N. Lake Leelanau with access to both lakes Michigan and Leelanau Life is good!