~ Submitted by Anita Raj
I highly recommend Dr. Bea Brunkhorst for the open seat on the Bedford Board of Health. As the outgoing Chair and a long-term member of the Board of Health, I’d like to tell you about what Dr. Brunkhorst brings to the protection and promotion of Bedford’s public health.
Bacteria, viruses, fungi, rickettsiae and protozoa are experimented on every day in Bedford, and we are so lucky to have Dr. Brunkhorst’s career-long expertise overseeing biotech research. When “Three people and a Beaker” want to start or grow a biotech firm, they come to Bedford. Dr. Brunhorst leads our oversight of biotech research by knowing all the biotech firms in-depth, supervising the firms through their Institutional Review Boards, and spearheading the development of our Biosafety Regulations and Permitting process.
Tick-borne diseases are the most prevalent infections occurring in Bedford, other than coronavirus. While most people think of Lyme disease, Dr. Brunkhorst keeps us focused on other devastating tick-borne diseases, such as anaplasmosis, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, Powassan virus disease, borrelia miyamotoi disease, etc. Dr. Brunkhorst’s leadership has brought to Bedford large grants providing funds for tick testing and mitigation, educational speakers, and infrastructure changes around our soccer fields to reduce tick exposure.
Dr. Brunkhorst was gutsy enough to lead Tobacco Sales and Consumption regulations while a swanky, high-priced Phillip Morris lawyer sat across from her during a full year of meetings.
Long experience on the Board of Health gives Dr. Brunkhorst immediate recall of some of the most frequent events occurring in Bedford, such as mental health and hoarding issues, noise complaints, and housing situations that end up as court cases. She’s also the person who knows about the contaminated wells off Hartwell Road, and Air Force and Navy’s separate toxic site remediation efforts.