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For decades Pat Smith has sounded the alarm on the problems faced by people with chronic Lyme disease, from unreliable testing to a dearth of treatment options.

Now she is making that case to her most important audience yet: Congress.

The Wall resident has garnered a spot on the 14-person congressional working group that could recommend wholesale changes to federal Lyme disease policy. The group began meeting last month in Washington, D.C.

“This could be really significant,” Smith said. “It’s the first time we have had patients’ voices at the table, and advocates and treating physicians.”