As noted at the beginning of my term as ACAAI President, addressing diversity and reducing health care disparities in allergy/immunology is one of my priority issues for the year, and I hope that the work the College accomplishes during this year will carry on far into the future. Now, a little more than halfway through my term, I want to take this opportunity to update you, our members, on the activities we have launched or begun.
- The College launched the online Racial Disparities and Health Equity Resource Center this winter. It features relevant information and data to help health care providers reduce disparities in the quality of care for A/I patients.
- The Allergist’s Foundation revamped its programming to help practicing allergists respond to rising incidences of asthma and allergic diseases and the challenges of disparities of care in their communities. The first grants have just been awarded. Read about the community projects in the next issue of College Advantage.
- To increase diversity in practicing allergists, the College’s Diversity Task Force is partnering with academic programs, especially in historically black medical colleges and universities to increase awareness of the allergy/immunology specialty as a career choice.
- The College is creating an awareness campaign about recognizing and managing atopic dermatitis in skin of color. This campaign will include not only clinical information, but also information about social determinants of health.
- We have increased our patient education and information offerings in Spanish, including recently developed content about COVID-19 vaccines.
- Our Scientific Program Committee will continue the work of recent years to include more Annual Meeting presentations regarding racial disparities in asthma, food allergy and other conditions.
- We are developing educational content related to population groups at increased risk for primary immune deficiency diseases.
College leaders are continually seeking new opportunities to partner with others on various projects that will contribute to the overall understanding of the topic of racial disparities and health equity, and to enhance our members’ ability to provide the best care to all patients. We are one of many organizations contributing to this national and international effort that is sure to result in better health for more people in the near future.