Celebrating the College’s recent wins

Celebrating the College’s recent wins

I hope this finds you enjoying a great summer! For me, it’s difficult to imagine that it’s now more than halfway through my year serving as your ACAAI president. That said, I’m pleased to have had so much positive news to share with you, our members, about various “wins” for the College and the profession. Truly, spring and early summer have seen a number of successes. Here are but a few recent highlights:

Our “Time for an Allergist” campaign, targeted to PCPs to highlight the value of referral to board-certified allergists, ran through May, with a grand total of more than 3 million views of the videos, 142,500 visits to the dedicated microsite, and 5,500 Find-an-Allergist searches. Our primary care colleagues are paying attention! Another campaign push will happen in August to coincide with ragweed season. You can also access the member toolkit to reach out to PCPs in your network or area. Use just one of these communication tools this summer, and you’re likely to form some new patient care relationships.

Another success is this year’s international speaker program. We received a warm welcome from our colleagues at the European Academy of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (EAACI) Congress, the largest of the international allergy meetings, which took place in Hamburg, Germany in June. Our speakers presented a well-attended Sister Society Symposium there, discussing trending topics in A/I.

Drs. Luz Fonacier, Gailen Marshall, Todd Mahr and Katheen May attend the EAACI meeting in June.

A few weeks earlier, former College President Dr. Bill Dolen graciously traveled to Yerevan to speak at the Armenian Association of Immunology and Allergology meeting, with a side trip to Tbilisi to teach a course at the World Allergy Training Schools program or WATS (a joint effort with the College and the World Allergy Organization to improve allergy care globally). I thank him for representing the College in these forums.

Several College leaders also presented a Sister Society Symposium at a World Allergy Organization regional congress in Kona, HI in May. We will be sending experts to additional meetings later this year; our host country and international societies are always extremely grateful for this educational support.

Back in the U.S., our Advocacy Council was busy visiting Capitol Hill to advocate for allergists and patients in May, coinciding with World Asthma Day/Month. They also produced an extremely timely summary of the new USP 797 allergen extract exception, as well as needed guidance on the FDA decision to require new labeling on all allergen extracts for food allergy regarding possible anaphylaxis despite negative test results. Remember to check the College website regularly for these and many other updates and resources.

The importance of the College’s advocacy work can’t be overstated. Over the past six years, this work has happened under the invaluable leadership of Executive Director Dr. James “Jim” Sublett. Dr. Sublett has passed the baton to the capable leadership of Dr. J. Allen Meadows this month, and as he leaves this position, I want to thank him for his many years of hard work and astute leadership. From my perspective as College president and, just as importantly, an allergist-immunologist who is individually impacted, I express my sincere thanks to Jim for his tireless dedication to the Advocacy Council. I also thank him for his even longer record of involvement in advocacy for our specialty, including working with the Joint Council and his effort to bring this important body of work under the College’s umbrella.

As I recently shared with Dr. Sublett: “I cannot imagine the progress that has been made [in our specialty] would have happened without your support and care. The accomplishments over these past six years have been nothing short of remarkable.” His response is indicative of his humble leadership in this supportive role: “The most rewarding part of my career has been to have the opportunity to work with so many outstanding people, physicians and the College staff, to advance the cause for the allergy community.”

Dr. Sublett, you have my sincere appreciation and gratitude. I know you will continue to contribute to important work of the College in the future.