As I close out of my presidential year, it’s my pleasure to look back on some of the highlights of 2023 – another great year for the College.
Membership continues to grow, and it is gratifying to hear that the College is meeting your needs. According to our most recent survey, some of the most popular reasons why members value their College memberships include staying up to date with the latest developments in our specialty, interacting and networking with colleagues, having access to free educational, clinical and practice management resources, benefiting from advocacy efforts, and being a part of advancing the specialty.
In line with the continued strategic priorities under Vision Forward, this year we have continued to add to our practice management and educational resources. Just a few recent highlights:
- Our exclusive, easy-to-read summary of the new USP 797 Allergen Extract Exception that became effective Nov. 1. It’s part of our Allergen Extract Mixing Toolkit.
- New AllergyTalk episodes, plus 20 new MicroCME topics, including “Biologics in Food Allergy” and “EOE: What to Do and What Not to Do.”
- New toolkits in our Practice Management Center on Appeals and Denials and RVUs.
It also has been a busy year for clinical guidance. In 2023, College committees and leadership collaborated with other organizations to publish a Practice Parameter on drug allergy and a GRADE guideline on chronic sinusitis, as well as a Consensus Statement on asthma remission on treatment. There are many more guidance documents in the development or review stage. I thank each of you who has taken the time to review and comment on these, prior to publication.
And we’ve had numerous advocacy wins this year, both for physicians and patients. Our main areas of focus in 2023 included:
- Preventing Medicare cuts
- Standardizing the prior authorization process, and
- Reducing “Good Faith Estimate” burdens
As always, the College helps keep our patients and the public educated about allergic diseases, including asthma. Fresh web content, updated online patient brochures and videos, and dozens of media stories each month help us to accomplish this. And in 2023, we kept our successful Time for an Allergist digital campaign going strong, targeting primary care physicians and the public. This campaign has now reached millions of people, many of whom are searching for an allergist in their area using our College “Find an Allergist” tool!
I’m also very proud of our Foundation’s Community Grant Program, which started in 2021 and has been successfully funded again this year thanks to your generosity. This program enables the planning and implementation of many wonderful projects at the community level, often with a focus on promoting health equity.
Are you interested in teaching and promoting our specialty more? I am pleased to announce the launch of the Community Allergists Partnership in Education program (CAPE), which will be highlighted at our Annual Scientific Meeting in Anaheim. This is my 2023 presidential initiative, and the start of a two-year project with incoming College President Gailen Marshall. Year one of this program focuses on teaching learners in the community practice, including an online “toolkit” for allergists who would like to establish such an opportunity in their offices. I’ve been inspired to create this set of tools and resources because of my own experience with teaching future physicians and allergists, and the knowledge that not all physicians have access to allergy-immunology education during their training. You can learn more at our CAPE symposium Sunday morning during the ACAAI Annual Meeting in Anaheim!
In closing, the College continues to implement tactics identified under our Vision Forward strategic planning, and we have worked in recent months to identify strategies for 2024 and beyond. As the word “vision” implies, the leadership of the College plans with an eye to the immediate future as well as to address the longer-term challenges and changes we foresee. We must all continue to adapt for the benefit of our patients and our specialty. I am gratified to leave the College in such a strong, forward-focused place nearing the end of my term, and I am humbled by the tremendous service of so many members and staff in the service of our specialty! And thank you for the honor of allowing me to serve as your president this past year.