A Word from the President
I have written a few of these columns since becoming College President last November, but I realized that for many of you, we haven’t been introduced. With that in mind, I want to take a moment of your time to say “hello,” and share a few of my thoughts.
Believe it or not, the holidays are here already! While many of you are no doubt looking forward to time out of the office to relax, the holidays can be a challenging time for our patients and us.
From lurking food allergens at the dinner table to festive decorations, it can be difficult for our patients to enjoy this time if they are sneezing and wheezing (or worse). Here are some last-minute holiday tips to share on social media, in patient newsletters, your website or in-person:
Although it’s only been a short time since I’ve “officially” become president of the College, it’s something that I’ve been thinking about for quite some time. It’s no small task to be president, but I’m already gearing up to start working on my plans for the upcoming year.
During this past year, the College has continually built upon the strong foundation we first laid out in Vision 2020. And since there will always be new challenges facing the specialty of allergy, the College is prepared and ready to support the practicing allergist at every new hurdle.
With so many new regulations and issues affecting the practicing allergist, our Advocacy Council and College leadership are fighting to make sure your voices are heard. Since strength comes in numbers, we also work alongside the AAAAI and other related medical societies on some issues.
In the last few weeks, the College has written extensively about the proposed changes to the 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. In brief, reimbursement under Medicare Part B would suffer a 6% decrease for allergy services in 2019. Our Advocacy Council analyzed and reported on the proposed E&M changes.
This spring, the College’s thought-leaders in education gathered in Chicago for the second Education Summit. On the agenda was a review of our current professional development offerings, and a goal to develop a three-year blueprint to guide the College’s future education activities.
Background for the work during the summit included what we heard from College members about their needs and wants and collected from evaluations, surveys and more. We looked at not only your feedback, but also gaps in our existing programs to make sure that our professional development offerings are shaped just for you.
The Annual Scientific Meeting, year after year, brings together the top experts in allergy, asthma and immunology from around the globe. At the 2018 meeting, Nov. 15 – 19 in Seattle, two all-new sessions will let you get up close and personal with some of these leaders. You’ll want to plan ahead for this fantastic, intimate new format.
We’ve spent countless hours redesigning the Annual Scientific Meeting to give you an all-new experience this year. With 90-minute sessions, new formats and easier-to-attend events, it’s going to be a meeting you won’t want to miss. Another new feature this year? The Saturday Presidential Plenary.
Food allergy has always been a hot topic for both allergists and patients. It’s a highly life-altering allergy to live with, so naturally patients have a lot of concerns and questions. There are several new treatment modalities coming into play, so allergists have a lot of questions as well. It’s also a topic that gets a lot of attention in the press, who cover everything from allergy bans to reactions due to kissing. As a result, there are a lot of ‘myths’ and misinformation floating around in the cultural consciousness.