A Word from the President
For more than 60 years the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology have occupied separate but overlapping niches in the service of our specialty. In recent decades both societies have worked hard at strategic planning, including periodically revising their mission statements. For example, as part of Vision 2020, the College mission specifies the promotion of “excellence in the practice” of the specialty while the Academy is committed to advancing “the knowledge and practice” of the specialty.
We are in the midst of the holiday season, only six weeks have passed since the Annual Scientific Meeting in San Francisco, and we have plenty of time to relax before preparing for next year’s meeting in Boston – right?
WRONG!! The deadline for electronic submissions for the 2017 Annual Meeting is Jan. 20, less than a month away. We need your input now for programming that fits the following theme:
Greetings College members! It is my privilege to serve as president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology for the next year. The College is literally in the middle of its implementation of its Vision 2020 strategic plan, and the changes have been exciting and dramatic, including a striking shift in the degree of grass roots influence over the College’s agenda. For example, you asked for more practice management resources and we delivered, including a half-day Practice Management Boot Camp as part of the Annual Scientific Meeting’s Thursday Program. We have also completely revitalized both our system of committee appointments and the process for generating educational programming ideas to ensure we adhere to a “bottom up” flow of ideas and energy to direct our focus.
It is hard to believe the 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting is nearly here! I must applaud Stephen Tilles, MD, FACAAI, and the Program Committee for their efforts. This year’s meeting should be one of our best. One important part of the meeting will occur during the Business Meeting on Monday when Dr. Tilles will take over the responsibilities of president of the College.
In July, past president James Sublett, MD, FACAAI, and I represented the College as speakers at the Indian Academy of Allergy Conference in Kolkata, India. The theme of this year’s conference was “Expanding the Horizons of Allergic Diseases and Asthma: From Epigenetics to Treatment and Prevention.” The conference was well attended and included speakers and leaders in allergy and immunology from around the world.
Dr. Sublett; EAACI President Antonella Muraro, MD; Ruby Pawankar, MD, President, IAA, Organizing Chair, IAACON 2016; and Dr. Martin.
In 2014 the College initiated Vision 2020, a plan to make the College more responsive in this age of rapid changes in so many aspects of medicine. The effort is more than a simple “freshening up” of the existing organization or another one of the many plans that are generated and then placed on a shelf. The College is changing and trying to become more responsive to the changing needs of the membership. The 21st century has brought incredible changes in communication for everyone; this is changing the way we communicate with our patients and with each other. The physician is no longer the lone “Captain of the Ship,” but rather the leader or coach of a team. A new generation has entered the medical work force; the millennials, who have grown up with technology at their fingertips.
The first Emerging Societies Program (ESP) World Allergy Training School (WATS) took place at the Park Inn Pribaltiyskaya Hotel in Saint Petersburg, Russia on July 2 and 3. It was held in conjunction with the IX World Asthma, Allergy and COPD Forum and the X CIS Congress on Allergology and Immunology. The Emerging Societies Program World Allergy Training School is a joint program of the World Allergy Organization (WAO) and the College. In order to support developments that will enable allergists to better serve patients in the future, the ESP aims to disseminate information and share experiences about new therapies for allergic disease and new indications for available therapies.
Dr. Allen Meadows, chair of the Advocacy Council, received the inaugural Big Hammer Award for outstanding impact on the allergy immunology profession and all members of the allergy immunology community. This new award – which recognizes a member who can “get things done,” regardless of challenges -- was presented to him at the ACAAI Board of Regents meeting on June 25 in Chicago.
In 2014, the College embarked on Vision 2020, a strategic initiative to advance the College. As a part of the effort, the Advocacy Council was formed, and Dr. Meadows became its first Chair. This is a tumultuous time for the allergy immunology community and for physicians in general, with many potential, national-level changes regarding the way that physicians practice and are compensated.
I support the ACAAI Foundation because I want to “pay it forward.”
I owe much to many people. My parents nurtured me and made sure I had whatever I needed. I will never be able to pay them back. From elementary school through medical school, I had dedicated teachers and coaches who used their time and talents to help me. I will never be able to pay them back. Every time I come to a College meeting, I run into the colleagues who taught me and mentored me through my fellowship and beyond. I will never be able to pay them back either.
Have you ever experienced déjà vu? It seems to many allergists that the conversation regarding USP 797 is, as Yogi Berra so eloquently put it, “Déjà vu all over again.” We just had a great deal of discussion about USP 797 prior to and during the last revision of this document in 2007. At that time the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) rewrote its USP General Chapter 797 on sterile compounding (USP797). The allergy community provided input to the 2007 update which ultimately included special rules for the preparation of allergen extracts.