It is a great honor to be considered for the Gold Headed Cane Award. Many of my allergy heroes have been past recipients. When I look back at my career as a practicing allergist, it is hard to believe that it has spanned over 30 years. Through the tutelage of many in the allergy community, I have been able to try to bridge the academic and local allergy world. I can think of no other specialty in medicine that would have given me this opportunity. Much of the support I received in this challenging balance has come through the College. In my last year of fellowship at National Jewish, the College provided me the Clemens Von Pirquet Award, and this really was the catalyst for my desire to straddle both worlds.
Soon after, the College provided me the opportunity to be involved in the allergy community through leadership positions, including the Professional Allergy Immunology Education Committee, Abstract Committee, Literature Review Committee, Meet the Professor Breakfast Committee, Practice Guidelines Committee, Annual Program Committee, Indoor Air Quality Committee, and Immunotherapy Committee as well as Chair of the Science Council for ACAAI. Through the College’s support, I was a representative to the Joint Task Force for Practice Parameters, where I served for well over a decade. The College also nominated me to the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, where I served from 2010-2015. I returned in 2020 to act as the liaison for the American Board of Internal Medicine. The College has been kind enough to award me multiple lectureships (McGovern Lectureship, Mittelstaedt Lectureship, O’Connell Lectureship) as well as the Distinguished Service and the Distinguished Fellow Awards.
Through my leadership experience with the College, I have been provided leadership experiences in other organizations including the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, World Allergy Organization, and the American College of Chest Physicians.
These experiences have also sustained my will to try to continue to understand and contribute to allergy literature, resulting in over 200 publications. The Annals of Allergy Asthma and Immunology has been a great forum for my involvement in allergy publications. I began as a reviewer for Annals during my early career and over the years have had the opportunity to advance to Executive Editor. I often am amazed at what opportunities this organization has provided a local practicing allergist.
One of the greatest experiences I have had in my career has been to continue the tradition started by my mentor, Dr. Hal Nelson, with the Journal Club. I have had the privilege of watching 30 years’ worth of fellows advance in their careers to become wonderful allergists throughout the country.
Again, I wish to thank the Gold Headed Cane Committee for nominating me for this honor. I would also like to thank the College for giving a local allergist the opportunity to be involved in the leadership of our great specialty, as well as my very understanding wife Corinne, who often points out that my first wife (medicine) often gets in the way. In the end, I feel incredibly lucky, as through my journey in allergy, I have met hundreds of wonderful people that make up the allergy family.