I am very pleased the College’s 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting was a big success. It was such a thrill to see colleagues and friends in person, and New Orleans provided an exciting backdrop to the meeting. The educational programming, whether in person or through our Livestream Program, was outstanding.
I was honored to be installed as College president on Nov. 7 and I’d like to congratulate our 2021-2022 officers:
- President-elect: Kathleen May, MD, FACAAI
- Vice President: Gailen D. Marshall, Jr., MD, PhD, FACAAI
- Treasurer: James M. Tracy, DO, FACAAI
I’d also like to welcome our newest members of the Board of Regents:
- Marcella Aquino, MD, FACAAI
- Theresa Bingemann, MD, FACAAI
- Jeffrey Demain, MD, FACAAI
- Brent Griffin, MD, MPH (Jr. FIT Rep)
As my tenure as president begins, I am ready to lead the College on a number of fronts. My main focus is targeted communications to other health care providers. As we are aware, many physicians have started to provide allergy services but that doesn’t mean they are allergists. The goal is to inform primary care physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants of allergists’ training and expertise and the benefits for patients when they are referred to allergists for the care they need. Work has already begun on this multi-faceted campaign which will launch in summer 2022.
Advocacy continues to be a major focus for the College, with special emphasis on demonstrating to payers the value of allergists’ work and the importance of allergists’ skills to patient care. The Advocacy Council does a stellar job of communicating this message, and we’ll continue these efforts.
Physicians were facing challenges before the pandemic, and COVID-19 brought more stress, resulting in increased burnout. It’s an area that needs to be addressed. We want our members to be involved and excited in practice, and we plan to have programs and information in place to help combat burnout.
I plan to continue Dr. Fonacier’s efforts to expand diversity among our members. SPARK Awards and outreach to traditionally Black medical schools are two avenues to attract residents and those in medical school to consider allergy as a specialty.
We’ve got a lot of work to do, and I’m excited to get started! I look forward to working with our committees on my 2022 initiatives and my door is open to any suggestions from you!