Extending ‘practice empowerment’ into the next year

November 21, 2018

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.

At the top of my list is extending the 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting theme of Practice Empowerment throughout the year. I want to really look at community and partners. I want to challenge you, my colleagues, to get more involved in your communities and partner with our lay organizations at a local, regional or national level to enhance what we do as allergists. I think the College has such good relationships with these organizations at the national level, but we need to foster even stronger relationships with our members on the local level.

I’m also going to keep building on the foundation of Vision 2020 by continuing to offer new, updated tools and resources to College members. I truly feel the College has stepped up to the need for user-friendly, operational guidance. One of the best we offer are our Yardsticks. The recent Pediatric Asthma Yardstick and Atopic Dermatitis Yardstick, in addition to our Asthma Yardstick, (updated in Aug. 2018) are great examples of the voids we can fill. We are currently working on Work Up of Idiopathic Anaphylaxis - Going Beyond Tryptase. The topics for 2019 are Genetic Testing and Work Up Beyond Initial Screen for Primary Immune Deficiencies and Diagnosis and Treatment for Non-urticaria Itch.

I also feel our Prior Authorization Toolkit, containing our Prior Authorization Appeal Letter Generator, is a fantastic tool to have. We recently added a new drug and condition combination - Fasenra for asthma - and more combinations are in the works. Our shared decision-making toolkits for atopic dermatitis, severe asthma and immunotherapy are equally important and especially relevant. Many providers think they do shared decision-making by just talking with patients, but studies show there are distinct elements that go into the process and our tools include those elements. The College’s solutions help you, your practices and your patients.

While there is change on the horizon for the allergy specialty, I can’t help but feel extremely positive. I remember when the ICS/LABA combo came out, and people thought our future was bleak! The future for allergists is not doom and gloom, but we will have challenges. I think we are in a great position with the College’s Advocacy Council and our Scientific Committees to keep us aware of and on top of the constantly-changing horizon.

From my early days with the College until now, I have had nothing but wonderful experiences. I remember years ago when I first served as a Regent on the Board with my colleagues Bryan Martin, DO, FACAAI, and Bradley Chipps, MD, FACAAI, and how we were acutely aware of what a great organization this is. We were all working hard to make the College great. It’s a pleasure to follow in their footsteps as president of the College and to continue to build on and improve that strong path we first set down. I am humbled and honored.

When I was a Regent on the Board, I remember the president of the College at that time, William Dolen, MD, FACAAI, talked a lot about how the College is made up of individual members coming together and that the College is very collegial. I want all College members to feel that passion and understand that support. As our vision states: The College fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality where College members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy and research.

Todd A. Mahr, MD, FACAAI
ACAAI President