Earlier this year, The Allergists’ Foundation launched its new Community Grant Program to inspire practicing allergists to develop creative solutions for challenges related to allergy care within their communities. We are pleased to announce our grantees and their outstanding projects that have been selected for funding in 2021.
“Today more than ever, practicing allergists play a critical role in ensuring the health and well-being of our communities. The Foundation is awarding nearly $100,000 in grants this year to support innovative means for addressing challenges faced by community practicing allergists, including health disparities in communities of color. These projects exemplify the creativity and resourcefulness of the College’s membership and have the potential to make an important difference in our efforts to improve the care for allergy and asthma in every community.”
–Stanley Fineman, MD, MBA, FACAAI, president of The Allergists’ Foundation
Marcella Aquino, MD, FACAAI
Multi-level Contributing Factors to Ethnic and Racial Disparities in Urban Children with Asthma and Atopic Dermatitis
Marcella Aquino, MD, FACAAI will lead a 2-year study that offers an innovative approach to identify multi-level risk and resource factors that may contribute to asthma and AD outcomes in urban minority children. The project will focus on behavioral processes, such as adherence to AD and asthma medications and clinical processes such as asthma severity, AD severity, asthma quality of life and dermatologic quality of life. Outcomes that will be assessed include lung function via daily spirometry measurements, asthma control, AD control, and asthma and AD healthcare utilization via questionnaire and confirmation from electronic medical record. This novel approach will shed light on specific contributors that may increase morbidity in urban minority children with asthma and AD and will inform future tailored interventions.
Juan Carlos Cardet, MD, MPH
Impact of Telehealth vs. In-person Appointments on Asthma Outcomes Among African American/Black and Hispanic/Latinx Adults with Moderate to Severe Persistent Asthma
Juan Carlos Cardet MD, MPH will lead a 12-month study to determine how telehealth vs. in-person appointments impact asthma-related outcomes among Black and Latinx patients with moderate to severe persistent asthma across the US. This project builds on a large pragmatic trial (PREPARE) to determine whether a patient-guided intervention can improve asthma outcomes in these populations, drawing on extensive clinical and phenotypic data collected at baseline, and prospective asthma outcome data collected through monthly questionnaires during 15 months of follow-up. Results from the study will inform community practicing allergists whether transitioning to telehealth platforms provides adequate asthma care.
Timothy Chow, MD
Shouldering the Burden of Pediatric Penicillin Allergy Labels:
Delabeling in the Primary Care Setting
Timothy Chow, MD, will lead a 12-month study to explore the feasibility of implementing a penicillin allergy delabeling protocol for low-risk pediatric patients. The primary aim of the study is to evaluate the number of patients for whom risk-stratification and direct amoxicillin challenge are successfully completed in an outpatient pediatric primary care clinic and assess barriers for implementation and their impact on referrals for outpatient allergist evaluation.
Kelsey Kaman, MD
Learning Educator’s Anaphylaxis Response Needs: Optimizing the Safety of Children in Head Start
Kelsey Kaman, MD will lead a 12-month project to explore the role daycare centers and preschools may play in preventing adverse outcomes related to atopic diseases, including anaphylaxis, among children of color. Her team will collaborate with Head Start, Code Ana, The Allison Rose Foundation and Food Equality Initiative to identify barriers that early childhood educators face in caring for Black and Hispanic food-allergic children. The project team will be supported by partners experienced in providing education, emergency anaphylaxis plans and access to allergen-free foods. They will explore means to collectively address barriers to care and foster long-term relationships between community allergists and early childhood educators.
Anil Nanda, MD, FACAAI
Development of Educational Modules Regarding Cannabis Questions for Intake Forms for Community-based, Large Practice and University-based Allergists
As cannabis use continues to rise in the general population due to its legalization in the US and around the world, community practicing allergists need to be up to date on the nature, potential benefits, and adverse effects of cannabis use, including cannabis allergy. Anil Nanda, MD, FACAAI will work with a team of experts to develop educational modules that will address these topics as well as recognizing and diagnosing cannabis allergy. Additionally, they will develop a module specifically focused on how practitioners can discuss cannabis with their patients – i.e., what questions to ask on intake forms to gather the information necessary to start a conversation about cannabis use and its potential benefits and harms among allergic and asthmatic individuals. The project is a collaborative effort with a professionally diverse group of experts consisting of physicians and scientists with extensive background in cannabis basic and clinical research, including cannabis allergy.
Michael Pistiner, MD, MMSc, FACAAI
National Needs Assessment for Infant and Toddler Food Allergy Curriculum for Pediatric Residents
While the prevalence of infant and toddler food allergy is on the rise, there is a shortage of community physicians who are properly trained and comfortable to provide the most current standard of care. Michael Pistiner, MD, MMSC, FACAAI and his team will develop and implement an educational needs assessment to determine and characterize the need for a standard infant/toddler food allergy curriculum for pediatric residents at a national level. The assessment will specifically focus on gaps that lead to discomfort in the management of infant/toddler food allergy and anaphylaxis, lack of implementation of early peanut feeding guidelines, and ineffective co-management of infant/toddler food allergies alongside primary care physicians. In addition, the assessment will provide an opportunity for medical residents to learn more about the field of allergy and potential to pursue a career in the specialty.
“The Allergists’ Foundation received 27 letters of inquiry in response to our call for proposals under the Community Grant Program, which made our job of selecting projects for funding very challenging,” said Todd Mahr, MD, FACAAI, the chair of the Foundation’s Grants Allocation Committee. “After a thorough review and deliberation, we were able to select six outstanding projects. We were very much impressed with the quality and creativity of the proposals we’ve received in this first round of our new grant program. We look forward to seeing more project ideas again in 2022.”
Do you have a project idea you’d like to have funded? Visit college.acaai.org/grants to learn more by email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.