When we get to a certain stage in our careers (and lately I would also say in life), we realize it’s possible to accomplish more with a partner than we can alone. Whether joining voices in advocacy, supporting someone else’s great work, or collaborating on a joint project, the College and its members benefit greatly by teaming with other national organizations.
These organizations have goals and interests that closely relate to ours, yet they have networks and members that are distinct from the College’s. In many cases, these are targeted audiences of patients who have allergy/immunology conditions (or those who care for people who do). The College, and thus its members, benefits by widening our circle of those we reach with good information about allergy and immunology conditions and the work that allergists do.
In turn, the College’s support and expertise enable these organizations to reach farther and accomplish more than they could alone.
Currently, we provide limited financial support for projects implemented by the following lay organizations: Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA); Allergy and Asthma Network (AAN); Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Connection Team (FAACT); Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE); and the National Eczema Association (NEA).
A few examples of these joint projects include NEA’s Ambassador Program, which enlists people with eczema for meaningful advocacy and community outreach activities; AAN’s “Ask the Allergist” video series, featuring College members; and FAACT’s training programs on food allergy for restaurants and food suppliers. We also join with lay organizations on specific advocacy activities and events (see recent articles on ACAAI Strikeforce). These are just a few of the many College-supported projects happening this year with the lay organizations we support.
As a special project in 2022, we were fortunate to have the involvement of NEA, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Food Equality Initiative and the National Association of School Nurses as part of a roundtable that explored racial disparities in atopic dermatitis and food allergy. Again, the experiences and institutional knowledge of these organizations proved invaluable to the insights and connections gained through this activity. This is an example of how we work with other professional groups in addition to patient organizations.
We team with the AAP on other projects as well, including the annual Synopsis “Best Articles Relevant to Pediatric Allergy, Asthma and Immunology” supplement in the journal Pediatrics. And this year, the AAP partnered with the College and AAAAI in an important workforce survey we sent to all physician members on May 1. We understand this is a lengthy survey, but if a substantial percentage of our members complete it, we will gain valuable information and insights to help you as well as your patients. Please consider spending about 10 minutes to complete the survey.
Of course, we join with other medical specialty societies, including AAAAI, American Thoracic Society and American Gastroenterological Association to name a few, on development of clinical guidance via our practice parameters. This could be a topic for a future column, but it’s another example of the importance of collaboration.
In addition, as most of you know, the College has a powerful partnership with the AMA. As part of this influential organization, we have the strength of the larger medical community behind us as we advocate for countless issues affecting you and other physicians. For ACAAI to maintain representation in the AMA House of Delegates, at least 20% of the College’s voting members (Fellows) must also be current AMA members. Please join or renew so we can maintain this valuable relationship.
As the leader in connecting the world of allergy and immunology with stakeholders and the public, we are proud of our many partnerships, large and small, that serve to amplify our work and that of so many others.