Mark Holbreich, MD, left last year’s USAnaphylaxis™ Summit in Washington, D.C., inspired to make a real difference in the lives of schoolchildren with life-threatening allergies. He returned to Indianapolis and immediately started calling colleagues.
“After I heard Kimberly Turner, director of government affairs for Allergy & Asthma Network, speak so passionately at the summit about the need for nationwide stock epinephrine laws, I was motivated to advocate for similar legislation in Indiana,” says Dr. Holbreich, a board-certified allergist and Anaphylaxis Community Experts (ACE) volunteer.
“I convened a task force that included state Department of Health staff members, doctors and school nurses to recommend the type of legislation needed to ensure students at risk for anaphylaxis are safe at school,” he says.
Indiana’s stock epinephrine legislation became law on March 25, 2014, just six months after the USAnaphylaxis Summit.
Allergy & Asthma Network’s USAnaphylaxis Summits, sponsored by Mylan Specialty L.P., bring together ACE team members, allergists, pediatricians, school nurses, nutritionists and others to share resources, strategies and experiences and build a stronger community-based anaphylaxis network.
Their efforts create a ripple effect that spreads life-saving ideas across the country. Participants build a network of resources, contacts and information. The result? Positive change in their community.
In 2014, Allergy & Asthma Network is hosting USAnaphylaxis Summits in four locations: Anaheim, Calif., on Sept. 12; Atlanta on Sept. 19; Denver on Oct. 10 and Philadelphia on Oct. 17. For more information, visit www.aanma.org/press-room/events or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACE Volunteers Reflect On the 2013 USAnaphylaxis Summit
• “Educating patients about anaphylaxis requires different approaches since not everyone responds in the same way to the same information,” says Maeve O’Connor, MD, board-certified allergist from Charlotte, N.C. “One of the best summit takeaways was from listening to how the speakers shared their message. For example, by thinking of anaphylaxis as a chronic condition similar to diabetes or hypertension, you reinforce the message that it is not just a one-time event. During the past year I’ve used this strategy to better educate my patients.”
• “I learned about new resources, such as the book Living Confidently With Food Allergy and the website www.AllergyHome.org,” says Rita Molloy, a school nurse from Medford, N.Y. “The format of the summit allowed me to interact with Michael Pistiner, MD and John Lee, MD – they were seated at my table. The connections I made were quite valuable.”
• “It was incredibly beneficial to learn how to identify barriers to a safe school environment for students with food allergies,” says Denise DiPrimo Kalman, DO, board-certified allergist based in Upland, Penn. “I now ask patients about their experiences with bullying and peer pressure, and their answers are quite revealing. It allows me to provide a deeper level of support.”
Anaphylaxis Community Experts (ACE) is a national, award-winning education, advocacy and outreach partnership program developed and hosted by Allergy & Asthma Network in partnership with the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, sponsored by Mylan Specialty L.P.
ACE volunteers across the country offer free awareness and training programs about food, latex and venom allergies, signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, and how to use an epinephrine auto-injector. Members include allergists, school nurses, community members and parents.