The past 30 years have seen dramatic changes in how asthma and allergies are diagnosed, treated and perceived by patients and their families. Allergy & Asthma Network (The Network) has been at the forefront of those changes – from developing national asthma guidelines and advocating for laws protecting students at school to implementing successful outreach programs and publishing family-friendly magazines and newsletters.
This year, The Network is commemorating its 30th anniversary with a series of outreach, education and advocacy events in Washington, D.C. and a nationwide educational tour for pediatricians and convenient care clinic healthcare providers.
The organization is also unveiling a new and enhanced website at AllergyAsthmaNetwork.org and releasing new, updated patient education resources – further underscoring its commitment to end needless death and suffering due to asthma, allergies and related conditions.
“Our 30th anniversary is an opportunity not only to celebrate a significant milestone but also to reinforce our vision for patient-centered, coordinated healthcare,” says Tonya Winders, Allergy & Asthma Network President and CEO. “Today, millions of patients and healthcare professionals better understand what causes asthma, allergy and anaphylaxis, as well as how to prevent and treat each condition; however, we still have work to do.”
30th Anniversary Celebration
The Network will host a series of 30th Anniversary events, May 5-8 in Washington, D.C., including the 18th annual Allergy & Asthma Day Capitol Hill (AADCH). Patients, families, healthcare professionals, industry partners and advocates are invited to participate:
- Wednesday, May 6: AADCH congressional briefing on Capitol Hill and advocacy meetings with members of Congress;
- Thursday, May 7: Educational sessions for patients and healthcare professionals featuring leading experts addressing new developments in asthma and environmental and food allergies; plus, an awards dinner honoring community stakeholders who made significant contributions in allergy and asthma in the last 30 years;
- Friday, May 8: Outreach evening at a Washington Nationals game to raise awareness and screen attendees for asthma and allergies during pregame.
Nationwide Problem-Based Learning Tour
In February, The Network kicked off a 35-city tour featuring problem-based learning programs for pediatricians and convenient care clinic healthcare providers to promote patient-centered, collaborative care consistent with evidence-based guidelines.
The tour complements The Network’s partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Medical Home Chapter Champions Program on Asthma, Allergy and Anaphylaxis, a volunteer network of pediatricians across the country.
The tour includes stops in Arlington, Va., Boston, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Louisville, Memphis,Milwaukee, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, San Diego, St. Louis and Tampa, among others.
The Network has revamped and re-energized its website – now available at AllergyAsthmaNetwork.org – to further position the organization as a valued resource for patients and healthcare professionals.
The new website features a fresh layout, enhanced content and user-friendly navigation.
“Our goal is to provide an online resource that follows our core mission areas of outreach, education, advocacy and research,” Winders says. “Patients will learn strategies to help manage their allergies and asthma, healthcare professionals will stay up-to-date on the latest news – and both groups will learn how to get involved in awareness and advocacy activities.”
The new website includes a special “Travel Tips” section for people with allergies and asthma. The content is available through the Network’s partnership with PURE Solutions and PURE allergy-friendly hotel rooms.
Updated and Expanded Patient Resources
Past special editions of Allergy & Asthma Today magazine have included Understanding Asthma: Building Blocks to Better Breathing and Anaphylaxis: A Guide For All of Us, the latter available in both English and Spanish. In 2015, The Network will publish another special edition focusing on environmental allergies.
In addition, The Network partnered with Anaphylaxis Canada to distribute Living Confidently With Food Allergy: A Guide For Parents and Families and translate the 56-page booklet into Spanish. The guide was co-written by Michael Pistiner, MD, MMSc, an Allergy & Asthma Network volunteer with the Anaphylaxis Community Experts (ACE) program, and Jennifer LeBovidge, PhD.
The Network has developed a series of indoor air brochures for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and an updated Indoor AIRepair™ at Home, School and Play booklet, both of which help patients reduce exposure to indoor allergens; and helped distribute Living Well With Latex Allergy, a booklet produced by American Latex Allergy Association.
The Network continues to work alongside many professional medical societies, government agencies and advocacy organizations to leverage complementary strengths and maximize resources.