Food Allergy Blogger Summit

Last week, I had the honor of spending time with an inspiring group of food allergy advocates, bloggers and researchers. Mylan Specialty, maker of EpiPen®hosted a Blogger Summit* to lead an open discussion to share information and brainstorm ideas.


Click on linked names to visit the food allergy bloggers of this inspiring group.
Back row, from left: Keeley McGuire, Liana Burns of Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Jenny Sprague, Cybele Pascal, Lindsey Steffensen, Elizabeth DiBurro, Tracy Bush
Middle row, from left: Libby Ilson, Siobhan Cavanaugh of Mylan Specialty L.P., Kelly Rudnicki, Judy Morgitan of National Association of School Nurses, Dr. Ruchi Gupta, Lynda Mitchell of Kids With Food Allergies Foundation, Tonya Winders of Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics, George Dahlman of Food Allergy Research & Education
Front row, from left: Joanne LaSpina, Ruth LovettSmith, Lauren Kashtan of Mylan Specialty L.P., Lisa Rutter, Sloane Miller, Heidi Bayer, Caroline Moassessi.

The focus on the summit was back-to-school, but any topic related to food allergies was fair game. The highlights for me included:
  • Dr. Gupta

    hearing from Dr. Rucci Gupta about efforts to establish a national registry to record anaphylactic reactions. Often these reactions may be documented as "wheezing" or "respiratory distress". Until we have accurate records, it is difficult to determine how many people are affected by anaphylaxis.

  • discussing 504 plans with Judy Morgitan from the National Association of School Nurses  and Lynda Mitchell from Kids With Food Allergies . Any student has the right to request a
    Judy Morgitan and Lynda Mitchell
    504 Hearing to determine eligibility. Accommodations at school may include guidelines for hand-washing and/or a safe zone in the cafeteria.

  • Updates from Tonya Winders, COO, of Allergy and Asthma Network (AANMA), Liana Burns, Manager of Policy and Programs at Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and George Dahlman, Vice president of Advocacy for Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE). We learned how states vary in terms of access to epinephrine in schools and community
    http://www.aanma.org/advocacy/usanaphylaxis/
    emergency services. Check out AAFA's map to find out which US schools require stock epinephrine. Join in AANMA's advocacy efforts on behalf of all states and be on the lookout for news (and ways to get involved) of FARE's efforts in restaurant training, emergency services protocols and access to epinephrine in schools.
  • reminders from Mylan Specialty of their continuing work to bring together people affected by anaphylaxis through programs like 25 Years of EpiPen® featuring Adrian Peterson and Jo Frost, EpiPens4Schools and the Zero Dollar Co-pay Plan.
    Lauren Kashtan, Senior Manager
    Communications, Mylan Specialty

    (Isn't it terrifying to imagine dealing with food allergies before EpiPen®??? Twenty-five years ago, patients were told to avoid their allergic food, but in the case of accidental ingestion, get to a hospital immediately for treatment. Yikes!)
Besides all the learning, we enjoyed a fantastic dinner by Chef Kelvin at the Strand Hotel, insightful conversation with one another and a general feeling of hope and empowerment when it comes to food allergies. 

Thank you to Mylan Specialty for sponsoring this event and to Chandler Chicco Agency as well.

View of Empire State Building from The Strand Hotel Rooftop deck
*The information I share about the Mylan Summit is at my own discretion and based on my own opinion. My travel expenses for the summit were compensated by Mylan Specialty in exchange for evaluation and feedback on information presented during the meeting.
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