Initiatives and Priorities 2020 to 2021
ASCIA's mission is to advance the science and practice of allergy and clinical immunology, by promoting the highest standard of medical practice, training, education and research, to improve the health and quality of life of people with immune system disorders. These include allergic diseases, immunodeficiencies and other immune diseases. To achieve this mission, ASCIA undertakes a wide range of initiatives that are prioritised as follows.
ASCIA member services and benefits include:
- Communication of new and updated information to ASCIA members via emails, e-newsletters and social media.
- Discounted registration fees for the ASCIA 2021 Conference. (see Priority 2).
- Development of new and updated ASCIA online information, to support ASCIA members, including new ASCIA COVID-19 and ASCIA telehealth resources (see Priority 3)
- Advocacy on behalf of ASCIA members to government and other organisations through letters, submissions and reports (see Priority 4).
- Access to new and updated National Allergy Strategy resources to support ASCIA members (see Priority 5).
- Eligibility to apply for Allergy and Immunology Foundation of Australasia (AIFA) research grants (see Priority 6).
- Access to new and updated immunodeficiency resources and collaborations (e,g, TAPID - transplantation and primary immunodeficiency group and the ASCIA Immunodeficiency Register - see Priority 7).
- Eligibility to join ASCIA committees and working parties (restricted to ASCIA members) and access to ASCIA member only resources (e.g. ASCIA slides, food allergen challenge protocols and draft information).
- Eligibility to attend ASCIA educational meetings (restricted to ASCIA members).
- Eligibility for listing on the ASCIA website How to Locate a Specialist section (restricted to Full members - clinical immunology/allergy specialists).
- ASCIA has been working towards improving its sustainability for the past 30 years, to ensure that ASCIA’s operations are financially viable into the future and to reduce ASCIA’s impact on the environment.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major financial impact on ASCIA, due to the ASCIA 2020 conference being postponed until September 2021, which is the main source of income for ASCIA. Therefore, in addition to some important government subsidies available in the short term, further financial support is required for ASCIA to continue providing services over the critical period from 2020 to 2022.
For more details go to www.allergy.org.au/about-ascia/sustainability-2020-to-2022
Following a redesign of the ASCIA website in 2018, the updating of more than 80 ASCIA patient information topics was completed in 2019. In 2020 the aim is to update more than 60 ASCIA health professional resources, including e-training courses, and this project is expected to take at least 12 months to complete. The updating of these resources is essential before evidence-based standards of care can be developed. For more details go to https://allergy.org.au/about-ascia/ascia-initiatives#projects
- Nip Allergies in the Bub for food allergy prevention
- 250K for teenagers and young adults with severe allergies
- Food allergy education
- My Health Record allergy project
For details about grants awarded in 2019 go to www.allergyimmunology.org.au/projects/#latest
The ASCIA Immunodeficiency Strategy for Australia and New Zealand aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people with primary immunodeficiencies (PID) and minimise the burden on individuals, carers, healthcare services and community. A draft Strategy has been developed, following a meeting of stakeholders in March 2019 and an extensive review in early 2020. However, progress on finalising the Strategy has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and absence of funding.
- Completion of the Strategy is critical for advocacy on behalf of patients with immunodeficiencies.
- Funding in 2020 will enable ASCIA to update the Strategy document and website www.nationalimmunodeficiencystrategy.org.au, coordinate a final review by stakeholders and publish the Strategy by the end of 2020, to enable it to be implemented in 2021. ASCIA will then promote the Strategy through its online newsletters and social media, and in meetings with governments and other organisations.
- The Strategy will include the ASCIA Immunodeficiency Register project https://idregister.ascia.org.au which requires further ethics approvals and coordinated promotion to expand its use. The Register will be a critical tool to build a broad and comprehensive knowledge base and improve outcomes for patients with immunodeficiencies, who are managed by clinical immunologists. Analysis of deidentified patient data collected in this Register will inform current and future practice.