Initiatives and Priorities 2020

Priorities  |  Education Project | Submissions/Communications/Collaborations | Sustainability

ASCIA Priorities 2020

1. ASCIA Annual Conference
Since 1990, ASCIA Annual Conferences have provided an international standard of continuing professional development (CPD) education and are a highlight of the year for ASCIA members and other health professionals working in allergy, clinical immunology and immunopathology.  The ASCIA Annual Conference for 2020 has been postponed and will now be held from 1st to 3rd September 2021, at the Melbourne Convention Centre. The website www.ascia2020.com will be updated to reflect these changes.
2. ASCIA Education and Training
ASCIA Education Project stages 1-4 
Stage 1: In 2018 the ASCIA website was redesigned to to be more user/mobile device friendly and improve access to more than 140 ASCIA educational resources.  The ASCIA website is a trusted and extremely popular source of information about allergy and other immune diseases, with more than 3 million pageviews each year.
 
Stage 2: In February 2019 new ASCIA Fast Facts were added to the ASCIA website, to provide bite sized, easy to read and trustworthy information on allergy and other immune diseases for patients, carers and the community. ASCIA Fast Facts have been adapted from existing evidence based ASCIA information and have been developed as part of the ASCIA Education Project. They will be expanded to include topics that are most regularly accessed on the ASCIA website. To access ASCIA Fast Facts go to www.allergy.org.au/patients/fast-facts  
 
Stage 3: In May 2019 the updating of more than 70 ASCIA patient information topics was completed. Language was revised to  make the information easier to read and understand. For details go to www.allergy.org.au/about-ascia/info-updates/ascia-patient-education-resources-reborn
 
Stage 4: In 2020 the aim is to work on updating 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 details go to www.allergy.org.au/about-ascia/ascia-initiatives#projects
3. ASCIA Submissions, Reports, Communications, Collaborations 
In 2020 ASCIA has continued to make submissions, issue regular communications and collaborate with government and other organisations.  The latest ASCIA submission is in response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Allergies and Anaphylaxis. For details go to www.allergy.org.au/about-ascia/ascia-initiatives#collab
4. National Immunodeficiency Strategy
A draft National Immunodeficiency Strategy for Australia and New Zealand has been developed, following a meeting of stakeholders in March 2019.  This Strategy aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people with primary immunodeficiencies (PID) and minimise the burden on individuals, carers, healthcare services and community. For details go to www.nationalimmunodeficiencystrategy.org.au   
5. National Allergy Strategy 
In 2020 ASCIA will continue to promote the 250K youth project www.250k.org.au, the All about Allergens food service project www.foodallergytraining.org.au, the Nip allergies in the Bub allergy prevention project https://preventallergies.org.au/  and will be involved in new National Allergy Strategy projects.
 
6. AIFA Research Grant Program 
In 2020 a total of $110,000 in AIFA grants will be awarded to allergy and immunology research in Australia and New Zealand. Thank you to our generous donors and corporate supporters (including CSL Behring and DBV Technologies) for making these grants possible, and our expert grant selection panel who volunteer their time. AIFA is now seeking donations and support for the 2021 grants. To donate go to www.allergyimmunology.org.au/donate 
For details about grants awarded in 2019 go to www.allergyimmunology.org.au/projects/#latest
 
7.  Sustainability

In 2019-2020 ASCIA is working towards significantly improving its sustainability, particularly in regards to ASCIA education, training and operations.

ASCIA Education and Training  

As the peak professional body for allergy and clinical immunology since 1990, ASCIA has extensive experience and expertise in providing accessible, consistent and evidence-based education and training:

  • Since 2010, ASCIA has provided ASCIA e-training courses, which provide accessible, consistent and evidence-based training (developed and reviewed by experts) for health professionals, school staff, early childhood education/care staff and community.  The costs for webhosting, annual reviews and updating of these world-leading free online courses have been subsidised by ASCIA since 2010. 
  • In 2018 the ASCIA website was redesigned to improve access to consistent and evidence-based information for health professionals, patients, consumers and carers.
  • In 2019 all ASCIA information for patients, consumers and carers has been reviewed and updated.
  • In 2020 all ASCIA health professional resources will be reviewed and updated.

Funding to support ASCIA e-training courses from 2020 onwards would enable:

  • ASCIA to upgrade the e-training content, platforms and format to meet continuing professional development (CPD) accreditation standards for health professionals and community, and therefore increase usage, particularly in areas of need, such as regional, rural or remote locations.
  • The widespread promotion of ASCIA e-training courses to all health professionals and community to ensure equitable access throughout Australia.
  • ASCIA to adapt the upgraded content of the e-training courses into face-to-face modules, which could be used in outreach programs to upskill all health professionals and community throughout Australia, and therefore improve equitable access to education and training.

There are currently no cures for allergy and other immune diseases, so quality education and training of health professionals, patients, carers and community is vital.  ASCIA educational resources and training courses can improve health outcomes, reduce the risk of disabilities and even save lives, by providing accessible, evidence-based information about:

  • Preventing allergic reactions to foods, drugs and insects, including life threatening anaphylaxis. 
  • Appropriate treatment of primary immunodeficiencies to reduce life threatening infections and complications.
ASCIA Annual Conference

Electronic poster boards will be introduced for the first time at ASCIA 2020 Conference, which will allow posters to be viewed in the exhibition hall, where all the catering is provided.

We believe that the introduction of electronic poster boards will result in multiple benefits, including:

  • Reduced production and waste associated with printing posters.
  • Time and cost savings for delegates who will no longer need to print and transport posters.
  • More efficient use of space which will increase opportunities for engagement.

ASCIA Operations

A major highlight of 2019 was the move to a new office suite for ASCIA in the Lifestyle Working Building, which is a benchmark environmentally sustainable design (ESD) strata office building, the first of its kind to be built in Australia. For details go to http://lifestyleworking.com.au/brookvale/green-building.html  

Whilst the ASCIA office has been located in this building since 2013, the new ASCIA offfice suite has been reconfigured to enable ASCIA to be more sustainable in its operations and continue to grow without impacting the environment. Examples of ways that ASCIA is reducing its impact on the environment include the re-use of all the previous ASCIA office furniture in the new suite, reconfiguration of office space to maximise ventilation, installation of a ceiling fan to minimise the use of air conditioning, composting of all kitchen food waste and a significant reduction in printing due to electronic/cloud storage.  

ASCIA has always strived to minimise travel and costs, mainly by conducting most meetings by teleconferencing, hosting of one of its face to face Council meetings in conjunction with the ASCIA Annual Conference, hosting meetings in cities where the majority of delegates are based, trying to combine meetings whenever possible, and use of airport trains or carpooling for airport transfers. 

ASCIA Sustainability Plan

It is now more than six years since ASCIA developed its first sustainability plan. In 2020 we will develop a new ASCIA sustainability plan, to support ASCIA training programs and further reduce ASCIA’s impact on the environment. 

ASCIA Annual Conference and other Meetings 2020

  • ASCIA TAPID (Transplantation and Primary Immunodeficiency) project face to face meeting in May 2020 (Melbourne)
  • ASCIA 2020 Conference (Wednesday 2 to Friday 4 September) in Melbourne, held in conjunction with the CFAR Symposium (Tuesday 1 September), WEHI-ASCIA Autoinflanmmatory Symposium (Tuesday 1 September), concurrent sessions for Medical Associates, Nurses and Dietitians (Friday 4 September), and ANZVASC Symposium (Saturday 5 September). 
  • ASCIA Council face to face meetings in March and August 2020.
  • ASCIA Annual General Meeting (AGM) in September 2020.
  • National Allergy Strategy meetings (Drug Allergy, Schools/ECEC, Anaphylaxis Register, OIT).

ASCIA Education Project 2020

In 2020 the ASCIA Education Project will focus on reviewing, updating and promoting more than 150 ASCIA resources for health professionals, patients, consumer and carers, including:

ASCIA Food Allergy / Anaphylaxis projects 2020

Promotion of the following recently completed projects:

The following projects will be completed in 2020:

  • Oral Allergy (Pollen Food) Syndrome patient information
  • Updated ASCIA Food Allergy e-training courses, clinical updates and reference list
ASCIA Respiratory / Insect Allergy projects 2020

Promotion of the following recently completed projects:

The following projects will be completed in 2020:

  • Updated ASCIA Allergen Immunotherapy e-training
  • Updated ASCIA Subcutaneous Immunotherapy (SCIT) treatment plan 
  • New ASCIA Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) treatment plan 
  • Updated ASCIA Allergic Rhinitis treatment plan
ASCIA Drug (Medication) Allergy projects 2020

Promotion of the following recently completed projects:

The following projects will be completed in 2020:

  • ASCIA Cephalosporin Allergy consensus statement
  • Updated ASCIA Penicillin Allergy Consensus Statement
  • Updated ASCIA Penicillin Allergy Guide for health professionals
  • ASCIA antibiotic/drug allergy definitions/glossary of terms
ASCIA Skin / Allergy projects 2020

Promotion of the following recently completed projects:

ASCIA skin/allergy resources www.allergy.org.au/patients/skin-allergy

ASCIA Primary Immunodeficiency (PID) projects 2020

Promotion of the following recently completed projects:

The following projects will be completed in 2020:

ASCIA Submissions/Communications/Collaborations 2019-2020

ASCIA Submissions 
  • ASCIA submission to PBAC regarding dupilumab submission for atopic dermatitis. Lodged 2nd March 2020. 
    pdfASCIA letter PBAC Dupilumab 2020030275.35 KB
  • ASCIA submission to FSANZ  Plain English Labelling (PEAL) proposal P1044. Lodged 27th February 2020.
    pdfASCIA FSANZ P1044 Submission 2020 02 27160.82 KB
  • ASCIA pre-budget 2020-2021 submission. Lodged 10th January 2020. 
    pdfASCIA Pre-Budget Submission 2020-2021808.7 KB
  • ASCIA opening statement to the public hearing in Sydney on 19th November 2019 for the Parliamentary Inquiry into Allergies and Anaphylaxis.
    Read the PDF here:  pdfASCIA opening statement parliamentary inquiry 19-11-19 
  • ASCIA submission to Parliamentary Inquiry into Allergies and Anaphylaxis. Submitted 24th October 2019.
    Read the pdf pdfASCIA Submission Parliamentary Inquiry 24-10-19 or
    view it on the government website at Submission 153.
  • ASCIA response to National Blood Authority (NBA) request for information regarding Berinert. Submitted 4th September 2019.
  • Feedback to Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy. Submitted 30th November 2018, further to original submission 18th June 2018. Another letter was submitted on 5th August 2019, requesting a wording change regarding ASCIA Guidelines on page 39. This request was successful.
  • ASCIA application to the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) for a food allergen challenge Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS) item number. Submitted 18th July 2019. This submission was unsuccessful.
    pdfASCIA Application Food Allergen Challenge MBS 18-07-19457.91 KB
  •  ASCIA submission to Consultation on the Draft National Clinical Quality Registry Strategy. Submitted 20th June 2019.
  • ASCIA submission to the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Review of Food Standards Code chapter 3 and 4 – Food Safety Management Requirements (Australia only). Submitted 14th June 2019.
    pdfASCIA submission FSANZ 14-06-201989.03 KB
  • ASCIA response to Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) request for information regarding Dupilumab. Submitted 30th May 2019. This submission was unsuccessful.
  •  ASCIA letter to National Blood Authority (NBA) regarding BloodSTAR issues. Submitted 27th May 2019. The NBA has responded and will follow up on the issues raised in the ASCIA letter.
  • ASCIA response to new Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Specialist and Consultant Physician Consultation Clinical Committee of the MBS Review Taskforce. Submitted 25th March 2019.
  • ASCIA letter to the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) President requesting Therapeutic Goods Authority (TGA) Authorised Prescriber endorsements. Submitted 28th February 2019. This request was unsuccessful. The current status is on the ASCIA website: www.allergy.org.au/members/ascia-member-access-to-spt-reagents#s2
 ASCIA Communications / Website
Major Collaborations (in alphabetical order)
Other Collaborations (in alphabetic order)

Content updated March 2020

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