Initiatives and Priorities 2019

Priorities  |  Education Project |  Communications / Collaborations

ASCIA Priorities 2019

1. ASCIA Annual Conference
ASCIA Annual Conferences are a highlight of the year for ASCIA members and other health professionals working in allergy, clinical immunology and immunopathology.  In 2019 the ASCIA conference was be held in Perth Western Australia, and coincided with ASCIA’s 30th anniversary. For details go to www.ascia2019.com   
 
The ASCIA 2020 Conference is being held from 2-4 September 2020, at the Melbourne Convention Centre. For preliminary information go to www.ascia2020.com 
2. ASCIA Education Project 
Stage 1: In August 2018 a significant redesign of the ASCIA website was completed and launched. The ASCIA website is a trusted and extremely popular source of information about allergy and other immune diseases. Access to more than 140 ASCIA educational resources was improved by redesigning the website to be more user and mobile device friendly.  
 
Stage 2: In February 2019 new ASCIA Fast Facts on 12 topics were completed and added to the ASCIA website. ASCIA Fast Facts 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. These will be expanded in future 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 60 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 May 2019 work commenced 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.
 
3. ASCIA Submissions, Communications, Collaborations 
In 2019 ASCIA has continued to issue regular communications to its members and supporters on relevant and important issues.  ASCIA has also continued to liase and collaborate with government and non-government organisations, and make submissions on appropriate issues, including 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. 
5. National Allergy Strategy 
In 2019 ASCIA has continued to promote the 250K youth project www.250k.org.au and the All about Allergens food service project www.foodallergytraining.org.au 
ASCIA has also been involved in the national launch of the Nip allergies in the Bub allergy prevention project https://preventallergies.org.au/ 
For other details go to www.nationalallergystrategy.org.au
 
6. AIFA Research Grant Program 
In 2019 the AIFA grant program has been expanded, with $120,000 in AIFA grants awarded to allergy and immunology research in Australia and New Zealand.  
For details go to  https://www.allergyimmunology.org.au/projects/#latest 
7.  Sustainability

As there are currently no cures for allergy and other immune diseases, quality education and training of health professionals, patients, carers and community is vital. ASCIA education and training programs can help save lives, improve health outcomes and reduce the risk of disabilities by providing 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 has provided the highest quality education resources and e-training courses for the community and health professionals since 2010. It is important that ASCIA ensures sustainability of these initiatives to help drive improved health outcomes for people with allergy and other immune diseases in Australia and New Zealand. 

ASCIA Annual Conference and other Meetings 2019

  • National Immunodeficiency Strategy meeting in March 2019, hosted by ASCIA, Melbourne, Victoria.
  • ASCIA DAA-CAL Dietitians Course in March 2019, Brisbane, Queensland. 
  • ASCIA TAPID (Transplantation and Primary Immunodeficiency) project face to face meeting in May 2019, in addition to monthly teleconferences.
  • APID (ASCIA Primary Immunodeficiency) training meeting in May 2019.
  • ASCIA 2019 Conference (4-6 September 2019) in Perth, Western Australia. This was held in conjunction with the CFAR Symposium, concurrent sessions for Medical Associates, Nurses Update, Dietitians Update, Immunopathology Update and the ASCIA-DAA CAL Dietitians Course. 
  • ASCIA Council face to face meetings in February, July and September 2019.
  • ASCIA Annual General Meeting (AGM) in September 2019.
  • National Allergy Strategy meetings (Anaphylaxis Register, Shared Care Model, launches of Nip allergies in the Bub and All about Allergens - the next step for cooks and chefs).

ASCIA Education Project 2019

In 2019 the ASCIA Education Project will focus on updating and promoting ASCIA resources, to increase use by health professionals, patients and carers.  ASCIA educational resources for health professionals, patients, consumers and carers include:

ASCIA Food Allergy / Anaphylaxis projects 2019

Promotion of the following projects that have been completed in 2018 and 2019:

The following projects are underway:

  • New Oral Allergy (Pollen Food) Syndrome patient information
  • Updated ASCIA Food Allergy e-training courses, clinical updates and reference list
  • Anaphylaxis emergency medication bag nametags and wallet cards 
ASCIA Respiratory / Insect Allergy projects 2019

Promotion of the following projects that have been completed in 2018 and 2019:

The following projects are underway:

  • Updated ASCIA Allergen Immunotherapy e-training
  • Updated ASCIA Subcutaneous Immunotherapy (SCIT) treatment plan and templates
  • New ASCIA Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) treatment plan and templates
ASCIA Drug (Medication) Allergy projects 2019

Promotion of the following projects that have been completed in 2018 and 2019:

The following projects are underway:

  • New ASCIA drug allergy (cephalosporin) consensus statement for clinical immunology/allergy specialists 
ASCIA Skin / Allergy projects 2019

Promotion of the following projects that have been completed in 2018 and 2019:

ASCIA Primary Immunodeficiency (PID) / Autoimmunity projects 2019

Promotion of the following projects that have been completed in 2018 and 2019:

The following projects are underway:

  • Updated HAE position paper for health professionals
  • New HAE patient information
  • New immune system slides and videos

ASCIA Communications / Collaborations 2019

ASCIA Communications / Website
  • ASCIA member and community e-newsletters will continue to be issued each month, with relevant news items also posted on the ASCIA website and social media.
  • Following a redesign of the ASCIA website www.allergy.org.au in 2018, ASCIA patient and health professional information have been reviewed and updated in 2019, as part of the ASCIA Education Project. 
  • New ASCIA Fast Facts are available both online and as printed postcards, as part of the ASCIA Education Project.
ASCIA Submissions 
  • ASCIA submission to Parliamentary Inquiry into Allergies and Anaphylaxis. To be submitted by 24 October 2019.
  • ASCIA response to National Blood Authority (NBA) request for information regarding Berinert. Submitted 4 September 2019
  • Feedback to Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy. Submitted 30 November 2018, further to original submission 18 June 2018. Another letter was submitted on 5 August 2019, requesting a wording change regarding ASCIA Guidelines on page 39. This request was successful.
  • Revised Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) application for an item number for food allergen challenges (with workforce data included and more limitations). Submitted 18 July 2019. This reconfigured submission was unsuccessful.
  •  ASCIA response to Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) request for information regarding Dupilumab. Submitted 30 May 2019. This submission was unsuccessful.
  • ASCIA response to new Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Specialist and Consultant Physician Consultation Clinical Committee of the MBS Review Taskforce. Submitted 25 March 2019.
  • ASCIA letter to the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) President requesting Therapeutic Goods Authority (TGA) Authorised Prescriber endorsements. Submitted 28 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 letter to National Blood Authority (NBA) regarding BloodSTAR issues. Submitted 27 May 2019. NBA has responded and will follow up on the issues raised in the ASCIA letter.
  • 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 14 June 2019.
  • ASCIA submission to Consultation on the Draft National Clinical Quality Registry Strategy. Submitted 20 June 2019.
 Major Collaborations (in alphabetical order)
  • A&AA (Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia) - National Allergy Strategy partners since 2014
  • ANZAAG (Australian and New Zealand Anaesthetic Allergy Group) - ASCIA Annual Conference Symposium co-hosts 2011 and 2017
  • ASI (Australian and New Zealand Society for Immunology) affiliation since 1990
  • AusPollen - Partner since 2014
  • CFAR (Centre for Food & Allergy Research) - Annual symposium co-host since 2015
  • DAA (Dietitians Association of Australia) Centre for Advanced Learning (CAL) - Dietitians course partner since 2018 
  • HealthDirect Australia website content partner since 2008
  • NPS (National Prescribing Service) Choosing Wisely Australia partner since 2015
  • RACP (Royal Australasian College of Physicians) - Specialty Society since 1990 and Evolve partner since 2015
  • TAPID (Transplantation and Primary Immunodeficiencies) - Host since 2014
  • WAO (World Allergy Organisation) - Member society since 1990
Other Collaborations (in alphabetic order)
  • ANBS (Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy) affiliation
  • APAAACI (Asia Pacific Association of Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology) member society 
  • BCH (Better Health Channel) website content partner  
  • Education Departments (NSW, QLD, VIC, WA) for anaphylaxis etraining for schools since 2010 
  • Immunological Alliance member since 2016
  • NAC (National Asthma Council) member body 
  • Patient organisations in Australasia since 2006

Content updated October 2019

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