Initiatives and Priorities 2019

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

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 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. These 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 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. For details go to www.allergy.org.au/about-ascia/ascia-initiatives#projects
3. ASCIA Submissions, Communications, Collaborations 
In 2019 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 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. 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 volunteered their time. AIFA is now seeking donations and support for the 2020 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 ASCIA is working towards significantly improving its sustainability, particularly in regards to ASCIA operations, education and training.

ASCIA education and training programs

It is important that ASCIA ensures sustainability of its quality, evidence based  education resources and e-training courses that ASCIA has provided since 2010. 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 education and training programs 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.

To prevent a significant reduction in the number of people who complete ASCIA anaphylaxis training (if fees are charged in future) and ) and meet the needs of training health professionals to enable  a Shared Care Model to progress, funding support is required to:

  • Upgrade ASCIA e-training courses to meet CPD accreditation standards.
  • Adapt the upgraded ASCIA e-training course content into a face-to-face course.
  • Promote ASCIA courses amongst all health professionals, including those in regional, rural or remote locations.  

ASCIA operations

A major highlight of 2019 was the purchase and renovation of a new office suite for ASCIA in the Lifestyle Working Building, which is a benchmark ESD (evironmentally sustainable design) 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 purpose designed 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 a reduced need for printed records.  

ASCIA has always strived to minimise travel and costs, by mainly conducting 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, and trying to combine meetings whenever possible.  In cities where there are airport trains, ASCIA encourages delegates to use this for airport transfers, or to carpool. 

ASCIA does not hold any investments that are related to gambling, tobacco or fossil fuels.

ASCIA Annual Conference and other Meetings 2019

  • National Immunodeficiency Strategy meeting in March 2019, hosted by ASCIA (Melbourne).
  • ASCIA DAA-CAL Dietitians Course in March 2019 (Brisbane) and September 2019 (Perth). 
  • ASCIA TAPID (Transplantation and Primary Immunodeficiency) project face to face meeting in May 2019 (Sydney)
  • APID (ASCIA Primary Immunodeficiency) training meeting in May 2019 (Sydney).
  • ASCIA 2019 Conference (4-6 September 2019) in Perth, 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 project is 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 Submissions/Communications/Collaborations 2019

ASCIA Submissions 
  • ASCIA submission to Parliamentary Inquiry into Allergies and Anaphylaxis. Submitted 24 October 2019 
    and this has now been uploaded (as submission number 153) on the parliamentary inquiry website:
  • 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.
  • ASCIA application to the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) for a food allergen challenge Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS) item number. Submitted 18 July 2019. This submission was unsuccessful.                                               pdfASCIA Application Food Allergen Challenge MBS 18-07-19457.91 KB
  •  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. The 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.
 ASCIA Communications / Website
Major Collaborations (in alphabetical order)
Other Collaborations (in alphabetic order)

Content updated November 2019

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ASCIA promotes and advances the study and knowledge of allergy and other immune diseases

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