The Advances in Pediatric Food Allergy conference was started in 2010 with the goal of addressing the needs of practicing pediatricians and allergists to improve the diagnosis and management of food allergies, a condition whose prevalence has been increasing in recent years and remains a public health concern. The conference addresses 1) the different types of food allergies (IgE-mediated and non-IgE mediated food allergies, eosinophilic gastroenteropathies), 2) diagnostic tests to confirm food allergies, 3) identification and treatment of food-induced anaphylaxis, 4) nutritional and social concerns related to avoidance of food allergens, and 5) potential treatments currently under investigation for food allergies. The format of the conference includes didactic lectures, break-out interactive workshops, and discussions of challenging cases to provide a unique, interactive course that elucidates the scientific advances that support current clinical practice guidelines for food allergy. The faculty includes internationally recognized leaders in the field of food allergy (Hugh A. Sampson, MD and Scott H. Sicherer, MD). This is the only one-day conference offering an in- depth educational program in the diagnosis and management of food allergy in the US. Approximately 150 health professionals from across the country (including Texas, California, Wisconsin) have attended each of the past 3 conferences. Post-meeting evaluations have been very favorable, with attendees reporting improved knowledge and ability to recognize the various presentations of food allergies, to identify indications for diagnostic testing and interpretation of test results, to perform oral food challenges, to educate food allergc patients regarding preparedness to treat allergic reactions, and to address nutritional and psychosocial concerns related to food allergies. The next meeting will be planned for November 22, 2014 at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Funding support through this grant would allow the continuation and expansion of this program, with a special emphasis on providing more trainees with an opportunity to attend through travel grants as most of the trainees who attended in past years have been local. Furthermore, recent studies have shown that Non-Hispanic blacks have the highest rates of food allergies so we also hope to stimulate interest in racial/ethnic minorities that are under-represented as well as physicians working in underserved populations. As food allergies continue to be an important public health concern, continued training of health care professionals in the accurate diagnosis and appropriate management of food allergies is of paramount importance and is aligned with the mission of the NIAID.
As food allergies continue to rise and be an important public health concern, training of health care professionals in the accurate diagnosis and appropriate management of food allergies is of paramount importance to ensure high quality care for these patients. This grant application requests support for the scientific meeting entitled, Advances in Pediatric Food Allergy, to encourage and support participation of allergy and immunology fellows-in-training and physicians who serve racial/ethnic minorities who are at highest risk for food allergy. This conference will offer an in-depth educational program designed to address knowledge gaps in food allergy diagnosis and provide tools for physicians to implement appropriate interventions in a multi-disciplinary manner.