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Notes from the Chair: An Update from the 2019 ACAAI Meeting


The ABAI was very busy at the 2019 American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) meeting, held November, 7-11 in Houston, TX.

Dr. Anna H. Nowak-Wegrzyn photographed after receiving the Woman in Allergy Award

On opening day, Dr. Michael Nelson (ABAI President), Dr. Ted Freeman (ABAI 2019 Chair) and Mr. Larry Vapniarek (ABAI COO) presented to the ACAAI Board of Regents (BoR). We highlighted our new programs including the Continuous Assessment Program (CAP) Pilot, the External Test Writing Committee and the Ambassador program. We thanked the BoR for the excellent working relationship we have with the ACAAI, and also shared data obtained from feedback received from those participating in CAP. The BoR were very interested and had a variety of questions, some excellent observations, and useful suggestions.

On Saturday, November 9th, Drs. Nelson, Freeman, along with ABAI Directors, Drs. Len Bacharier and Princess Ogbogu, and Mr. Vapniarek met as the Strategic Planning Committee (SPC). This resulted in the development of several goals based on our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis, which we plan to share with stakeholders before finalizing them to present to the board. ABAI Director, Dr. Aidan Long, who is also a member of the SPC, represented the ABAI at the Training Program Directors Committee, which occurred at the same time.

On that same day, we held a town hall meeting which was open to all members of the ACAAI to discuss CAP. Dr. Nelson gave a short presentation as did ABAI Director and ACAAI BoR Treasurer, Dr. Kathleen May; following their presentation, they along with Dr. Freeman, and Ms. Rayne Harrison (ABAI Manager of MOC) answered questions from the audience (non-ABAI attendance ranged from 25-30 people). Overall, it was a very productive session.

Several of our board members were recognized at the ACAAI meeting as well. This included Dr. John Oppenheimer who received the Distinguished Fellow Award, and Dr. Anna Nowak-Wegrzyn who received the Woman in Allergy Award. Dr. Dana Wallace, an incoming board member, received the Gold Headed Cane Award. Dr. Freeman was recognized by the Annals of Allergy Asthma and Immunology editorial board for completing at least 100 reviews. Lastly, Dr. Nelson gave the Bela Schick lecture on Monday, November 11th, and was the answer to a FIT Bowl Competition question on Saturday, November 9th.

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