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Governor Cuomo Signs School Bus Legislation

Governor Cuomo Signs School Bus Legislation

We are very grateful for the leadership role Assemblyman David Buchwald (D-Westchester) and Senator Terence Murphy (R-Westchester) took in helping to pass legislation permitting school bus drivers and other school service providers to administer epinephrine in an emergency. And many thanks go to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for signing the bill so promptly. Now it is up to the New York State Department of Health to move quickly to issue the regulations necessary for timely implementation. We sincerely believe this legislation will help to save many lives over the years. You can read the full article here.

Kids Getting On School Bus

Allows Drivers and Others to Administer Life Saving Epinephrine

Adapted from a press release issued by Assemblyman David Buchwald with additional reporting by Jon Terry
August 22, 2017

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation sponsored by Assemblyman David Buchwald (D-Westchester) to allow school bus drivers and other contractors providing services to schools to administer epinephrine when a child suffers anaphylaxis shock.

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Penfield NY Boy Saves Father’s Life After A Bee Sting

Penfield NY Boy Saves Father’s Life After A Bee Sting

This story rings close to our hearts, as our founder Jon Terry’s sister died as a result of a bee sting when she was alone at home. Read here about local hero Jamie Kosten who administered an EpiPen to his father after he was stung by bees he was raising.

Jamie Kosten Receives "Do The Right Thing" Award

Jamie Kosten Receives Award

By Suzanne Driscoll
July 20th, 2017

Scott Kosten had been keeping bees in his yard for over 12 years, and never had an allergic reaction to a bee sting. But last May he was stung multiple times and became unconscious from anaphylactic shock. Fortunately, his 12 year old son Jamie was home and knew to call 911 right away. The first thing the operator asked was “Do you know if you have an EpiPen in the house?” Miraculously, the family had the foresight to purchase one to have on hand, “just in case a visitor ever needed it,” Jamie recalls,

Alone and feeling very stressed, Jamie calmed down as the 911 operator told him exactly what to do. He successfully administered the epinephrine auto-injector (EAI) device for the first time, and by the time the EMTs arrived 6-7 minutes later, his father had started to recover.

The 911 operator was so impressed with Jamie’s courage and determination, he nominated him for the Rochester Police Department's "Do the Right Thing" award. The "Do the Right Thing" program is designed to seek out the outstanding youth of the Rochester community who have distinguished themselves as a role model for their peers. They achieve this by committing "random acts of kindness," or by simply "doing the right thing."

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UPDATE: Allergy Safety on NYS School Buses

As the school year comes to an end, it’s the perfect time to focus on ways to keep children with allergies safe on school buses, so we can be all ready to roll in September. We are pleased to report that legislation allowing school bus drivers to administer epinephrine in an emergency was passed by houses of the New York State legislature. Now the bill will be sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo for consideration and (hopefully) enactment. Please support our efforts by contacting him directly to sign the bill.

UPDATE: Allergy Safety on NYS School Buses

Kids Getting On School Bus
Photo by Daniel Hurst

By Kristen Stewart
June 21st, 2017

Good news from Albany!

School busses are two steps closer to being safer for children who suffer from life-threatening allergies thanks to the passage of Assembly Bill A07635 sponsored by David Buchwald and Senate Bill S06005 sponsored by Terrance Murphy. The bill would allow employees of companies that provide transportation for NYS school districts to be able to administer an epinephrine auto-injector in emergency circumstances.

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A Mother Pushes for Allergy Safety on NYS School Buses

What would happen if a child got stung by a bee or ate something he or she was allergic to on a school bus? When every minute counts during an attack of anaphylaxis, a bus driver trained to administer epinephrine could literally save a life. Fortunately, thanks to the efforts of one mother, legislation is being proposed in New York State that would allow employees of companies that provide transportation to be able to administer an epinephrine auto-injector in emergency circumstances.

Stacey Saiontz with her sons Jared and Elliott
Stacey Saiontz with her sons Jared and Elliott

A Mother Pushes for Allergy Safety on NYS School Buses

By Kristen Stewart
May 22nd, 2017

Stacey Saiontz of Chappaqua, New York does everything parents of extremely allergic children do. She brings her son Jared’s food to restaurants and friends’ homes. She wipes down everything from airplane seats and arm rests to playground equipment. And of course she carries Benadryl and an epinephrine auto-injector (EAI) device.

She has also taken her fight to keep her son safe one step further—all the way to the New York state capitol.

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Allergy Advocacy Association: Albany Reset

Albany Legislature building

After much consideration about where we are as an organization and how we continue the work towards our mission, we’ve decided to forgo this year’s trip to Albany. We’ll work closely with the allergy community to better understand their challenges as they manage their allergies and how we can better support them with legislative outreach and other advocacy activities.  

Issues of anaphylaxis emergency school teacher training; restrictions upon pharmaceutical pricing policies and protecting families with food allergies in restaurants are very important to our community.  We look forward to working with the Monroe County allergy community, health care professionals and NYS representatives and their staffs to support legislation to make it easy to keep our friends and family safe during an episode of anaphylaxis, no matter where they are. This information will be used to focus our attention on the right legislation as we continue our work in Albany next year.

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