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Articles for Advocacy

Local College Implements New York’s Emergency Allergy Treatment Act

St. John Fisher College can serve as an example to colleges everywhere in being proactive to protect students with severe allergies. They are stocking epinephrine throughout the campus and conducting training sessions for security, health care personnel and resident assistants. As the college had three incidences of anaphylaxis last year alone, we are very proud to help in this important endeavor.

SJF College fire and safety officer Al Camp and A3 founder Jon Terry
SJF College fire and safety officer Al Camp and A3 founder Jon Terry

Local College Implements New York’s Emergency Allergy Treatment Act

By Janet Goldman
February 10th, 2018

St. John Fisher College is becoming a role model for local colleges and other public entities in western New York. As authorized by New York’s Emergency Allergy Treatment Act (EATA), the College is stocking epinephrine, making it available for students, staff and visitors as needed. With a non-specific epinephrine prescription, specifically trained College staff will be able to administer epinephrine to anyone suffering from anaphylaxis.

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Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Signs Dillon's Law Bill

After a prolonged struggle Wisconsin residents Angel and George Mueller succeeded in their tireless efforts to enact legislation allowing trained and certified individuals to carry and administer epinephrine in case of an attack of anaphylaxis. Be Strong and BRRAAPP ON! Read the article Epinephrine commonly administered by unlicensed school staff.

Gov. Scott Walker Signs Dillons Law
Gov. Scott Walker signs the bill for Dillon's Law at Mishicot High School. (Photo: Josh Clark/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin)

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Signs Dillon's Law Bill

By Alisa M. Schafer
Dec. 11th, 2017
MISHICOT, WI

“Dillon’s Law will save lives.”

Gov. Scott Walker said that was the most important sentiment during a bill-signing ceremony Monday honoring Dillon Mueller, who died at age 18 of an allergic reaction to a bee sting.

Walker signed Dillon’s Law on Monday at Mishicot High School, the school Dillon graduated from shortly before his death on Oct. 4, 2014.

“What a powerful way to honor such a remarkable young man … someone who had a zeal for life in every way,” Walker said.

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USAnaphylaxis Summit Report 2017

Our founder, Jon Terry, attended the USAnaphylaxis Summit held in Washington, DC, sponsored by the Allergy and Asthma Network. He came away with some great information to share from leading experts in the field who identified best practices and helped develop call-to-action strategies. Jon believes some great strides are being made in anaphylaxis prevention.

USAnaphylaxis Summit Report 2017

US Anaphylaxis Summit Attendees

By Jon Terry
November 1st, 2017

This past fall I attended the USAnaphylaxis Summit meeting at the National Harbor outside of Washington, DC. The event was sponsored by the Allergy and Asthma Network, for over thirty years the leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending needless death and suffering due to asthma, allergies and related conditions. Five years ago, AAN invited a small group of stakeholders to Washington, DC to participate in the first USAnaphylaxis Summit and hear from leading experts, identify best practices and develop call-to-action strategies. This year the Network gathered experts in allergies, anaphylaxis and patient care to collaborate and author a journal article based on the Summit’s presentations.

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Epinephrine Commonly Administered by Unlicensed School Staff

Dr. Michael Pistiner

A study by Dr. Michael Pistiner of MassGeneral Hospital for Children found that epinephrine was often administered in schools by nonmedical staff, and sometimes to students with no known allergy. This reinforces the importance of legislation such as the Nurse Authorized Stock Epinephrine laws and the training of ALL school personnel. This is especially important for schools that do not have full-time nurses.

Epinephrine Commonly Administered by Unlicensed School Staff

By Katherine Bortz
October 20, 2017

CHICAGO —  As many as one in five anaphylactic events among children without known allergies are treated with epinephrine administered by an unlicensed school nurse or staff member, according to a recent presentation at the American Academy of Pediatrics 2017 National Conference & Exhibition.

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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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Announcing our Albany Allergy Awareness Event

We have had much success in the past with our Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Awareness Days in Albany, and another one is scheduled for May 3. We set up a table in the concourse entrance to the Legislative Office Building and speak to every legislator that walks by. When we have families join us it adds much validity to our cause as it hits home how allergies can affect anyone’s everyday life. Below are some of the legislative initiatives we are supporting this year. Call or write if you would like to join us!

A3 Staff and Friends In Albany 2016

By Jon Terry
March 14th, 2017

Greetings from Jon Terry, the founder of the Allergy Advocacy Association. Concerning anaphylaxis, life-threatening allergies and epinephrine, important legislation is again being proposed during the current session of the New York State legislature. Under consideration are new laws for anaphylaxis emergency school teacher training; restrictions upon pharmaceutical pricing policies and protecting families with food allergies when they dine out at restaurants or fast-food service vendors.

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The Viaskin Peanut Patch: Will It Help Prevent Anaphylaxis?

Local allergist Dr. Shahzad Mustafa has been closely monitoring clinical trials for a new peanut patch that would help decrease the risk of an allergic reaction after accidental ingestion. Worn on the back or the inside of the upper arm, there were very few side effects in a recent study except for mild skin irritations. After 1-2 years of using the patch, close to 50% of the 74 participants saw a 50% improvement in peanut tolerance. DBV Technologies hopes to have the product approved by the Food and Drug Administration and marketed by 2018.

The Viaskin peanut patch: Will it help prevent Anaphylaxis?

Viaskin Peanut Patch

By Janet Goldman
February 11th, 2017

DBV Technologies has been developing the Viaskin Peanut Patch, a new method for preventing anaphylaxis. If used appropriately, the patch can increase tolerance to peanuts. The patch helps peanut allergic individuals who accidentally ingest or are accidentally exposed to peanut protein. Through immunotherapy, the patch can help prevent symptoms from an accidental exposure. However, even with a patch, users should still always carry epinephrine and strictly avoid peanuts.

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