Gala Will Honor 2020 Action Awards Winners

Every year the Allergy Advocacy Association Action Awards honor individuals that personify our program of Awareness, Alertness and Action.

Gala Will Honor 2020 Action Awards Winners

Jared Saiontz (on right) with his mother Stacey
Jared Saiontz (r.) with his mother Stacey
S. Shahzad Mustafa, MD
Dr. S. Shahzad Mustafa, MD

Jared Saiontz and S. Shahzad Mustafa, MD win awards

By Jon Terry
October 15th, 2020

"Activists need to be change agents," says William Moyer, a founding member of the Movement for a New Society. "They work to educate, organize, and involve the general public to actively seek positive, constructive solutions to difficult problems."

The Allergy Advocacy Association plays an active role supporting change agents through our program of awareness, alertness and action. Our annual Action Awards recognize activists who are change agents throughout our community.

On October 21st we will host our VIRTUAL Action Awards Gala. Jared Saiontz will receive the Ruthie T. Cornell award and S. Shahzad Mustafa, MD will receive the John J. Condemi, MD award.

Shahzad and Jared are change agents aiding individuals at risk for anaphylaxis in two very unique ways. They could scarcely be more different. One is an allergist helping patients at risk for anaphylaxis and asthma; the other a young man coping himself with life-threatening food allergies and asthma.

Both are change agents; working to treat, educate, organize and involve individuals and families with life-threatening allergies.

Both are promoting important public policies; access to life-saving epinephrine, improved allergen labeling for packaged foods, anaphylaxis emergency training programs and conducting research.

RUTHIE T. CORNELL award citation:

"Outstanding Community Advocacy and Education award
presented to an individual or group of individuals who have significantly advanced
awareness, alertness and action at the community level through a sustained
commitment to advocacy and education."

Jared's health issues are typical of many children at risk for anaphylaxis; from his very first birthday right up until today, his food allergies — and he has LOTS of them — are a constant concern for him, his mom Stacey and all the members of his family.

The Saiontz family hasn't allowed those risks to stop them from living life to the fullest extent possible. They have moved beyond simply coping with anaphylaxis to carrying a message of hope to other individuals and families with life-threatening allergies and asthma.

As an activist advocate for legislation — improving access to life-saving epinephrine, increasing awareness of the dangers of anaphylaxis and supporting up-to-date food allergy labeling on all packaging — Jared has been an impressive and inspiring change agent. His leadership in New York State and Washington DC has made a difference for so many people.

JOHN J. CONDEMI award citation:

"Outstanding Community Engagement and Volunteer Service award
presented to an individual or group of individuals who, through
significant professional activities, have enhanced medical treatment
and research efforts to improve life, health and hope for the food
allergy community."

Dr. S. Shazad Mustafa is an assistant professor of medicine at U-R School of Medicine. He joined the Division of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology at the Rochester Regional Health Group in July 2009. Shahzad is a member of many national organizations, including the American College of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). He also sits on national committees on the diagnosis and management of food allergies and is the past president of the Finger Lakes Allergy Society (FLAS) here in western New York.

Dr. Mustafa has extensive clinical experience and a national reputation as a research scientist.

He is personally committed to the well-being of all his patients especially those with asthma and allergies. He has participated in all of our associations public outreach efforts, but most importantly as a medical advisor and volunteer presenter for our Epi Near You NY anaphylaxis emergency training program. And he has a young son with a peanut allergy.

Year after year there are an increasing number of Americans with life-threatening food allergies at risk for anaphylaxis. We need more physicians who are not simply clinicians, but also researchers and activists uniquely sensitive to the concerns of their patients. Our association believes Dr. Mustafa is that kind of physician.

Shahzad, Jared and his mom Stacey are truly change agents. In everyday life, carrying a message of change is a really big challenge. Because Shahzad and Jared have successfully met that challenge, our association is very proud to award them our Allergy Action Awards for 2020.

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