Volunteers Make a Difference In Allergy and Asthma Awareness, Advocacy

VIENNA, VA, APRIL 11, 2014 – In celebration of National Volunteer Week, Allergy & Asthma Network, a leading nonprofit patient education organization, applauds its many volunteers and advocates who dedicate their time, expertise and passion to help people with allergies and asthma.

“Asthma and allergies disrupt the lives of 50 million Americans,” says Tonya Winders, The Network President and CEO. “Our successful grassroots efforts to raise awareness and save lives depend heavily on volunteers who support our goals in education, outreach, advocacy and research.”

Allergy & Asthma Network’s volunteer Outreach Service Coordinators (OSC), first started in 1993, includes parents, patients, asthma educators and health care professionals who participate in allergy and asthma coalitions, organize community Asthma Awareness Days, work to create or change laws supporting the rights of people with allergy and asthma, and share the Network’s resources at health fairs, schools, libraries, hospitals and clinics.

OSC volunteers have worked one-on-one with families in communities where asthma is prevalent, helping them understand their asthma action plans, supplying them with educational materials and calling to check on how they’re doing.

Across the United States, The Network’s specially trained teams of Anaphylaxis Community Experts (ACE) provide free awareness and training programs about life-threatening food, venom and latex allergies, signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, and how to use an epinephrine auto-injector.

More than 300 ACE volunteers make a difference every day in their communities by empowering people with life-threatening food allergies to live with confidence. Since 2010, ACE volunteers have reached more than 65,000 people with messages about preventing and treating anaphylaxis.

“I volunteered with the ACE program to honor my sister Ruth, who passed away due to anaphylaxis following a bee sting,” says Jon Terry, founder of Allergy Advocacy Association in Brockport, N.Y. “I share her story and raise awareness about the symptoms of anaphylaxis and the use of epinephrine as first-line treatment.”

The award-winning ACE program was developed by The Network in partnership with the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), National Association of School Nurses and the American School Health Association, sponsored by Mylan Specialty L.P.

Volunteers also play a vital role in The Network’s efforts on Capitol Hill. Patients, families and health care professionals are invited to join the Network at the 17th annual Allergy & Asthma Day Capitol Hill (AADCH), May 6-7 in Washington, D.C.

Volunteers receive training to make the most of visits with members of Congress in addressing allergy and asthma policies from the patient perspective. To join the Network on Capitol Hill and make a difference, visit http://www.allergyasthmanetwork.org/advocacy or email aadch@allergyasthmanetwork.org.

Email Brenda Silvia-Torma, project manager, at ace@allergyasthmanetwork.org, to learn more about the ACE program.

About Allergy& Asthma Network

Allergy & Asthma Network is the leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending needless death and suffering due to asthma, allergies and related conditions. Founded in 1985, The Network specializes in sharing family-friendly, medically accurate information through its award-winning publication Allergy & Asthma Today magazine, E-newsletter, website at http://www.asthmaallergynetwork.org and numerous community outreach programs. Follow The Network on Facebook at facebook.com/AllergyAsthmaHQ and on Twitter at twitter.com/AllergyAsthmaHQ