The Third Annual Mylan Blogger Summit
Thank you Mylan for everything you do for the food allergy community.
The Third Annual Mylan Blogger Summit
I recently attended the third annual Mylan Blogger Summit in Canonsburg, PA. The night before the summit, Mylan also hosted a very nice dinner at Jackson's. It was very good and the staff appeared to handle food allergies very well. I always look forward to this summit because it is like a reunion for all of us from previous summits. The guest list included a lot of familiar faces, but also some new ones. Although this was the first time I met some of these women, I feel like I already know them very well from their blogs and social media. It was so nice to finally meet these women in person. Two of these women are Kristen Rutter from Nutfreemomma and Rachel Hayden from Mom Vs. Food Allergy. Not only do these ladies have great blogs, they are also Group Leaders for two local No Nuts Moms Groups. Kristen and I are family and she's Group Leader for No Nuts Moms Group of Cleveland, Ohio and Rachel is the Group Leader for No Nuts Moms Group of Dayton, Ohio, so meeting these two for the first time was very special to me.
The following morning we all took a shuttle from the hotel to Mylan's Headquarters. When we pulled up to the building, I was in awe. The front of the building is amazing and the inside is beautiful. Once we received our clearance badges and got settled in, we were served a very nice breakfast. Shortly after, the summit began and we all tweeted away throughout the entire day.
Just like the two previous Mylan Blogger Summits, I learned a lot and I was inspired by everyone in the room. The speakers included: Julie Knell (Director of Communications, Mylan Speciality), Tony Mauro (President, Mylan North America), Sherry Korczynski (VP of Epipen Marketing, Mylan), Bruce Lott (VP of State Government Relationships, Mylan), Dr. Ruchi Gupta (M.D., M.P.H.), Siobhan Cavanaugh (Senior Director of Professional Affairs and Advocacy, Mylan), Michael Tringale (VP of External Affairs, AAFA), Becky Fry from American Red Cross and Allison May Rosen from 3D Communications. The Mylan representatives discussed many things including a new campaign called, "Life Happens, Be Prepared." The new ads can be found inside magazines such as Real Simple and Women's Day. We all viewed and discussed the latest Epipen TV commercial by Mylan. The reps were open to hearing our feedback and taking suggestions for future commercials regarding Epipen and anaphylaxis awareness. Mylan gave us the update on legislation to stock epinephrine in schools and also shared an addition to their EpiPen 4 Schools program. This program gives eligible schools up to four free epipens and now offers an EpiLocker for schools to store their Epipen Auto-Injectors. Mylan shared the launch of their new website happening next month and they discussed the new My Epipen App that is now available for free on iTunes and Google Play. They also talked about the $0-Copay Offer, which has been extended until December 31, 2014.
Dr. Ruchi Gupta gave a presentation and I always enjoy hearing her speak. She is very engaging and interactive with us. She has helped me a lot throughout the last couple of years and I truly appreciate everything she does. Dr. Gupta went over some studies and research that she is working on and also took many questions from us. One of the studies discussed was completed in 2011 and concluded that 8 percent of US children have a food allergy. You can read more about the study here. Dr. Gupta is also working with others to get hospitals to correctly code cases of anaphylaxis. There are many cases that most likely get coded incorrectly for something other than anaphylaxis, so it is so important that we train hospitals and their staff on how to recognize and code anaphylaxis. As an example, some cases of anaphylaxis get coded as asthma or cardiac arrest. We also talked about food allergy testing and when to get tested and when not to get tested. Dr. Gupta said, "Don't get tested unnecessarily." We all know how unreliable testing can be, so you really shouldn't be getting tested and then removing foods that you really aren't even allergic to. Your allergist should be following the Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States.
It was great to meet Michael Tringale from Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. AAFA is a not-for-profit organization and the leading patient organization for people with asthma and allergies. They are dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with asthma and allergic diseases through education, advocacy and research. AAFA released a great report in 2013 called The State Honor Roll of Asthma and Allergy Policies for schools. Find out what your school's rating is here. Another cool thing about AAFA is that they merged with Kids With Food Allergies, one of the leading food allergy organizations out there. Kids With Food Allergies Foundation and Asthma and Allergy Foundation announced their merger on February 15, 2013. Read the full press release here. Both organizations have done great things for our community and I look forward to seeing much more from them in the near future.
Becky from American Red Cross shared a video from an online anaphylaxis course offered on their website. She received a lot of feedback from the group and seemed to be very interested in our opinions and took our concerns seriously. Our first concern was their training video of the online course shows the child sitting upright in his chair when receiving epinephrine. Many of us, along with Dr. Gupta, questioned this since we have always thought that it best to lay the child down flat on their back. There is conflicting information online regarding this. I recommend checking out the following online course from Epi Center. At this time, this is the best resource out there regarding anaphylaxis first aid. The second concern we had was that the video states you should be wearing gloves before administering epinephrine. I think it is safe to say anyone that has knowledge with food allergies and anaphylaxis knows you do not need to wear a glove to administer an epinephrine auto-injector. All auto-injectors are made with a great safety feature that prevents any exposure of the actual needle. We also don't want anyone that is caring for someone having an anaphylaxis reaction to think they should ever delay treatment in order to go look for a glove before administering this life saving medication. Every second counts and we have to get the message across that they need to administer the epinephrine immediately and it is safe to do so. Delaying treatment for any reason may be fatal. The third concern was their anaphylaxis course was not included in the American Red Cross babysitting course. This should be a must for anyone caring for a child. Thanks to the food allergy community and our live tweeting, the representatives from American Red Cross quickly responded to our concerns. Because of all of us banding together, I really think that the Red Cross will make the appropriate changes.
Allison May Rosen from 3D Communications spoke to all of us regarding effective communication and gave us some great tips on how to get our message across. I found all of her tips very helpful and I can see a lot of it to be very useful in the food allergy community. Especially when speaking with media and legislators regarding stock epinephrine in schools. I think I need an entirely separate blog for this topic because there was a lot of helpful information to share.
The summit came to an end around 5 pm and it was time to say goodbye to all of my old and new friends. I always hate saying goodbye to them, but I know that I will see them again and talk to them often. I then boarded a plane back to Detroit, MI with my great friend Keeley from Keeley McGuire Blog.
Thank you Mylan for everything you do for the food allergy community.
Homa Woodrum (Oh Mah Deehness!), Kelly Lindberg (Food Allergy Feast), Joanne LaSpina (Food Allergy Assistant), Dr. Ruchi Gupta, Lisa Rutter (No Nuts Moms Group), Colette Martin (Learning to Eat Allergy- Free), Jenny Sprague (Multiple Food Allergy Help), Keeley McGuire (Keeley McGuire Blog), Elizabeth DiBurro (EBL Food Allergies), Ruth LovettSmith (Best Allergy Sites), Kimberly Pellicore (The Food Allergy Mom) Lindsey Steffensen (Frugal Food Allergies), Kristen Rutter (Nutfreemomma), Rachel Hayden (Mom Vs. Food Allergy), Tracy Bush (Nutrimom - Food Allergy Liason), Kelly Rudnicki (Food Allergy Mama) (Not Pictured)
I disclose in any communication made by me about Epipen (epinephrine) Auto-Injector and/or the Mylan Specialty Blogger Summit that such communication is at my own discretion and based on my own opinion. I also disclose that my travel expenses were compensated by Mylan Specialty in exchange for evaluation and feedback on information presented during the meeting.
From Allergic Girl:
Want to know more about living well with food allergies like how to find a great allergist, create a support system that works and dine out with confidence?
Sloane Miller's book: Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well with Food Allergies (Wiley, 2011) can help.
No Nuts Moms FB members will receive 10% off the regular price ($18 + shipping) for a signed copy by the Author Sloane Miller.
Contact Sloane Miller & mention No Nuts Moms Group.
Discount good through 4/30/14.
Watch Sloane Miller on FOX 5 TV!
I am all about non-food celebrations and I want to share a craft idea that I am doing for my son's classroom. It is fun, easy and makes a great keepsake.
Allergies at School: Ways to increase the safety and awareness of life-threatening food allergies at school
Allergies at School
Paperback by Stacey Stratton
Stacey Stratton from Peanut Free Zone reached out to me last year regarding a new book that she wrote called Allergies at School. I felt very honored that she wanted me to look at it and give her my opinion. I thought it was fantastic and at the time I was also going through the 504 Process for my son. When I first read the book, it was only available on Kindle, but I am happy to announce that it is now available in Paperback as well. This book is a great tool to have if you have a child with food allergies starting kindergarten. It is also good for kids changing schools or anyone that is recently diagnosed with a food allergy and is just not sure what the next step should be when preparing for school with a food allergy.
I would recommend this book as a great source of information for families sending kids off to school everyday with a food allergy. The book includes 11 helpful chapters as well as a note section and checklist in each section. The best thing about this book is it is only $4.99 on Kindle and $8.99 on Paperback. You can find more information about this wonderful resource on Peanut Free Zone or Amazon.