I recently posted Mylan Blogger's Summit 2014, Part I and promised to follow up with all of the juicy details of the day. :-) The Summit was truly inspiring and incredibly educational. With that said, let's jump right in!
The day was filled with interactive conversations and brainstorming on how to spread food allergy and anaphylaxis awareness. We discussed everything from the most recent news on stock epi legislation to the most recent food allergy research as presented by the nationally known food allergy expert, Dr. Ruchi Gupta, to methods of increasing our communication skills to ensure that we are effective advocates for the food allergy community.
- Tony Mauro, President of Mylan North America, kicked things off. I was very impressed by the vision that he presented for Mylan. What stood out to me the most was Mylan's commitment to quality and availability and the company's ever increasing focus on patient solutions. He mentioned, "Our Mylan is Your Mylan," multiple times. This commitment and focus, in my opinion, is demonstrated by the fact that they brought advocates in the food allergy community together for this valuable Summit.
- Sherry Korczynski, Vice President, Epi-Pen Marketing for Mylan also spoke, giving us all a brand update. She went over all of the features of the My EpiPlan App which was recently launched by Mylan. I recently reviewed this app and must say, it is a great piece of technology to have with you at all times on your phone. I highly recommend downloading it. Mylan has also launched a new ad campaign for EpiPen which is already in print in various magazines. We were able to see a recent copy in Women's Day magazine and it has a very fresh, modern look. "Life happens. Be prepared." I love this because it is so true. The most important thing we can do as mothers of children with food allergies is be prepared. We can take every precaution but we still need to be prepared for a reaction. For our family, that means taking our EpiPens with us wherever we go and making sure they are accessible and easy to find. I love this particular ad (see below) because it says, "Baseball games happen. Be prepared." We recently took our daughters to their first baseball game, so this ad hit home to me. A post on our baseball game experience is forthcoming so please stay tuned. :-) We also went over the EpiPens4Schools Program in which 32,000 schools have participated (Wha-Whooo!). This program enables qualifying schools to receive four FREE EpiPen auto-injectors. Schools are also now able to receive the EpiLocker which can be mounted to a wall for EpiPen safekeeping and storage. It is bright yellow and would be incredibly easy to spot in the event of an emergency. Also, EpiPen brochures, instructions for use, both print and CDs/DVDs are now being distributed in Spanish!
- Bruce Lott, Vice President, State Government Relations for Mylan then gave us an update regarding stock epi legislation across the U.S. Ten states have passed school legislation since the beginning of 2014 including Ohio! Great job Ohio! We are making progress across the U.S.!
- Dr. Ruchi Gupta also presented recent food allergy research updates. 8% of children have food allergy which equates to roughly 1 out of 13 kids or 2 in every classroom. Of those children with food allergy, 30% were allergic to multiple foods. The most common food allergen is peanuts, followed by milk, shellfish, tree nuts, egg, fin fish, wheat, and soy. Another point of discussion that I found interesting involved patient satisfaction with physician care. Dr. Gupta presented that patient satisfaction drops on the allergy management side and that many patients felt that they leave their doctor's office without a clear plan. It is so important to have an allergy action plan! As parents of patients, we must be proactive in our children's medical care. Don't leave the doctor's office with unanswered questions! You need to know what to do in the event of a mild OR server reaction.
- Michael Tringale, Vice President, External Affairs, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America gave an advocacy update and presented resources available on AAFA to enable us to become better advocates and educators.
- Becky Fry, Training Specialist, American Red Cross gave an update on the new Anaphylaxis and Epinephrine Auto-Injector online training course that is being offered by the American Red Cross. It is so exciting that the American Red Cross is recognizing the need for epinephrine auto-injector training. That said, there was a lot of discussion regarding what information to present and how to present it in the training module. We also discussed the importance of including the training as a mandatory segment in the organization's other training courses including the Baby Sitter training, First Aid and CPR. I must say, the new course is also very hard to find on the website. Ms. Fry was very receptive to all of our suggestions and they were acknowledged by her colleagues at American Red Cross via email before she left for the day. Positive change in progress!
- Alison May Rosen, 3D Communications led a communication skills workshop to help us increase our effectiveness when relaying a message during a presentation. She had so many great pointers, but the few that stood out to me the most that we can all use whether giving a formal presentation or just conversing in an informal setting: "Anytime you speak, it matters;" "Know your headline before you start to talk;" "Perfect practice makes perfect;" and "Keep it simple, conversational and moving."
- We were able to close out the day with a Q&A with Dr. Gupta. Of course, we were all very excited to get more time with her. One thing that we discussed as we closed is that hormones, elevated seasonal allergies, and exercise can all have an impact on reactions and testing results. This was a valuable takeaway for me because although I knew that exercise could increase the severity of a reaction, I did not know that hormones and/or a seasonal allergy flareup could affect testing results.
Comparatively speaking, I am still fairly new to the food allergy community. I was incredibly humbled to be in the presence of such amazing advocates. These are women I have been following since my daughter's diagnosis. I am so grateful to all of them. Every single one of them.
My whole goal and purpose in writing at nutfreemomma is that I might be that woman, source of support and advocate for someone else.
For a full list of attendees and their corresponding websites, check out my first post on the Summit - Mylan Blogger's Summit 2014, Part I.
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.