By John L. Lehr, CEO
At FARE, we are proud to work on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergies, including all those at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis. Since announcing the completion of our merger late last year, we have been designing and establishing the organization’s new structure, programs and resources to best serve the needs of the food allergy community and all those needing information about food allergies and anaphylaxis.
In the coming months, you’ll see us ask for your input on key issues, embark on new initiatives and roll out new resources. We have a number of exciting projects underway, but we also want to take this opportunity – as we begin a new era together – to give you an update on where we are today, and where we’re headed.
Here are 5 Things You Should Know About FARE (Right Now):
1. Our Mission and Focus
FARE’s mission is to ensure the safety and inclusion of individuals with food allergies while relentlessly seeking a cure. In practice, this means:
- Providing evidence-based education and resources,
- Undertaking advocacy at all levels of government,
- Increasing awareness of food allergies as a serious public health issue, and
- Funding world-class research that advances treatment and understanding.
Each of these mission components is critically important to helping make the world safer for individuals with food allergies. In 2013, we will be ramping up our education, advocacy and awareness efforts, and we look forward to sharing our plans for these areas with you as they develop further. We also will be expanding our development efforts to help raise funds to create new programs and support new initiatives while also funding research that will seek to identify the root causes of food allergies and clinical trials focused on advancing life-changing treatments.
2. Our Leadership and Structure
FARE leadership and staff are committed to serving the food allergy community. Our board is composed almost entirely of food allergy parents and grandparents. Half of FARE’s board members were previously members of the FAAN board, half were previously on the FAI board – and all of them have been working for years to advance our community’s cause. We also continue to benefit from the guidance of our Research Advisory Board and Medical Advisory Board, which previously offered guidance to FAI and FAAN, as we work to fulfill our mission.
At the staff level, FARE will be organized by mission and operational areas. We will have departments dedicated to Education, Advocacy, Awareness/Communications, Research and Development – all led by professionals with significant experience in their fields and a number of whom have a personal connection to food allergies and anaphylaxis.
3. New Regional Offices
We recently opened five regional offices across the country, and reaching out to your regional office leader is another great way to get involved and give us your input. Follow the hyperlinks below to email your regional lead.
- Toni Johnson, Northeast Region – located in McLean, Virginia and serving Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia
- Jennifer Dues, Midwest Region – located in Chicago and serving Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin
- Courtney Davenport, Southeast Region – located in Atlanta and serving Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee
- Charlotte Maffia, Southwest Region – located in Dallas and serving Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas
- Alice Gordon, West Region – located in Los Angeles and serving Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming
4. New Website
Our new website is under development and will be launching in March. We’ve designed the newfoodallergy.org with our website users in mind because we want to ensure you can easily find the information and resources you need. Stay tuned for more information about our launch, and in the meantime you can still find a wealth of key resources and information on the currentfoodallergy.org.
5. We Want to Hear From You
We are fortunate to have an engaged and passionate community, and we thank all of you who have already reached out to us to learn more about the new organization and how we will work with the community.
Throughout 2013 (and beyond), you can expect to see us asking for your input on everything from key issues the community is facing, to advocacy at the federal and state levels, to the kinds of resources and support you would find most helpful as you work to manage food allergies every day. We value your input, and hearing from you helps us work more effectively on behalf of all those affected by food allergies and anaphylaxis.
We recently launched an online survey asking for your perspective on threshold levels for major food allergens and the choices you make based on current food labels. We already have received thousands of responses – and we hope you will take a few minutes to add your voice.*
It is an exciting time for the food allergy community and we appreciate your enthusiasm and interest in continuing to make the world a safer place for individuals with food allergies. We look forward to keeping you informed about important developments at FARE throughout this year and beyond.
*Editor’s Note: This survey is now closed.