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June 2018

From the President

Dear Colleagues,

The 2018 AAAAI/WAO Joint Congress, March 2-5 in Orlando, is quickly approaching. On behalf of the AAAAI, I am pleased we had the opportunity to partner with the World Allergy Organization (WAO) to produce the educational program you will experience there. It all starts with our theme, Global Environmental Change and Respiratory Health, which reflects the unique opportunity of having a Joint Congress.

Consider the following statistics:

  • According to the World Health Organization, up to 44% of the asthma burden worldwide is attributable to environmental factors.
  • Recent Environmental Protection Agency data reveals that in the United States, 119,401,000 people live in areas out of attainment for O3, and 23,223,000 people live in areas that are out of attainment for PM2.5.
  • More than 5.5 million people per year worldwide die prematurely as a result of air pollution.

These figures clearly illustrate a problem, especially when you consider that environmental factors have an impact on economic outcomes such as healthcare spending. Our vision for the Joint Congress is that it will enable us to come together and be objective conveyors of the science behind our theme.

While the theme covers about 20% of our sessions, the remaining 80% were developed through member submissions. Look for the labels and key inside the Final Program you will receive onsite to help you determine which relate to the theme or to our other various session tracks.

Add the Plenary and Keynote Sessions to Your Schedule

AAAAI’s plenary session, Environmental Impacts on Asthma: Biology to Intervention, is Friday from 2:15 to 3:45 pm and WAO’s session, Asthma and Allergic Disorders in an Environment of Continuous Climate Change, follows on Saturday morning from 8:15 to 9:45 am. The slate of plenary sessions continues Sunday morning with Environmental Influences on Innate Immunity-Insights and Mechanisms and wraps up Monday morning with Cutting Edge-Food Allergy Pathogenesis, Diagnosis and Therapy. You can view details on all of the plenaries here.

Another highlight is our Saturday Keynote presented by Linda Birnbaum, PhD, Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP). This session will allow you to understand unique interactions between genes and environment that contribute to human health or disease, recognize the global increases in non-communicable diseases that are attributable to environmental conditions and identify opportunities to improve human health by modifying environmental exposures.

Download the Joint Congress App and Join the Conversation on Twitter

Remember to download the official 2018 Joint Congress app for your smartphone or tablet. Featuring a new design and navigation, it gives you the ability to: interact with other attendees, easily access session handouts, abstracts and evaluations, search by speakers and add their sessions to your schedule, learn about last minute program changes and navigate the Orange County Convention Center with interactive maps and exhibitor information. One important reason to use the app is to complete evaluations. It is the only way to evaluate faculty, which in turn allows us to making programming improvements. You can download the app from the App Store or Play Store on your device.

You are also encouraged to follow the 2018 Joint Congress on Twitter. Use #AAAAIWAO18 when you tweet in Orlando to participate in onsite conversations and share what you’re learning.  

I would like to recognize WAO’s leaders, especially Mario Sánchez Borges, MD, FAAAAI, and Ignacio J. Ansotegui, MD, PhD, who provided crucial input for our Joint Congress planning. I also want to recognize Mary Beth Fasano, MD, FAAAAI, Chair of the Joint Congress Program Committee, who led the charge to put our slate of educational programming together. My sincere thanks to each of them.

This is my last message to you as AAAAI President. Robert A. Wood, MD, FAAAAI, will be installed as your next President during the AAAAI Business Meeting at the Joint Congress. It has been an honor and I am very appreciative that you—the AAAAI members—gave me the opportunity to serve as AAAAI President. I must also thank the AAAAI Board of Directors and AAAAI staff for their support during my term.

I now look forward to Bob Wood’s leadership. His theme centered on optimal care for the food allergic patient, which you will hear about at the Business Meeting and in his forthcoming messages, is certainly very timely as we turn our attention to the future of the specialty.

See you in Orlando.


David B. Peden, MD, MS, FAAAAI

AAAAI President

Last updated: February 13, 2018