In the Community: Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI, is one of nine communities in FARE's community engagement initiative. FARE staff are working with local volunteers and FARE Clinical Network sites to raise awareness of food allergies.

Community Needs Assessment Findings

More than 280 people completed the community needs assessment. Highlights of the data include:

  • Ann Arbor area schools are doing a pretty good job, but parents still desire a focus on food allergy education and awareness at the schools (both to staff and students)

  • Doctors are doing “just an okay” job, with one-third of respondents reporting not getting adequate information at the time of diagnosis

  • Mental health issues are a concern, with the majority of parents reporting their child experiencing anxiety, fear of eating and anger either frequently or always

Community Engagement Focus

The CEC identified three goals to focus on over the next three years. Within those three goals are multiple objectives, some of which are summarized below.

Goal 1: Improve education and training with Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to identify and treat anaphylactic reactions

  • Assess education and training resources needed and how to effectively deliver those resources

  • Develop/provide training resources to EMS first responders

  • Provide information to Emergency Departments

Goal 2: Increase education and awareness about managing food allergies in pre-K-12 schools, across all economic levels

  • Have a presence at district-wide meetings, conferences and workshops held by school nurse and school administrator associations

  • Work with schools and preschools at the grassroots level to be more proactive with students and families, with a focus on the underserved

  • Connect with and deliver materials to Federally Qualified Health Centers and school-based health centers

Goal 3: Increase awareness and accessibility to psychosocial support among food allergic individuals, families, health care providers and schools

  • Host an “off-to-college” food allergy prep seminar for high school junior and seniors

  • Connect with and deliver college program materials to college campuses in the area

  • Have a presence at workshops, conferences and events of physician and mental health associations focusing on psychosocial aspect

Community Engagement Council Members

  • Judy Brady, R.N.
  • Elaine Caoili, M.D.
  • Elizabeth Dymm
  • Christina Grech, M.D.
  • Harvey Leo, M.D.
  • Helen Look
  • Jessica Musser
  • Nancy Polmear-Swendris, R.N.
  • Will Russell
  • Gigi Sanders, M.D.
  • Emilie Sturm
  • Sofija Volertas
  • Sarah Weston
  • Mary Jo Wyse