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NYAAS Stands with the Black Community

Dear Members,

As a professional society representing Allergists and Immunologists in New York City, the New York Allergy and Asthma Society is committed to caring equally for individuals of all races, ethnicities, religions, genders, sexual-orientation, socio-economic backgrounds and immigration statuses.   We also take pride in our diverse membership of Allergists/Immunologists.

To that end, we view racism as a public health crisis.

We condemn violence, and are outraged by the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police department.  We are outraged by the bigotry that led to the murder of Ahmaud Arbery and delay in bringing his murderers to justice.  The unjustified death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old health care worker in Louisville at the hands of the police is unimaginable.  All of these recent deaths are just some of the many, many incidences of hate that we are currently aware of and we must call out for an end to this once and for all.  

We stand against the structural racism facing people of color resulting in inequality in access to quality healthcare, housing, employment, education and the pervasive racial disparities of our criminal justice system.

We have witnessed how the current COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected communities of color, and will make it our goal to work towards ending disparities in health care access and quality within and outside the field of Allergy & Immunology.

However, words alone are insufficient. Being anti-racist requires us ALL to take meaningful action to realize change in our society. We are committed as a society to take direct action to help our members with this mission.

Actions you can take now:

Educational mission: We will be looking at how we can add educational events during the year to help educate our members on these disparities and how we can help change the system in which we work.   To start, here are a couple of articles on how racial disparities affect our black patients with asthma:

Mission to fight for change: As a society, we are also looking at different ways in which we can help and will be sending a follow up email on other actions we are taking to contribute to the effort to bring about real change.  Thank you for your daily service in helping keep our community healthy.  We strive for peace and equality, and remain hopeful for the future. Please stay safe and let us know if we can be of service.

Sincerely, The New York Allergy Asthma Society

*Health Disparities Addendum

As a clarification on our previous email on our commitment to our Black community we would like to clarify that we are really just focusing on issues of racism in our own country.    We do not mean to represent all of the missions of BLM that may exist.   This was not our intention and we apologize if any of the initiatives mentioned in our previous email are not things our members agree with.  

As a medical society and healthcare providers, we are committed to understanding how issues such as racism affect our patients as well as their health outcomes.  The AAAAI has provided links to articles on health disparities affecting the patients we serve as allergists. 

Links to the articles can be found here: The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI) and JACI: In Practice.

There are many organizations with missions that benefit causes related to fighting racism which impacts healthcare in the United States.  These are just suggestions we encourage you to explore and we hope to provide further education on the topic of health disparities affecting our field.

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