08 June 2017
- Healthcare

From the 21st to the 23rd May, our family of allergy, asthma and COPD patients met for EFA’s 2017 Annual General Meeting in Florence. We approved and prepared for the next steps for our organisation and welcomed a new member from Spain and a new Board Member from the United Kingdom, inspired by a panel of external speakers. Thanks to our amazing host, our Italian member Federasma e Allergie Onlus.

Our 2017 Annual General Meeting took place the 21, 22 and 23 May, in Florence. We were honoured to count on the support of the Florence authorities, with Ms Sara Funaro, Responsible for Health and Welfare at the Council of Florence, opening our session, and with Prof Enrico Maggi, President SIAAIC – Italian Society of allergy, asthma and clinical immunology. 

With 42 patient leaders from 18 countries; east, west, north and south, we had a very fruitful AGM where Members approved EFA Activity report for 2016, as well as the 2017 Workplan, accounts and budget.

A wider EFA Patients community: 42 associations!

Our alliance is now bigger. The association AEPNAA (Asociación Española de Personas con Alergia a Alimentos y Látex) joined our network, making us become a federation of 42 members . Focused on food and latex allergy, AEPNAA was accepted as a new member, patients’ association representing food and latex allergy patients and carers. AEPNAA supports research through their collaboration with medical associations and institutions in Spain and works for better prevention and self-management of allergies.

New EFA Board Member

Our AGM chose Carla Jones, from Allergy UK, as a new member of the EFA Board for two years. Mrs Jones is the lead ambassador for Allergy UK, an EFA Member that supports all allergic patients in the UK, but also is a committed organisation with the development of European health policy. Carla replaces Dr Erika Kennington from Asthma UK, who served as EFA Board Member in the last year, co-opted by the Board to replace Dan Murphy from the same organisation. Thank you Erika for your invaluable guidance to EFA’s work.

Voting procedures continued with the renewal of Erna Botjes-Bronsdijk as EFA Vice-President for another period of two years. Ms Botjes is president of EFA’s Dutch Food allergy Member Stichting Voedselallergie.

Get to know EFA’s full Board.

EFA’s Strategy Review meeting

On the May 22nd we welcomed four external speakers from European organisations working on issues linked to our priorities. They were invited to present on hot ongoing topics for people with allergy, asthma and COPD to frame and inspire our community to review EFA’s 2015-20 strategy. These included Access to Care and Patient participation by Stanimir Hasurdjiev from Patient Access Partnership and European Patients’ Forum, Prevention by Roberta Savli from Health and Environment Alliance, Patient Involvement in Regulatory Decisions and Social Media by Marie-Agnes Heine, the Director of  Communications at the European Medicines Agency and finally on the future of Medical Technologies by Tanja Valentin from MedTech Europe.

The session followed by thematic workshops to take a rain check on what EFA has achieved so far on allergy, asthma and COPD care, patient participation, safer environment and research, the changes in external factors influencing them,  what  exactly the members need EFA for in these areas and what should we focus on in the last 3 years of our strategic cycle. Results will compiled in EFA 2020 strategy update, and published later in the year in this newsletter.

Best practices across EFA

This second day culminated with the sharing of different best practices, initiatives and activities done by our Members at national level that have been proven successful .

Working groups

Reciprocity and dialogue was at the core of the last day, aiming to reach conclusions towards to close up our annual meeting. Among different working groups on allergy and asthma, environment and patients education, and COPD and food allergyn care, prevention and environment and research, all members collaborated forward a joint agreement on what is need to be done and how for this new period 2017-2018.

Dear Visitor,

for regularly updated information on Covid-19 for allergy and respiratory patients, please consult our Covid-19 resource and information hub.
Stay safe!
The EFA Team