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Bradley Hilltopics

Winter 2010 • Volume 16, Issue 1  

Alumni Profiles

MATT MacDONALD ’98: Yes, Virginia encourages believers | JULIE CAMPBELL ’82: Focus on food allergies | BRAD COHEN ’96: BUAA Outstanding Young Graduate Award | BRIAN KRUEGER ’05: Facebook for scientists | ANNE MAPLE FOX ’63: Building honor | RACHEL WEST KRAMER ’94: Singing with spirit

 

Focus on food allergies

By MELISSA VOGRIN ’10

Ever since JULIE CAMPBELL ’82 founded the Illinois Food Allergy Education Association (IFAEA) five years ago, she has been a major force in the fight to improve the quality of life for Illinois schoolchildren with food allergies. IFAEA is a nonprofit group that supplies educational materials about food allergies to numerous state facilities, serving not as a support group, but rather, as a news source. Julie founded the group after her daughter had an allergic reaction to peanuts. “It was then that I realized that I needed to educate the schools and to keep her environment as peanut-free as possible,” said Julie.

Online

Visit illinoisfaea.org for more information.

As the president of IFAEA, she has led the group in relentlessly contacting state legislators, lobbying in Springfield, and hosting fundraising events such as September’s Hike for Lung Health. She also gave PowerPoint presentations to 825 schools to increase the public’s knowledge of food allergies and their potentially deadly consequences.

Ultimately, IFAEA was instrumental in passing Illinois House Bill 281, which amended legislation regarding food allergy reaction treatment and prevention in schools. “As the kids age, it’s the cafeterias and the restaurants that need the most education because the kids are going out more without the parents,” Julie explained.

She testified before the education committee of the Illinois House when the bill was initially introduced. The bill passed unanimously in the Illinois Senate and with overwhelming support in the House last August. It requires the State Board of Education and the Department of Public Health to develop specific guidelines for managing students with life-threatening food allergies. The plan must be available to all school boards statewide by July 1, 2010. Each school board must implement policies based on those guidelines, which will be designed to train school personnel how to respond to and prevent exposure to food allergens by January 1, 2011.

Julie is working to convince schools to track epinephrine auto-injector use, because knowing which schools have the highest frequency of reactions helps manage food allergies. She resides in Wilmette with her two children.