TORONTO, ON, May 26, 2021 – Food Allergy Canada announces today that Dr. Waleed Alqurashi, a pediatric emergency physician at CHEO and investigator at the CHEO Research Institute, in Ottawa, has been named the recipient of the Robyn Allen Leadership Award for 2021 for his important work in advancing knowledge and care of pediatric anaphylaxis.
“We are very proud that Dr. Alqurashi is the recipient of this year’s award in my daughter’s honour because of his outstanding commitment to anaphylaxis education and research,” said Marilyn Allen.
The Robyn Allen Leadership Award recognizes an individual who has made a unique contribution to the lives of Canadians with food allergy. The award is in memory of Robyn Allen, who passed away from an anaphylactic reaction in 1990, just months before her 16th birthday. A lack of awareness of anaphylaxis contributed to her death and her parents, Marilyn and Bob, have made it their mission to ensure that Robyn’s story encourages others to bettering the lives of those with food allergy.
Dr. Alqurashi has been unfailing in his commitment to improving the management of anaphylaxis. He has championed initiatives to address knowledge gaps among physicians and patients in treating anaphylaxis. He authored the Anaphylaxis Bottom-Line Recommendations, a highly accessible and user-focused knowledge resource that includes bilingual educational videos for health professionals and families across Canada. He developed the Anaphylaxis PedsPac for use by clinicians treating children with anaphylaxis, which includes a treatment algorithm, pocket card and order sets. He designed and validated pictograms to help patients and parents recognize and treat anaphylaxis, which were incorporated into the Canadian Anaphylaxis Action Plan for Kids (KidsCAP). Dr. Alqurashi is also the anaphylaxis content advisor for Translating Emergency Knowledge for Kids network (TREKK.ca), a national collaboration that provides evidence-based, user-friendly resources for clinicians treating children in the Emergency Department.
Through his research efforts, Dr. Alqurashi has uncovered significant clinical predictors for determining increased risk of biphasic anaphylaxis. Biphasic anaphylaxis occurs when a patient’s anaphylaxis symptoms reoccur after initial symptoms resolve but without being exposed again to the allergen. He also showed that delaying treatment with epinephrine in the emergency department increases the risk of biphasic anaphylaxis.
In addition to these accomplishments, he is continuing his efforts in this field by leading the Canadian Anaphylaxis Network, a national study funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research to help inform clinical guidance on biphasic anaphylaxis.
Dr. Alqurashi is proud to accept this award. “I am deeply inspired by the advocacy and dedication of the Allen family, and I hope our research and knowledge translation efforts bridge the gaps in anaphylaxis care.”
“Dr. Alqurashi’s dedication to improving anaphylaxis management in children is significant,” said Jennifer Gerdts, Executive Director of Food Allergy Canada. “Understanding signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis and how to treat it is foundational to living confidently with food allergy. Dr. Alqurashi has and will continue to make important contributions to this patient need. Our announcement today also coincides with Food Allergy Awareness Month and the launch of our ‘Know it. Treat it.’ campaign focused on anaphylaxis management. There is no better time to recognize Dr. Alqurashi, a true champion of the food allergy community.”
“I am truly inspired by the legacy created by Marilyn and Bob Allen to honour Robyn’s life by recognizing and encouraging food allergy research that will help others,” said Dr. Jason Berman, CEO and Scientific Director of the CHEO Research Institute and VP Research at CHEO. “We are proud of Dr. Alqurashi’s dedication to the Allens’ same goals — in his research and his care for the children, youth and their families in CHEO’s Emergency Department.”
More information on Food Allergy Canada’s community awards can be found at foodallergycanada.ca/awards
Dedicated to the best life for every child and youth, CHEO is a global leader in pediatric health care and research. Based in Ottawa, CHEO includes a hospital, children’s treatment centre, school and research institute, with satellite services located throughout Eastern Ontario. CHEO provides excellence in complex pediatric care, research and education. We are committed to partnering with families and the community to provide exceptional care — where, when and how it’s needed. CHEO is a partner of the Kids Come First Health Team, a network of partners working to create a high quality, standardized and coordinated system for pediatric health care that is centred around children, youth and their families. Every year, CHEO helps more than 500,000 children and youth from Eastern Ontario, western Quebec, Nunavut and Northern Ontario.
About Food Allergy Canada
Food Allergy Canada is a national charity and the country’s leading patient organization committed to educating, supporting, and advocating for the more than 3 million Canadians impacted by food allergy. The organization focuses on improving daily quality of life by providing education and support needed to effectively navigate this medical condition, building informed and supportive communities, and acting as the national voice on key patient issues. Visit foodallergycanada.ca to learn more.
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