Thursday, December 31, 2015

Consciously Connecting to Our Lives with Author Holland Haiis,21581.html

Holland Haiis believes we are living on a diet of disconnect and the time to reconnect is NOW. By finding the thread of your power she believes life becomes simplified and energized. Once you begin Consciously Connecting you'll never look back! 

I truly enjoyed this show with Holland. We had a wonderful conversation. The second half of the show is all about the chapter in Holland's book that refers to Positive Words. This is 100% what our network is about and what a great testimony for the world to hear.

There is a shift happening especially women. We find ourselves in conversations that have been laced with a tone of criticism. You can be walking down the street or standing in line somewhere to get coffee and people may be discussing someone’s weight or what they are wearing. It makes you stop and think about how you are spending your time and energy. Choosing words that throw arrows at someone whether they hear you or not. The same thing goes for shaming ourselves, using words like “Oh I’m so stupid, or what an idiot, oh I can’t believe I did that”. We want to become more conscious of these thoughts and words that come out. Continually thinking and talking this way will begin to hook and imprint and affect the way we view the world in a negative way.

Sometimes our first instinct isn’t the best one when it comes to our thoughts and our words. 

Words are powerful tools! The way we speak to ourselves changes the way we think about ourselves; which then allows us to really sit in that place of power and knowingness. When we come from a place of being connected to knowingness, to trusting ourselves to really knowing that when that little tingle in the stomach or that little tap on the shoulder that so often we walk away from we say “oh no, no, no” when we get to a point of really getting started by connecting from our words and more change in our thoughts and change in our actions which is bigger, because then we become a bigger force in the world for good. We become a person who is of service instead of expecting to be served and we are all here in order to find that connection. And however the journey is and we’ve all had our bumps and our pit-falls and we’ve all fallen down - it’s about getting up. 

And I talk about understanding that kindness and you are connecting to your words, how you speak to yourself and how you speak to others - that is your truth because no one arrives on the planet negative, critical we arrive when we think of little babies and look at little babies, we arrive wide eyed and innocent and we are full of wonder and we are open and ready for adventure and wonder, it’s a magical journey. But some of us unfortunately, have been taught through parents who didn’t know any better to surrender from the true language of joy and being inquisitive and we end up entering into an arena of self-doubt and criticism. And what I ask is that this be your moment to become aware and be conscious of that and to walk away; to exit that arena today - it is a choice it is a decision and, you start  today - you will no longer belittle or shame yourself, and you don’t belittle and shame others.

Listen to the full interview here:

Holland Haiis is the author of Consciously Connecting. She is a dynamic motivational speaker and business consultant. As a Connectivity Expert she has coached and trained hundreds of leaders to achieve their potential. She specializes in facilitating transitions and assessing new beginnings, all while developing a client's leadership skills. In addition, she plugs you into your goals, boundaries, accountability, and any other area of disconnect in your life.

Her practical approach to this subject has made her popular with entrepreneurs and executives. Holland's goal is to motivate and enlighten her clients as they learn the value of connection and how to bring their gifts to the world.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Check out my first show with one of my favorite Co-Hosts, Tonya Winders. She's the CEO of Allergy & Asthma Network! 

Breathe Better Together with Allergy & Asthma Network! Allergy & Asthma Network is the nation's leading nonprofit dedicated to ending needless death and suffering due to asthma, allergies and related conditions through outreach, education, advocacy and research. Tonya Winders, President & CEO, explains who is part of the Network and why she is so passionate about the cause.

Tonya Winders, MBA is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of Allergy & Asthma Network, the leading patient advocacy organization dedicated to ending the needless death and suffering due to asthma, allergies and related conditions.

Tonya has over 17 years experience in leadership roles within the allergy and asthma industry. From sales and marketing leadership to managed markets access, she has worked tirelessly to ensure patients have access to effective diagnostic and treatment tools.

Tonya joined Allergy & Asthma Network in 2013 as the successor to founder Nancy Sander who led for 28 years. Tonya has worked closely with the leadership of the ACAAI & AAAAI to address challenges currently facing the integrity of allergy and asthma care throughout the US while spreading awareness and preparedness messages to patients and caregivers.

Personally, Tonya is the mother of five children, four of whom have asthma and/or allergies, ranging in age from 10-17 years old. She enjoys spending time with her husband of 20 years Brian Winders and cheering on her children in various sports.

Dr. Pat:                Hey, everyone, wow, welcome! I want to welcome everybody. Welcome to “The Dr. Pat Show,” Talk Radio to thrive by. Thank you all for tuning us in and turning us on. It’s really great to be chatting with all of you today. We’ve got a great line-up and this is what I love. I don’t even know what I don’t know sometimes. I love that about that my life.

                            What does that even mean? If you’re somebody like me, you’ve gone through life and have had a few bumps in the road and along the way you stop long enough to say, “Wait a minute, wait a minute, maybe I shouldn’t be going down that pathway with my life. Maybe there’s something else that I should be doing. Maybe this thing that I thought about career, a job that I thought was going to give me peace of mind, maybe that’s not it. Then all of a sudden, something devastating happens and your life goes in another direction, and that’s part of our conversation today.

Dr. Pat:                It’s all a build up for tomorrow. It’s all a build up for the equinox. It’s all a build up, well whatever it is that you believe in. But one of the things for sure that I’ve discovered along the way is that there are some things that happen in life. I want to just say this -- for many of us that are in the world we have come down this journey to understand what happens sometimes in life.

                            My sister is someone that had a rough life – even  more so than me. What happens when you have a family member and you just watch what their journey is like and you just love them, but you know at some level, you don’t even know what you don’t know. Well, my sister went down that path and one day had to admit herself into the hospital because she was having an asthma attack. What does that even mean? What do we even know about that?

                            What do we say about asthma that we don’t know a whole lot about? Well, first of all, that’s what today’s show’s about; is to begin to take a look at what the Allergy and Asthma Network is doing. What this leading non-profit is all about and what their dedication is to ending needless death. How do I know about that? My sister was one of those.

How do you go in to a hospital for what some people consider a minor incident only to not wake up the next day, only find out that a dear family member has passed away? How many others, children now in the world are we watching with allergies that are carrying around special injections for themselves?

                            This is really a bigger conversation than anything that I’m about to have. That is why Tonya Winders is joining me here today. Breathe Better Together with Allergy and Asthma Network. “Breathe Better Together”; what does that mean?

                            The question mark, I guess, for Tonya, is, “Has allergy and asthma got us singing the blues?” Yeah. It not only has us singing the blues, but it is definitely confounded and confounding people.

                            How many children right now, as well as people every age are we watching – just suffering and not really quite understanding why or how? That’s because Allergy and Asthma Network, they are right there and helping folks with outreach, education, advocacy, and research. And yes, it is so important because we don’t know what we don’t know. Today, that is the conversation we’re going to have. That is the conversation that Tonya’s going to take us along the way and on this journey to help us understand not only what her passion and commitment is all about, but who she is.

                            President and Chief Executive Officer of Allergy and Asthma Network. It’s the leading patient advocacy organization dedicated to ending the needless death and suffering due to asthma, allergies and related conditions. For those of you other there I want to say this; if you think that we are getting better around this, we are not. We are not.

Today, we’re going to be speaking with her about a tireless effort. Her dedication, commitment to helping all of us understand the challenges that we’re facing in the world today with this, who is now affected, how is it changed, and how this mother-of-five kids, four of whom have asthma or allergy issues ranging from 10 to 17. How all of this blends into a life that enables her to become an advocate and a spokesperson and have a job that fulfils a vision.

Tonya, welcome to the show. It’s great to have you here.

Tonya:                  Thank you, Dr. Pat. I appreciate the opportunity to be here today.         

Dr. Pat:                You are perfect for answering questions that I’ve been asking for 13 years. Here you and I get to talk. I never thought in a million years that I would be doing what I’m doing. It certainly didn’t happen by me sitting down with a big old business plan, but its paying attention and looking at things that show up in life.

                            What has taken you and put you smack, dab in the middle of this journey to get you here on this show talking about a conversation about allergies and asthma? What is it? What are the challenges and obstacles that you personally had to overcome to get you right here to this very moment?

Tonya:                  Well, again, it is a journey and certainly, mine has taken its fair share of twist and turns in unexpected ways. I actually began my career about 18 years ago in the pharmaceutical industry and the very first companies that I went to work for had allergy and asthma products. As I grew in my career and in my professional journey, I had increasing roles with pharmaceutical device diagnostic companies all in the allergy and asthma space.

Simultaneously, we began our family and I often laugh and say it was not part of my dating profile, perhaps it should have been, but my husband has terrible allergies. As we married and began to have our own children, and our own children began having these conditions and the symptoms often associated with allergies and asthma – like face atopic dermatitis or eczema, and some DI issues, and then seasonal allergies, and then sun interment asthma. It became both a professional journey and a personal journey for me over the past 18 years.

Then three years ago I actually had been working with Allergy and Asthma Network from a volunteer capacity for several years when the President and Founder, Nancy Sander decided to retire after 28 years of service. At that point, she and her Board of Directors approached me about leading the organization as President and CEO.

Dr. Pat:                Part of this is really looking at how we go from there to where we are. One of the interesting things that I’m starting to really look at is the level of awareness that we actually could have around asthma and allergies.

Especially as moms, right. We’re talking about being a mother, as well. In looking at how this all began as a mother, looking at the puzzle that Nancy Sander had, and looking at her own daughter’s allergies and asthma. Isn’t it interesting when we step back and we think about our children and the challenges that they go through to help us become inspirations and advocates. Look at you right, you didn’t put a big old business plan together and said, “You know I think I’m going to become an advocate here.”

Tonya:                  Right. But it is very interesting how life event, circumstances, our attitudes, and behaviours, and beliefs constantly drive us to be and do something bigger than ourselves.

I think that specifically in the case of Allergy and Asthma Network that’s what we really intend to do, to first engage individuals to help them become more aware about their own condition or their family member’s conditions. Then secondly, educate themselves to become thirdly, more empowered and overcome these conditions and now allow these chronic conditions like allergies or asthma to hold you back or keep you from activities of normal daily living. Once you can do that for yourself then you’re on the journey to truly advocating for others; taking that next step of helping others and making sure that public policy and research continues to really ensure that we can have the right treatment and access to these treatments, and therefore also get better health outcomes.

Dr. Pat:                Well this is part of the conversation that we’re beginning today, so that when we are looking out in the world we know who to go to and how to get there. Who knew that back in 1985, who knew that something would be created that started to build momentum and what does that mean?

                            Today we’re going to a journey, right? We’re going to take this journey together. What does speaking out for patients actually means? How do we go from ‘85 to now speaking out, we’re going to take you on a journey so that all of you can find out more. Here’s the way to begin: go to,

                            We’re going to take a short break, when we come back we’re going to see what this journey has been like. What is the history? What does it mean to tap into grassroots and how is this now today more important than we ever imagined? Stay tuned and help us save lives. We’ll be right back.

Dr. Pat                 Hey everybody, welcome back. It’s great to have you all join us here. We’re so thrilled about this series we are starting with talking about something that many of us are aware of. Certainly, if you have watched any films on television and especially in the movies, one of the things I’m really struck by right now is in this blockbuster movies. Have you ever noticed this recently -- even the zombie movies, have you ever noticed this; there is at least one child that has asthma or that as an allergy? Think about it, if you go back and think about this, what are we showing in our mega blockbusters around the vulnerability of children? Why are we showing it?

                            What this represents in so many ways is a consciousness now that is coming to the forefront. It’s kind of like this is not an anomaly anymore. Why do you see this so much in our pop culture and how little do we know

I’m so thrilled to be doing this series with Tonya Winders joining me here today. Here’s why, as I said before, we don’t even know what we don’t know. The thing that we do know is that the number of people suffering from allergies and asthma is accelerating at every age.

Tonya, thank you for today and I know we’re going to talk today about where we were, where we are, and where we’re going. I thought it would be great to talk a bit about how did we get from mothers of asthmatics, how do we get from there to the next level? Where do we go from ’85?

Tonya:                  Sure, and again, thank you for the opportunity to share a bit about the organization’s background. If you think back to 1985, certainly we didn’t have the wealth of knowledge, the wealth of information at our fingertips through the World Wide Web that we have today. For Nancy Sander, she had a daughter who had very severe asthma and life-threatening allergies and she was in and out of the hospital. As a single mom with multiple-children and really looking for where she could find medically accurate, patient-friendly materials and unfortunately continued to come up short.

                            So, Nancy decided to sit there at her kitchen table with her typewriter and hammer out a newsletter that she could share with other moms in the clinic that she was actually visiting with Brooke. She did that and then that newsletter was actually picked-up by the Kaiser Permanente system and shared throughout the system as a patient newsletter. That picked up some national media attention and the organization was born out of that effort. It really does show the power of what one mom on a mission who wants to seek out her own information and education but also share that with others, can do to change a community.

                            Now 30 years later, we have over 2 million members at the network. Ninety percent of those members are patients and caregivers, families just like yours and mine. Then ten percent are healthcare professionals that commit their life and their work to this space of allergy and asthma.

Dr. Pat:                This is really, what we’re talking about; someone has something that’s happening in their lives that is directly related to and let’s just talk about it – not just the thriving of children but the surviving of children. Many people don’t really get that we’re talking about a wide-range of conditions that happen everything from having a great day go bad, as you said during the break, to a life that is lost, we still don’t have a sense of that, do we?

Tonya:                  No, I think that most people don’t realize that actually twelve Americans die each and every day because of asthma and allergies, life-threatening allergies here in our country. That’s astounding! 

Again, these are conditions that we – by all stretches of the imagination – certainly do have good have good guidelines-based care, we have good established treatments that work the majority of the time. Yet the fact that this is the most common, chronic childhood condition and has such huge financial burden on our country 56 billion in case of asthma each year, and over 25 billion in the case of allergies each year.  That in it of itself is 80 billion dollars that these two conditions are causing. Not to mention the priceless effort of loss of life and having twelve Americans die every day because of these conditions, really is just astounding and a tragedy, a shame that shouldn’t be.

Dr. Pat:                Yeah, and one of the things that we’re also going to address, as we move forward in the radio series that we’re doing, is what is really important, what do we need to do, how do we go from typing on a typewriter now to expanding the outreach? How do we do – and I think most people are baffled by waking up one day and holding a child, or a family member, anybody in their arms. As both Linda and I have done on numerous occasions with a family member and saying, “Are we going to make it to the hospital in time?”

                            So part of this isn’t it, Tonya, part of this is also understanding what can be done from a preventative point of view.

Tonya:                  Absolutely, prevention is so very key when we’re talking about these conditions because there are again, very distinctive steps we can take to preventing an asthma flare or a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. Being prepared, taking the steps to prevention is absolutely critical. We will certainly spend a great deal of time on those, as they’re the first step, to really, correct awareness around these conditions.

Dr. Pat:                Now, I want to talk about the network for a minute because this is really setting the stage. We talked about somebody having a passion – I love how we all love to get together here. I dialled a wrong phone number thirteen years ago and didn’t hang-up and here I am today. This is not something I planned.

                            But what was key to me in my journey was kind of like you. It was six months after saying yes to this; I got very, very, very sick. An allergy is was one of the first thing people check now, and by the way, this was the only thing that I could do.

So it’s interesting how we all get guided to be here. For you, you lived, and if I should say, breathe this every day. This is something you’re immersed in and I wanted to ask you this question; out in the world, what do you see the greatest challenge now for us? What is the greatest challenge? Clearly, we’re not typing on a typewriter anymore, but that doesn’t mean we’re not faced with some challenges.

Tonya:                  Oh yes, there are still so many challenges. I think that one of the foremost challenges, certainly, there is such a wealth of information – and knowing where to go, who to trust, what information is appropriate for each individual is something that is very overwhelming.

When you’ve got the internet and all of the voices coming at you whether it be from your healthcare professional, your physician, your school nurse, your best girlfriend, your mother, your sister, daughter, friend, all of those individuals giving you advice about your health – sometimes it can be overwhelming and confusing. Certainly, hearing that reliable voice, that credible voice, knowing that is, trusting it, believing it, and then having someone there to just support you through the journey whatever that journey may be, whatever you face along the way.

Dr. Pat:                Yeah, here we are, we’re talking now, this is the world we live in and you touched upon something I find really fascinating. Because I’m finding this kind of little conundrum and found this along the way in my own kind of journey.

If you go back thirteen years, I know this is hard for us to do. Many listeners listening, “Thirteen years, you’ve got to be kidding; I was like in high school or something, right?” I’m a little bit older than most, but if you go back thirteen years we weren’t going to connect on Skype. There wasn’t going to be – internet radio was just literally being born but it wasn’t taking on. Now we get emails and texts from people in Belarus that are listening to the show on their smart phone. This is the world of information. How do you manage? How does Allergy Asthma Network manage getting the correct information to people?

Tonya:                  Well, we do it through a variety of different channels. I think that first and foremost, we partner with professionals who are experts in this topic of asthma and allergy. We are the official advocacy lay organization for the American College of Allergy Asthma and Immunology. We work very closely hand-in-hand with those medical experts to ensure that everything we write, everything we put out is medically accurate.

                            Secondly, we work with some of the health literacy experts across the country to ensure that it’s easy to understand and digest. That even someone at a fifth or sixth grade reading level could understand the information, comprehend and digest that information, and then apply it accordingly to their lives and to their situation. I think again, at the very essence that we do is taking that medically complex information and presenting it in an easy-to-understand format for individuals no matter the walk of life or where they’re coming from.

Dr. Pat:                Wow, we’re going to take a short break, everyone. When we come back, we’re going to take a look at what the network does and who are the people that are involved as well as how do we take this conversation to key legislators?

Why do we want to do that? Why is that important? What road have we gone, and what strides have we made to look at conversations with government to get support along the way. The question mark is, “Is anyone listening?” Stay tuned, we’re going to take a short break.

Again,, check it out, when we come back we’re going to talk about where we are, what we’ve done in terms of getting congressional support, and where we’re going. Stay tuned, we’ll be right back.

Dr. Pat:                It is so great to be – so I have Tonya joining me here today and as we said before, this is a first of a series we’re going to be doing with Allergy and Asthma Network. For those of you out there, go to and what you’re going to find when you go there is you’re going to see that this is a place that is available for both patients and for healthcare professionals.

I wanted to talk about this in this way a little bit, Tonya, if we could. We touched upon where we were; now here we are and I just touched upon the fact that you all have made some great strides in bringing this to Washington D.C., so to speak. I wanted to take a moment to talk about that because that is a big thing whether or not we know it – protecting patient’s rights.

Tonya:                  Right, absolutely. I think this is an area that most Americans, they fail to really, connect public policy and health. How, again, just a few people speaking out, raising their voice and really sharing what the concerns are of the millions of Americans with these conditions, the difference that you can make.

For now, twenty years we’ve actually held the Annual Allergy Asthma Day on Capitol Hill and it’s an opportunity to gather hundreds together. We make face-to-face visits with our federal decision-makers, members of Congress, as well as the Senate and share about the issues that are facing our families, put forth legislation that’s going to help advance public policy and ensure that we have access to treatments that we so desperately need.

                            In the last ten years, a couple of the things that we’ve been able to do in that respect, is – ten years ago we worked with federal decision-makers to pass a law so that students can self-carry their asthma medication and their life-threatening allergy medication, their Epinephrine auto-injectors in school. This allows students, if they’re age-appropriate, and emotionally, maturity ready to actually carry those medications and administer them as deemed appropriate at the time of an emergency, they have the right to do so. Subsequently, 50 states have also passed the same measure.

                            Then most recently, in 2013, we worked with the Federal Administration, the Obama Administration to pass legislation whereby schools can stock epinephrine auto-injectors for anaphylactic reactions. What we learned by looking at the data is that actually 25 percent of first-time severe allergic reactions occurred in school without a previous diagnosis. That’s why it’s so important to have the stock epinephrine on-hand and be able to administer it when that emergency happens.

Dr. Pat:                The question mark that comes up for a lot of people is, “Okay, why now? Hasn’t this always been going on? What have we done in the past?” But, there really is a little confounding variable here in the forefront. That is really talking about the increased numbers that are appearing of people that have allergies and asthma. By the way, we’re going to talk about this in more detail in one of the later shows we do, what that actually means.

                            But, folks would ask the question, “Okay, why now?” Aren’t we seeing an astronomical rise in this?

Tonya:                  Absolutely, at this point, again, asthma is the most common chronic childhood condition affecting about 7 million American children. In fact, an average two to three children per classroom have the diagnosis of asthma. Likewise, for life-threatening allergies we found that again, a life-threatening allergy, food allergies and medication allergies, insect-sting allergies are also on the rise and impacting about 15 million Americans.

Again, as you’re seeing the rise of the prevalence of allergy and asthma there’s more and more need for these types of public policies that can protect people and also allow them to be more preventative in their care and prepared.

Dr. Pat:                I want to ask you a question, because you’ve been really side-by-side with this but as many of us know, sometimes the journey comes to an end as it did with Nancy, Nancy Sander when she retired. Then here you are, here you are, now you are coming into the forefront as President and CEO. I want to take a moment and ask you what it was like for you, what the passing of the baton was like.

Tonya:                  I think that it’s a wonderful opportunity when you’ve known someone and you’ve known their legacy and their organization for a length of time. Certainly I think on one-hand, it was that how do we pay respect and honor due to Nancy Sander and to the legacy that she has created of the organization for the past 30 years. We certainly have had a number of ways to do that through retirement celebrations through our 30th Anniversary celebration. We recognized Nancy and her contribution, and all the wonderful foresight that she had to create the organization and to grow and sustain it over the first 28 years.        

                            Then for me, it was really an opportunity to step back and say, “Who do we want to be? How do we want the legacy of the organization to live on towards the next 30 years? How can we leverage our strength that have been established in the first three decades. Yet, channel them in new avenues, and new ways to reach even a broader audience. To get the message out more widely so that more people can have the benefit of the resource of Allergy and Asthma Network. 

Allergy & Asthma Network

Dr. Pat:                That’s really part of the conversation, is really looking at where do we go from here. There are so many things that we’re discovering in the world of information and communication.

I love this thing that I have where we don’t even know what we don’t know. As a matter of fact, we were sitting there today and we’re looking at some new technology we’re developing to do exactly what we’re talking about here, is address this ever-changing landscape of information that people want and information they don’t want.

                            You and I, we’re talking during the break and unbeknownst to the many, many people that count people, they clearly miss the boat that women were listening to Positive Conscious Talk Radio. They were leading the field and that they are affluent, they’re educated, and they’re tech-savvy. Ninety-two percent have smart phones and they take it with them.

                            Now this is really the conversation for you and I to have about how do we let them know about us? Because you see, it’s not a matter of will they listen, because they’ve already got that laid down. But, they are wanting to hear a message that they’re not quite sure they know that they know that they really want to hear but is necessary.

Tonya:                  No, and that is the challenge because there are so many different sources of news and information. So how do we make sure that they are listening and getting that credible, relevant, accurate information in a timely manner, but in the format that they most desire. I think that’s the real key, we’re looking at how we grow as a network and how we present materials. It is more that online, on-demand. Utilizing a variety of different channels, like video, audio in addition to the traditional print resources and things that we’ve always provided.

Dr. Pat:                Yeah, this is really part of a big, big conversation. We’re going to take a short break, when we come back we’re going to talk about the network and we’re going to talk about what does that it mean to get involved, how you can not only support it but how you could help spread the word. As I’ve said before for many of you out there just go,

When we come back, we’re going to talk about what this means in terms of its members. How you can become more involved, and what does it mean to help spread the word and become your own outreach machine. Stay tuned, we’ll be right back.

Dr. Pat:                Welcome back, everyone. Tonya Winders joining me here today, President and CEO Allergy and Asthma Network.

For those of you out there, Tonya’s going to be able to tell you, first of all, how you can get directly involved, how you can get more information. It really is something we’re going to be talking about for a long time to come here because there are so many ways that we want to share information, also so many things that folks don’t know.

If you go to,, you’re going to see a number of ways to participate. Tonya’s actually going to walk you through. Tell us a bit about the network – who can be involved and what can they be involved in doing?

Tonya:                  Absolutely. Well, thanks again for that opportunity, Pat. I think that the truth of the matter is absolutely anyone can be involved in the network. It’s not only patients but also caregivers, families, friends. Also, healthcare professionals whether you’re a school nurse that treats kids with asthma, or if you are a primary care physician, a paediatrician, a respiratory therapist, or a sub-specialist like an allergist or pulmonologist. Anyone who really is focused on that guidelines-based quality care for allergy and asthma, that’s who we’re looking to be a part of the network.

                            Maybe it’s just that you want a little bit of information. You just received the diagnosis that your child has a food allergy or that someone you love has asthma and so certainly you can engage with the network either via phone, we have a 1-800 help line. That’s available and manned by certified Asthma Educators and Health Educators. We also have our website, which is available 24/7. We have a Spanish website for those who are Spanish-speaking to visit as well.

Then we have a host of printed resources. We have a host of online continuing educational courses. We have all of these different ways you can get plugged in and get information that is medically reviewed and patient-friendly.

                            Secondly, if you want to get involved in conducting asthma screenings or doing health fairs in your community, we’ll provide the resources and tools to help you do that. Perhaps you are at a level that you fell, “Okay, I know this information for myself and I want to help educate others,” we’ll most certainly partner with you to go into your community and provide those resources and support materials for you to educate others within your own community.

                            Then another way of course, is to join the network as a personal member or as a professional member. We have three levels of membership but it doesn’t cost anything to join and to get access to the information. If you want to get our print resources, of course there’s a small charge for those. Otherwise, all of our resources are free and widely available, and certainly provide a unique opportunity that you can tailor to your desired level of getting engaged and participating in the network’s activity.

Dr. Pat:                This is also an opportunity to get information that is also accurate. Because that is one of the things that we’re going to be talking about, is what are some of the news out there. One of the things let’s talk about for the network is, it’s not an organization where we just sit around and collect information. This is an organization, you travel to conferences, you hold conferences and it really is to build up a momentum of information in action. It’s what action can we take? Tell us a little bit about some of the ways that you do get involved in the community, in the outreach.

Tonya:                  Yes, absolutely, and thanks again for that opportunity. We really do believe that once you are informed and engaged, and educated, that you’ll want to move to that level of empowerment and actually be more actively involved. So, we provide opportunities for that whether that is participating in a support group in your own community or starting a support group in your community. That also could be attending one of our events like our US Anaphylaxis Summit; we have two of those coming up in October, one in Dallas and one in Boston.

We just held one out in San Ramon, California. These are opportunities for a multi-disciplinary stakeholder group so parents, patients, and healthcare professionals to gather together and talk about ways that we can advance public policy in this area. How we can educate our community and empower our community achieve optimal health outcomes even in the face of allergy and asthma.

Dr. Pat:                There are so many things that we can talk about. I want to ask you this question because this is a discovery for me. You heard me share at the beginning of the show how my sister went into the hospital to get treatment for asthma and never got out. I think that we’re going back to the timeframe that we’re talking about here where the organization was founded where information started to be provided.

                            But there are professionals as well, aren’t there, Tonya, that don’t know how to handle situations. That don’t know even for example, whether or not their doctor’s office is okay for someone that has asthma to even be in, something like that for example.

Tonya:                  Yes, and it breaks my heart to hear stories like your sister. Unfortunately, we hear it far too often at the network and yet the truth is that all healthcare professionals are not necessarily well-versed in the latest, greatest treatment and technologies for asthma and allergies. It is a buyer-beware world out there.

We as patients have to be better educated and informed about even choosing the right clinician, choosing the right healthcare professional and being a partner in that shared decision-making rather than the traditional way of, “The doctor said it, now I’m going to do it.”

                            We need to come alongside our healthcare professional and really work collaboratively with a patient-centered care team approach in order to determine what the optimal goals are for each individual. Then work for removing the barriers to achieving that goal.

Dr. Pat:                Part of what you and I are going to be talking about in the shows that we’re going to do is what can parents be more aware of. We’re talking about a number of different things, clearly, right – where I talked about my sister in the hospital. Sometimes parents don’t know the signs, don’t know the early symptoms. We think, “Oh, he is just coughing over that peanut butter but that’s no big thing.” Isn’t there multi-levels of awareness that have to happen around this?

Tonya:                  Absolutely. I think that definitely it is about a journey. It’s about taking that initial when perhaps you’re first diagnosed and beginning to learn about the condition. Ten years down the road when you’ve been living with that condition for that length of time, or 20, or 30 years down the road certainly you have a different level of understanding, you have a different level of respect and engagement around the condition.

                            Again, then you also have the opportunity to volunteer and help others, or to donate to an organization like Allergy and Asthma Network and help us to do the work of raising that awareness and sharing those key messages across the world.

Dr. Pat:                Well, this is the beginning of getting the word out to our listeners and knowing that there is a solution. Because that’s really what you all are providing, you’re providing solutions. This is what’s so absolutely exciting and amazing now, is not just to have conversations about what the problem is but conversations on how people can come together in the solutions. Thank you for today. I have one last question; what’s your personal message? What would you like to leave us with today?

Tonya:                  I think that my personal message would definitely be life is a journey. It’s not about a destination, it’s about a journey. Coming alongside like-minded people for the purpose of a passion to have the best life they could possibly have. Again, not being defined by a chronic condition like asthma or allergies but understanding that that’s part of who you are and the journey that you are to lead, and doing that with optimal outcome.

Dr. Pat:                Wow, thank you so very much for today. I want to thank everybody for tuning us in and turning us on. We’re going to take a short break and when we come back more with “The Dr. Pat Show.” But for now, please make sure you check it out, you go to the website and not only will you find out ways for you to get more information but also ways to support, We’re going to take a short break everyone. Tonya, thank you for your time today and a fabulous conversation.
Tonya:               Thank you, Pat.