As the prevalence of children’s food allergies rises on a national scale Epworth has made a commitment to finding answers for the families of some of our smallest patients.

Thanks to an exciting new partnership with the Australian Food Allergy Foundation, we have proudly launched the Centre for Paediatric Allergies.

The Centre’s dedicated team is headed by Dr Joanne Smart, who is supported by a group of experienced and passionate nursing and senior medical staff dedicated to providing exceptional clinical care.  This Centre is 100% donor funded and has been made possible thanks to the generous supporters of the Epworth Medical Foundation and Australian Food Allergy Foundation.

Dr John Ainsworth is the inaugural Epworth paediatric allergy/immunology registrar and will co-ordinate a series of research projects in collaboration with Dr Smart and Dr Sam Mehr, a senior paediatric allergist and immunologist with extensive research expertise.

Their research will focus on a number of key projects including:

  • Examining the rate of accidental adrenaline auto-injector self-injection and developing a unified approach to its management
  • Identifying the rise in nut inhalation in infants following the shift to early introduction of nuts in infant feeding guidelines
  • Examining the accuracy of serum AraH2 (a component of the peanut protein) as a predictor of peanut allergy resolution
  • Determining whether children with fish allergy can safely eat cartilaginous fish and other bony fish
  • Establishing an allergy bio bank in collaboration with the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute to assist in the development of new allergy tests to better diagnose allergy and tolerance
  • Determining the rates of jack jumper allergy in Victoria and ensuring all Victorian children have access to newly available immunotherapy.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, about one in 10 infants, one in 20 children up to five years of age, and two in 100 adults have food allergies in Australia.

This is a significant issue and one that both Epworth and the Australian Food Allergy Foundation are committed to supporting.

“This partnership will create change and improve outcomes for children with food allergies” said Patricia Ilhan, Founder Australian Food Allergy Foundation.

“As the mother of a child with a food allergy I know first-hand the importance of this research” said Patricia.

“It is a privilege to have this opportunity to partner with Epworth and create an environment where patients and their families can know that they will receive the best possible care whilst contributing to future treatment discoveries.”

Download the Centre for Paediatric Allergies brochure to find out more

If you would like to make a donation towards the Centre for Paediatric Allergies please call us on 9426 6132.

Photo:  Dr John Ainsworth, Patricia Ilhan, Founder Australian Food Allergy Foundation, Dr Sam Mehr and Scott Bulger Executive Director Epworth Medical Foundation.