Excellent food allergy care involves both medical management and attention to the psychosocial stressors impacting daily life.
At the University of Michigan food allergy clinic, licensed clinical social worker Kim Menzel, LMSW, ACSW, is an integral member of the care team, meeting with patients and families to manage anxiety, identify gaps in food allergy knowledge, and develop coping strategies.
As one of a handful of food allergy clinics nationwide to include a behavioral specialist on its staff, the U-M clinic is at the forefront of this holistic approach to the wellbeing of patients – and their families – as they manage the myriad effects of food allergy. Addressing this crucial aspect of patient care is made possible by a gift from the Mary H. Weiser Food Allergy Center, a U-M biomedical research hub that partners closely with the clinic.
In recognition of Food Allergy Awareness Week 2020, the Mary H. Weiser Food Allergy Center presented a patient-focused webinar, “Conversations about living and coping with food allergy: the day-to-day realities.”
Ms. Menzel discussed the social and emotional aspects of living with food allergy, including strategies for reducing stress and improving quality of life for patients and families. She was joined by moderator Malika Gupta,MD, and Georgiana Sanders, MD, MS, both U-M physician-researchers in the division of allergy and clinical immunology at Michigan Medicine.
Audience members submitted questions live throughout the event, which ended with a guided breathing exercise to relieve anxiety.
A schedule of future webinars will be posted soon.