Drs. Ruchi Gupta & Carla Davis | Fixing Barriers to Food Allergy Care

30 July 2020
By Allergic Living

In Episode 4 of Allergic Living’s series on racial disparities in food allergies, Dr. Ruchi Gupta of Northwestern University and Dr. Carla Davis of Baylor College of Medicine discuss the high rates of food allergy in the Black and Latinx communities. They explore the higher odds of multiple food allergies in these communities, but the lower chance of patients seeing an allergist or carrying epinephrine. 

Dr. Gupta explains findings from her groundbreaking prevalence studies, while Dr. Davis speaks of witnessing the difference education can make. In a major Houston school district, only 15 percent of food-allergic Black children had been carrying epinephrine. Dr. Davis says a program to train school nurses to educate Black families about epinephrine and how to access it, brought remarkable change. “We were able to increase the number of children who had available epinephrine to about 85 percent,” she says.

Dr. Ruchi Gupta is a professor of pediatrics and medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, and Director of Northwestern’s Center for Food Allergy & Asthma Research (CFAAR). She is also an attending physician at Chicago’s Lurie Children’s Hospital. Dr. Gupta is nationally recognized for her research in food allergy and asthma epidemiology, particularly for her work on the prevalence of child and adult food allergies. For more information, visit the CFAAR website.

Dr. Carla Davis is an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics, allergy and immunology section, at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. She is also Director of the Food Allergy Program at Texas Children’s Hospital, and has clinical trials underway in the area of food allergic treatments and diagnostic methods. As well, she heads a robust education program to ensure the safety of food-allergic children in Texas schools. Visit the website at Texas Children’s.

Host Jen Jobrack is a nationally known food allergy expert, who has worked for the allergy community in areas of public policy, legislation, education and awareness-raising. Her legislative work includes campaigns such as access to epinephrine in the schools. Jen is the founder of Food Allergy Pros.

Talking Food Allergy

All Talking Food Allergies Episodes

Related Resources
Food Allergy and Asthma: Burden on the Black Community
Gupta Team’s Study of Childhood Food Allergies in the U.S.
Gupta Team’s Study Finds Doubling of Adult Food Allergy