News and Publications

2021 Fall Board of Directors Meeting + Updates


ABAI held its fall Board of Directors meeting on October 22nd and 23rd in Fort Lauderdale, FL. This was the first meeting held in person since the start of the pandemic.

The Board, chaired by Dr. Luz Fonacier, navigated a very robust agenda making important decisions that will guide the organization and further its mission of supporting diplomates and the public. The meeting concluded with a 50th anniversary celebration dinner, bringing current and former Directors together to celebrate the past and future.

Highlights and achievements included:

• Highly deserved recognition of the 2021 outgoing Directors who have provided tremendous service and leadership throughout their tenure:

o Leonard Bacharier, MD
o Luz Fonacier, MD
o Michael Swarzman, MBA

• Welcome and orientation for the 2022 incoming Directors:

o Theresa Bingemann, MD (University of Rochester)
o Harold Hoffman, MD (University of California San Diego)
o Emily Jakacki, MScEd (Advocate Aurora Health)

• Approval of the 2022 Nominating Slate:

o Mitchell Lester, MD as Vice-Chair Elect (Chair 2024)
o Chairs for the Certification and MOC Exams, Nominating Committee, Finance and Audit Committee

• Election of new Directors for the 2023 – 2028 term

• Review and confirmation of support for the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) new standards addressing Vision Commission recommendations for the transformation of continuing certification, and noting that ABAI has already modified its program to address most of these recommendations

• Actions advancing the Board’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion:

o Established a Board Diversity Task Force
o Implicit bias and item bias training conducted for all Directors and staff during the meeting
o Affirmed plan to obtain self-reported ethnicity and gender data to assist with minimization of bias
o Began deliberations on AAAAI request to require diversity & disparity of care CAP content for all diplomates
o Partner with specialty societies (AAAAI and ACAAI) for future programs to address diversity for ABAI diplomates and candidates.

• Discussion of opportunities for partnering with our sponsoring specialty societies on allergy-immunology workforce and practice assessments and improved data sharing between organizations

• Review of Part IV quality improvement credits awarded over the last 4 years and the immense success of the new alternative pathway, and recognition for ABAI diplomates already participating in local practice and personal professional activities

• Review and discussion of implementation for the ABAI statement combating COVID-19 disease and vaccine misinformation dissemination

• Report from Dr. Ted Freeman, Chair of the newly expanded external Test Writing Committee (TWC)

• Report from ABAI Ambassadors Program Chair, Dr. Jeffrey Stokes, announcing the launch of this new program designed to provide access to ABAI organizational knowledge experts for communities and stakeholders nationwide

• Reports from our liaisons to the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP), Dr. Mary Beth Fasano, and to the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), Dr. John Oppenheimer, highlighting initiatives of our sponsoring boards

• Approval of the 2022 budget

• Review of strategic plan implementation and accountability status

I am humbled by the dedication of our volunteer Directors, Liaisons, Committee members and our professional staff who have broken down every barrier the pandemic and changes in the House of Medicine has thrown our way. They have consistently demonstrated their responsiveness to diplomate concerns and the needs of the public. They are leaders who represent the very best of professional self-regulation. Join me in congratulating them for their hard work, and I welcome you to become a part of ABAI in future years as a Director or member of our Test Writing Committee (TWC) and Ambassador Program.


Michael R. Nelson, MD, PhD
President, ABAI

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