Food Allergy Preparedness at School: Code Ana Has a Plan


If you’re a food allergy parent, you’re likely familiar with the feeling of a perpetual lump in your throat leading up to the first weeks of school. Worry sets in: Are all teachers aware of my child’s allergies? Are they trained to recognize allergic reaction symptoms? Do they know how to use epinephrine?! And so on… 

Which is why we were so thrilled to discover Code Ana: an organization that can help prepare your child’s school support team for an allergic reaction or medical emergency. 

We recently had a chance to sit down with Dr. Alice Hoyt, the Founder of Code Ana, to learn more. 

01. We’d love to know more about Code Ana—when did it start, and what purpose does the organization serve?

I launched Code Ana in 2016 when a local school reached out for help in creating a school-wide anaphylaxis response plan. Soon after, I learned many schools do not have medical emergency response teams or plans in place. I’m a board-certified internist, pediatrician, and allergist, and knew I was equipped to help schools better prepare for medical emergencies. 

Code Ana programming ranges from emergency-specific training to comprehensive school-wide medical emergency response planning.

02. Does Code Ana serve schools primarily, or other populations as well?

Code Ana’s mission is to equip schools for medical emergencies. We also offer other learning opportunities and resources for medical providers or individuals who want to learn about recognizing and responding to specific types of medical emergencies.

03. What specific training programs and/or certifications does Code Ana offer?

Code Ana’s Med-E Ready Program prepares early learning centers and K-12 schools for medical emergencies. We help schools develop, implement, and maintain a medical emergency response team and practiced plan so any medical emergency will be quickly recognized and responded to, while optimizing safety and reducing chaos. 

Schools are required to meet five milestones to become a Med-E Ready School, and the program only requires a few hours of commitment for school staff. 

In addition to the Med-E Ready Program, Code Ana offers disease and emergency-specific courses, such as:

  • Code Ana’s Online Epinephrine Training Course

  • Code Ana’s Online Epinephrine Training Course, Parent’s Edition

  • The Allison Rose Foundation Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Learning Experience

  • The School Nurse’s Quick-Start Guide to School Epinephrine Auto-Injector Training Workshops

04. Code Ana is a co-sponsor of The LEARN Early Project. We’d love details!

We are! I’m currently mentoring Dr. Kelsey Kaman, who was awarded the ACAAI Allergist’s Foundation Award for The LEARN Early Project. This project will provide food allergy and anaphylaxis education to Head Start Centers in Connecticut. In addition to Code Ana, Dr. Kaman and I have brought on board the Allison Rose Foundation and the Food Equality Initiative to enhance this program.

05. Dr. Hoyt, we learned that you were the inaugural recipient of the AAAAI Educator Development Award in 2020. Can you tell us more about this honor?

The AAAAI Educator Development Award was established to support leaders in allergy education. I was selected as the recipient of the inaugural award in 2020 for my Training the Trainer project, which teaches allergy fellows in training and allergy-focused nurses how to teach school personnel to recognize and respond to anaphylaxis. This training is set to go live in 2022!

Thank you, Dr. Hoyt! We’re grateful for your time and efforts to better prepare our schools and communities for medical emergencies—including anaphylaxis. 

Dr. Alice Hoyt is a board-certified allergist & immunologist, internist, and pediatrician. She developed the Code Ana Program in 2016 when a local school reached out for help in creating a school-wide anaphylaxis response plan. Soon thereafter, the Code Ana Program was adopted by multiple local schools. The program continues to grow, so to support the Code Ana Program and like efforts, she recruited a motivated group of allergy leaders to build The Teal Schoolhouse. Her vision is for all schools to have Code Ana, optimizing safety for all students. Formerly with Vanderbilt University and Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Hoyt has launched the Hoyt Institutes of Allergy in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

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