The Belay Training & Preparedness Program is Here!

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What an exciting time for Belay. Two years ago we set out to elevate the level of safety for food-allergic children in schools and daycares.  Our goal was to create the gold standard for food allergy training. We underwent the grueling two-year process of becoming accredited by the renowned International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). We then partnered with the Elijah-Alavi Foundation who is leading the way in legislative change, bringing Elijah’s law first to New York and soon to be passed again in both Illinois and Pennsylvania. We made it our joint mission to bring this program to every educational setting – regardless of socioeconomic means. 

The Belay program not only offers the gold standard in food allergy training, our Preparedness Program supports and ensures that daycare and primary school staff are equipped with proper food allergy management plans, safety, and emergency preparedness plans, as well as posters, documentation, and technology that improves the safety for food-allergic children. 

Today, we are thrilled to announce that we are not only launching our training program, we are bringing Epinephrine Base-stations to schools and daycares. The time has come for all of us to stop storing epinephrine auto-injectors (e.g. Epipen, AuviQ) in hidden cabinets to which only one person holds the key. Not unlike fire extinguishers and AEDs, epinephrine stations need to be visible and available to all those who may need it in an emergency.

We are proud to be launching our training program with Head Start Peace, Inc in Syracuse, NY this summer. It is quite the honour for Belay and the Elijah-Alavi Foundation to be associated with the Head Start organization.

A coalition of sorts has also begun to emerge between Northwestern University (led by the inimitable Dr. Ruchi Gupta), Belay, HeadStart, and the Elijah-Alavi Foundation to study food allergies within the Medicaid population, which Dr. Ruchi hypothesizes, is severely under-represented and under-diagnosed. 

For those in the state of New York, Belay’s training program is now officially approved by the Office of Child and Family Services. You can find us listed here. And for the icing on the cake, we have been approved in New York for the  Educational Incentive Program (EIP), a scholarship program created to help child care centers pay for training and educational activities. 

And we are just getting started. 

Dr. Abby Herzig

Dr. Abby Herzig developed her career around the drive to understand and help children in need. After receiving her doctorate degree in clinical psychology, she continued to study child development and parent-child mental health at NYU Medical Center and Columbia University. An extension of her work with children, Abby is actively involved with UNICEF, serving on the New York Steering committee for UNICEF’s NextGen. She has traveled to South East Asia and Africa visiting hospitals, schools, and orphanages, advising UNICEF on child development and proper interventions for children and families at risk. As a result of her global work with children, Abby was asked to join the Innovators Program at the world-renowned Sick Children’s Hospital in Toronto. Driven by her passion to help children, and a parent of a child with life-threatening food allergies, Abby was inspired to create Belay and find solutions for the unmet needs of children and families affected by the food-allergy epidemic.
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