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The Mission of Allergy Advocates New York

Allergy Advocates New York is dedicated to helping in the prevention of anaphylaxis with training, legislation passage and implementation.

The mission of our association is to help inform, educate and raise awareness of the public at large and at-risk individuals to allergies and anaphylaxis.

  • Anaphylaxis is a potentially dangerous allergic reaction that might threaten a person’s life.  Anyone can become a victim of anaphylaxis after they have been exposed once before to any particular allergen.  Any subsequent exposure can be dangerous.
  • Our association will act as a web-based clearing-house for information on the dangers of untreated allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock.
  • We will act as an open public forum for new ideas and the latest innovations for treatment of these illnesses.
  • We will seek a leadership role in shaping the direction of public advocacy on related issues and initiatives in the fields of medicine, treatment and legislation.

Our vision

“Not another life lost to anaphylaxis -
not another life lost to ANY life-threatening allergies!”

From our Backyard to Yours

Based in Rochester, New York, Allergy Advocates New York, was founded as the Allergy Advocacy Association, a non-profit organization to help educate people at the local level about this growing public health concern.  We provide emergency allergy treatment community based training programs under Epi Near You New York as well as organize advocacy activities in Albany and assist in implementing programs resulting from supportive laws signed by the Governor.


ruthiejtMy name is Jon Terry and in 2010 I founded the Allergy Advocacy Association, before naming it Allergy Advocates New York to honor the memory of my sister Ruth T. Cornell. (Here we are all dressed up as kids.)

Like many people Ruthie didn’t even know she was allergic to honey bees.  In fact, she had been a beekeeper with hives in her yard for more than seven years without incident when she was stung while working in her garden in August 2009.  After feeling dizzy and fainting an ambulance was called and she was taken to the emergency room as a precaution. Given the extreme North Carolina heat and humidity doctors believed she had a significant case of dehydration.  As she had never had an attack of anaphylaxis before despite being stung no one thought the bee sting to be serious.

As is common with anaphylaxis it is not the first exposure that causes a life-threatening reaction but a subsequent encounter with the allergen.  This was Ruthie’s experience as well.  In her case, about a month after the first sting another honey bee managed to get into her bedroom early one morning and stung her. She stopped breathing almost immediately.  After being in a coma for a few days Ruthie died on September 23, 2009.

Like so many others who have died from anaphylaxis her life was cut short way too soon.  As members of her loving family, we have struggled to find meaning in her death as a way to honor the life she lived.  Yet we also want to remember she was so much more than the way she died.  Ruthie was a warm, generous person with many interests and talents including music (she played the traditional Irish fiddle, tin whistle, bodhran and piano), gardening, knitting, sewing and cooking.  She also taught piano and was involved in a music ministry for many years.

Ruth T. Cornell and Dr. David CornellIt was her family, however, that was her highest priority and she was a loving wife, mother and sister.  She is survived by her husband Dr. Dave Cornell (pictured here with Ruth), three children Susannah, Nathan and Tian and a grandson Alecksandr as well as two sisters-in-law, a nephew and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Our mission is to inform and educate and support the community to prevent future tragedies like Ruthie’s.

Board of Directors and Advisors

Board of Directors

Jon Terry and Toni Taylor

Board Members

Anitha Shrikhande
Dave Virgilio
Ellen Bahr
Craig Bahr
Desiree` Branson
David Purdy

Medical Advisors

Dr. Anitha Shrikhande, Allergist,
Dr. Desiree` Branson, DNP
Sandra Glantz, FNP, RNP
Dr. Jessica Stern, MD
Dr. Shahzad Mustafa, Allergist
Dr. Allison Ramsey, MD
Dr. Jeanne Lomas, MD
Dr. Katherine Tuttle, MD
Dr. Theresa Bingemann



Jon Terry

Executive Director

Toni Taylor


Melissa Mueller-Douglas
Sujatha Victor
Ron Painter

Business Manager

Janet Rabohn