Advocacy & Awareness for Immune Disorders Association (AAIDA)


Living Well With Lupus: A Holistic Approach

January 25th, 2022 7:00-8:00 ET

AAIDA will host Tanya Freirich, MS, RD, CDN, CDCES to kick off our webinar series for 2022! 

Tanya will discuss the following:

  • Quick overview of Lupus
  • Basic nutrition and healthy eating for patients
  • Review of diets focused on autoimmunity and up-to-date information 
  • Controlling Lupus flares with nutritional and lifestyle changes

Tanya Freirich is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist based near Charlotte, N.C.  She is the owner of a virtual private practice (The Lupus Dietitian) that primarily serves people with Lupus but also helps others living with immune conditions to balance their diet and healthy eating habits.

Tanya Freirich completed her Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. Following graduation, she worked at New York Presbyterian Hospital in clinical nutrition before moving to outpatient nutrition counseling. With more than a decade of experience in nutrition, Tanya Freirich is well-versed in nutrition interventions for many diseases and conditions.  She is passionate about educating and collaborating with clients to find their personal path to health.  For clients with Lupus, she helps them regain control of their chronic illness, from a nutritional standpoint, and make dietary and lifestyle changes. This is helpful to reduce and eliminating flares, symptoms and side effects.  In addition to 1:1 nutrition counseling, Tanya enjoys speaking to Lupus support groups and will be starting group wellness programs in the coming months.  

Following her presentation, Tanya will conduct a live 15 minute Q&A session with attendees.

Understanding IVIG

November 3, 2021

NEOMEDS’s Student Association of Speciality Pharmacy (SASP) & AAIDA have partnered to bring you this special webinar that is geared towards the speciality pharmacy student. Guest speaker, Michael Rigas, PharmD, will discuss major topics around intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and the conditions it’s used to treat to help students gain better understanding of its use and pharmacological properties. Following his presentation, Dr. Rigas will conduct a live Q&A session with attendees.

Hereditary Angioedema: Triumphs of Medical Progress

July 14th, 2021

AAIDA hosted Doug Johnston, DO, FACAAI, FAAAAI, of Charlotte N.C,  for our 9th educational webinar during 2021.

Dr. Johnston will discuss the following during his presentation:

  • Understanding the mechanism of swelling in Hereditary Angioedema (HAE)
  • Review the burden of illness in patients with HAE 
  • Discuss current treatment options 

Douglas T. Johnston is an allergist/clinical immunologist at Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center in Charlotte, N.C and an Assistant Professor at Edward Via School of Osteopathic Medicine in Spartanburg, S.C. Dr. Johnston received his medical degree from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine in Old Westbury, N.Y and  completed his residency in internal medicine at NYU Long Island Hospital (formerly Winthrop University Hospital) in Mineola, N.Y. Dr. Johnston then completed a fellowship in allergy/immunology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Dr. Johnston has served as chair of the Allergic Skin Disease Committee and is the current chair of the Urticaria/Angioedema subcommittee of the AAAAI. He has served as a principal investigator for many HAE therapeutics used today and an author of over 50 publications on angioedema. He has been activity involved with the education of children with HAE in collaboration with the HAEA and continues to learn from his patients each day.

Following his presentation, Dr. Johnston will conduct a live 15 minute Q&A session with attendees

Chronic Illness 101: A Young Adult Patient Perspective

June 23rd, 2021

AAIDA hosted patient advocate and University of South Carolina (USC) junior, Jessica Goddard, for our 8th patient educational webinar for 2021.

Jessica will discuss the following during her presentation:

  • Path to diagnosis
  • Access to care
  • Positives experiences she has gained as a result of her journey
  • Living as a college student with a Rare Disease during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Jessica Goddard is a student at the University of South Carolina (USC) Honors College pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health and a minor in Business Administration. She is a member of and holds leadership in Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Professional Health Honor Society and Sigma Omega Upsilon International Business Fraternity on campus at USC. She is also highly involved with the Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF) as a volunteer, advocate, and lobbyist and serves on the coalition to assemble a NORD Rare Disease Advisory Council in South Carolina. In January 2020, she was published by The State newspaper for her op-ed titled “South Carolina Universities and Colleges Must Do More to Get Students Vaccinated”. Jessica’s ultimate goal as a rare disease advocate is to bring hope and positivity to those going through their rare disease journeys.

Following her presentation, Jessica will conduct a live 15 minute Q&A session with attendees.

Sjogren’s Syndrome: It’s Not Just Dry Eyes and Dry Mouth

May 21st, 2021

AAIDA hosted rheumatologist, Delfin Santos, MD, FACR, of Rochester Hills, MI for our 7th educational webinar during 2021.

Dr. Santos will discuss the following during his presentation:

  • Describe commonly associated conditions
  • Identify laboratory tests and findings
  • List treatment strategies including drug therapy and lifestyle

Dr. Del Santos, has been in private practice for 29 years and currently serves as Director of AARA Rochester Rheumatology Center in Rochester Hills, MI. Dr. Santos earned his medical degree from UCMM in Santiago, Dominican Republic and completed his Internal Medicine Residency Program at West Suburban Hospital Medical Center in Oak Park, IL. Dr. Santos completed his Fellowship in Rheumatology at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago, IL and served as Chief of the Department of Medicine and as Vice Chief of Staff at Ascension Hospital Medical Center in Rochester Hills MI.  Dr. Santos has also been on the Advisory Board for the American Behcet’s Disease Association for the last 20 years and is repeatedly named TOP DOC in rheumatology in HOUR Magazine Detroit.

Following his presentation, Dr. Santos will conduct a live 15 minute Q&A session with attendees