Welcome to the Food Allergy Immunotherapy (FAIT) Program
Transformative Care for Food Allergies
In 2017, Sainte-Justine Hospital in Montreal opened the first hospital-based oral immunotherapy (OIT) program in Canada, funded partly by donations and partly by the Quebec government. Dr. Edmond Chan immediately formed a volunteer parent committee (OITforBC) to fundraise for a similar program at BC Children's Hospital (BCCH), with the support of the BC Children's Hospital Foundation and the University of British Columbia (UBC). Between 2017 and 2020, OITforBC raised a significant amount of generous donations, resulting in the creation of the Food Allergy Immunotherapy (FAIT) program, dedicated to studying the implementation of food immunotherapy into clinical practice. In 2020, the fundraising component of the program was taken over by the FAIT team, with the help of parent volunteers.
The FAIT Program
The FAIT team has grown to include several allergists, a research manager, a program secretary, research nurses, and a research dietitian. In its short history, the FAIT program — in conjunction with national collaborators — has provided clear evidence of the safety and effectiveness of oral immunotherapy (OIT) in infants and preschoolers, and is undertaking similar work in the area of sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) for older children and adolescents. It has also attracted academic allergist trainees from Hong Kong, Denmark, and Australia, who are interested in learning about the success of the FAIT program in B.C.
The mission of the Food Allergy Immunotherapy (FAIT) Program is to study the implementation of safe and standardized food immunotherapy protocols in the real world, within the context of our publicly funded health-care system.
In British Columbia and beyond, the demand for food allergy treatment is increasing, and innovative solutions to expand access to treatment in a cost-effective way are needed, including delivering treatment to patients living in remote areas, and patients from all socioeconomic backgrounds. The goal of the FAIT program is to bring food allergy treatment to all families in the province who desire it, as well as share our protocols more broadly across Canada and internationally.
The FAIT program is working towards a future where patients no longer have to worry about their food allergy, which will ultimately lead to improvements in quality of life, and prevention of anxiety, bullying, and social isolation.
Imagine after a few years of treatment in the FAIT program, a child with a previous near-fatal reaction to peanut can now safely eat a peanut butter sandwich without fear.
Supporters of the Food Allergy Immunotherapy (FAIT) Program
Our generous donors:
OITforBC, BC Children's Hospital, BC Children's Hospital Foundation, BC Children's Hospital Research Institute, University of British Columbia, Pfizer (unrestricted educational grant)