A passion for all things allergy

March 8, 2024 BY

Sigrid established her own practice and is pioneering oral immunotherapy in regional Victoria.

Sigrid is a Nurse Practitioner with started career at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.

It was by chance that she came across the area of allergy when she wanted to try out a research nurse role at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI).

Soon after Sigrid started, she was immediately in love.

“Working in allergy research is one of the most rewarding jobs. Helping families manage their allergies and improve their quality of live makes it easy to go to work each day,” she said.

Sigrid continued to evolve as a researcher within the allergy field helping to develop protocols and run clinical trials for oral immunotherapy at MCRI.

Through this work she was able to see how there was a lot of frustration within the allergy community regarding access to allergy care.

This was when Sigrid decided to further her education and complete her Master of Advanced Nursing Practice (Nurse Practitioner) at Melbourne University.

Once endorsed, Sigrid consolidated her learning by helping to establish the allergy clinic at Monash Children’s Hospital before moving to Ballarat to set up her own private practice, Rural Allergy Group.

Rural Allergy Group now offers a wide range of services for both adults and children including diagnosis and management of food allergies, asthma, eczema, and hay fever.

Sigrid recently began offering oral immunotherapy here in Ballarat and is one of only a few clinics offering this service in Australia.

“Oral immunotherapy offers a different option other than just avoiding to families of children with food allergies,” she said.

Oral immunotherapy is when children are offered very small doses of the food they are allergic to and increase it slowly over time.

This is done under guidance from Sigrid who has more than eight years’ experience in the oral immunotherapy space.

By the end of the treatment children should be able to eat the food freely in their diet after treatment.

“I wanted to offer the treatment because I could see how well it worked in clinical trials,” she said.

“Oral immunotherapy has been offered in the US for quite some time and found it a bit ridiculous that families had to pay over $50,000 to go to the US to receive treatment we could offer more locally.”

The demand for oral immunotherapy has not surprised Sigrid with one family travelling from Queensland to receive treatment and other enquiries from patients in New Zealand.

Sigrid is also passionate about access to allergy care and is a part of the National Allergy Council Shared Care project whose main aim is to do exactly that.

Rural Allergy Group has an outreach program where Sigrid Attends a clinic in Warrnambool once a month.

Sigrid also offers consults for patients via telehealth if getting to either of the clinics is difficult.

In her spare time, Sigrid volunteers on the Climbing QT’s board and enjoys taking her dogs to lake Burrumbeet for a swim.

If you would like to find out more information about the services Sigrid offers, please visit ruralallergygroup.com.au.