AWAKEtogether Annual Summit 2020

By Eugena Brooks, Patient Advocate

The American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA) recently hosted the annual2020 AWAKEtogether Summit. Originally, it was planned to be held in Florida with online support for those that would not be able to attend. However, due to COVID-19 and the conditions surrounding it, the summit was live online and was of global attendance.

Consequences of COVID-19 and Confinement Inside Our Community.

After the welcome, the summit began with Confinement: Impact on Sleep, Sleep Apnea and Sleep Quality. A discussion covered the effects of anxiety, depression and other related issues associated with sheltering in place due to the pandemic. Tools we have to ease the pressure and how to negotiate wellness in the new normal were discussed. Featuring: Professor Maurice Ohayon, MD Stanford University, Michael V. Vitiello, PhD, Psychiatry, University of Washington and Adam Amdur, ASAA Chief Patient Officer.

The Future of Sleep Apnea Research & Advocacy in the COVID-19 Era: Discussions about the Implications on the future of sleep apnea research & advocacy. Changes in practice and development in the quest to provide effective care until a viable vaccine is found by the medical community. Featuring:Sairam Parthasarathy, MD University of Arizona and AWAKE Peer Buddies Program and Gilles Frydman, ASAA Chief Strategy Officer.

Understanding the Impact of Excessive Daytime Sleepiness: A discussion every sleep apnea patient can relate to and learn from.With Danielle Hyman PhD Jazz Pharmaceuticals

Front Line/ Essential Workers: Dealing with a Sleep Apnea Patient: Revelations shared by front line essential workers imparting what it is like for them to keep the country going for all of us during the pandemic. Moderator: Richard Bren, Transportation Expert ASAA Board Member; Austin Bren RN and Emergency Medical Technician; Kevin Bradley RN, Transplant Coordinator and AWAKE Educator; Azizi Seixas PhD, New York University School of Medicine; Elana Oberstein MD, University of Miami, and Joe Borelli MD, ASAA Board Member.

The Role of Orexin in Sleep and Wakefulness: Understanding the science of how it works and what that means for us. Featuring: Todd Swick, MD Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

An overview session about the summit discussions was held at the end of the day. Closing Thoughts from ASAA Community Leaders: Moderator: Theresa Shumard, ASAA Board Member and AWAKE Community Leader, Michael Grandner, PhD, University of Arizona, Eugena Brooks, ASAA Patient Advocate, San Juanita Sanchez, ASAA Board Member, Will Headapohl, ASAA Board Emeritus.

Much ground was covered, great information shared, and even better questions raised to be considered. For those that may have missed the Summit, the opportunity exists to catch its recording at’s YouTube page.

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