Living with food allergies is a special journey, unique to each family.
Each family needs its own personalized, evidence-based approach to the management of food allergies.
So we've reinvented the food allergy care model to meet your family's needs. Here's how our two-step process provides our families the best possible food allergy care.
Step 1: Comprehensive Consultation
Food allergies are complex. For your care team to truly understand your story, it requires time. That is why the providers at the Hoyt Institute of Food Allergy provide only comprehensive consultations that often last multiple hours over two appointments. This allows you time to tell your child's story in a comfortable, non-rushed environment, and it allows our team to really hear what you are saying.
Step 2: Patient Pathway Enrollment
After completing your Comprehensive Consultation, you will have options for your child's treatment plan. Because the Institute serves food allergy families in multiple capacities ranging from medical care to mental health to care navigation with other providers and schools, we limit our long-term, post-consultation care management to families seeking the engaged care model we uniquely provide.
Meet your food allergy provider team.
Meet Dr. Hoyt
Alice Hoyt, M.D., F.A.A.A.A.I.
Dr. Hoyt is the allergist who leads the Institute. She has been practicing academic, evidence-based medicine for over a decade. Prior to medical school, she earned a degree in nutrition, so she is well versed in navigating the complexities of food allergies. She then completed training and earned board-certifications in internal medicine, pediatrics, and allergy & immunology.
During her fellowship at the University of Virginia, she launched a now national allergy-focused non-profit organization. At Vanderbilt University, she continued her food allergy-focused efforts before transitioning to Cleveland Clinic, where she helped launch its Food Allergy Center of Excellence. Check out Dr. Hoyt's publications here on PubMed.
After working at such world-renown institutions, Dr. Hoyt is excited to share her knowledge of food allergy with families in her home state. In addition to leading the Institute, Dr. Hoyt hosts the top-ranked food allergy podcast Food Allergy and Your Kiddo and chairs the nationally recognized non-profit organization Code Ana.
Pamela Lestage, M.B.A.
Pam is the Institute's Comprehensive Care Navigator. She assists our patients in navigating all-things food allergy. Pam obtained her Masters in Business Administration from the prestigious Ourso College of Business then shared her talents working for a non-profit organization as the development manager. After starting a family, she focused her attention at home and now spends her time volunteering at her children’s schools. Since her daughter was diagnosed with peanut allergy as a young toddler, Pam has made it her mission to learn all there is to know about food allergies in order to help promote awareness and education. Pam brings that knowledge and her compassionate heart into each encounter with our patients.
Melissa Piazza Richard, M.S.W, L.C.S.W.
Melissa is the clinical psychotherapist who helps our families manage the psychologic challenges that accompany food allergy. In her 20+ years of experience, she has worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings helping her patients with challenges ranging from anxiety to eating disorders to traumas and beyond.
Through her skills in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Imagery Rehearsal Therapy (IRT), Melissa has guided thousands of patients and families on their roads to wellness. Melissa is skilled in working with patients through the challenges of trauma reprocessing, anger management, and the anxieties that come with food allergy. She especially enjoys collaborating with families in child, adolescent, adult, couples, family, and group therapies.
Alexis Menasco, M.S.H.C.M., B.S.
Alexis, currently in medical school, is our Physician-in-Training and former Comprehensive Care Navigator. She has been a team member at the Institute since the Institute was established. She is a New Orleans native and fierce advocate for families, especially children, with food allergies. Alexis has robust experience in healthcare having volunteered with medical missions and multiple health-related outreach initiatives. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences with a minor in Sociology from Louisiana State University, then earned her Master in Healthcare Management from the University of New Orleans. She is currently working toward her MD.