Kansas City Allergy & Asthma Associates, P.A.

Story by Jeanie Edgmon

Helping Patients Breathe, Live, and Thrive 

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s 2023 Allergy Capitals Report ranks Kansas City among the country’s most difficult places to live with allergies. It ranked number 21 of the top 100, designating it a “Worse-than-average” place to live for pollen allergy sufferers. The report notes the area has a worse-than-average tree and grass pollen and higher-than-average allergy medicine use.

Kansas City Allergy & Asthma Associates, P.A. was created to do one thing: bring the highest level of care, clinical expertise, and improved quality of life to as many people as possible living with allergies, asthma, and other immunologic diseases. After 40 years of caring for thousands of patients, their focus remains unchanged.

What began as a practice with one location in 1979, has grown to become the area’s largest and most trusted allergy and asthma practice comprising three of the best allergists and immunologists in the country with locations in Overland Park, Olathe, and Lee’s Summit.

As leaders in their field, James B. Sterner, M.D., FACAAI, Derrick R. Ward, M.D., FACAAI, and William J. Lavery, M.D., PhD, FACAAI are board-certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology and are affiliated with Children’s Mercy Hospital, Menorah Medical Center, Olathe Medical Center, and Shawnee Mission Medical Center.

“What differentiates KCAA from other allergy and asthma practitioners is the total commitment of every team member,” explained Derrick Ward, M.D. “The clinic’s nursing team, allergy injection clinic, business office and front desk staff all play essential roles in the harmonious collaboration of these departments, all working towards the common goal of patient wellbeing.”

Patient care at KCAA is enhanced by Nurse Practitioners, Jessica Foley and Lauryn McLaughlin, who receive extensive training to care for patients suffering from allergies and asthma. Each provider in the practice strives to help patients of all ages breathe, live, and ultimately thrive by working together to solve complex problems brought on by asthma and allergies. This shared knowledge enables the practice to bring world-class medicine and leading-edge allergy and asthma treatment to patients throughout the Kansas City area and surrounding communities.

Compassionate Care

Allergies and asthma are more than minor or occasional inconveniences. For many, they are debilitating and life-threatening conditions that impact every aspect of their lives. KCAA treats all allergies and asthma conditions and has proven to be one of the area’s leading allergy and asthma treatment centers.

Today, there are about 20 million people in the U.S. with food allergies, with their prevalence increasing. Concerningly, each year in the U.S. 200,000 people require emergency medical care for allergic reactions to food.

Of additional concern is the prevalence of environmental allergies. In 2021, approximately 81 million people in the U.S. were diagnosed with seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever). This equals around 26% (67 million) of adults and 19% (14 million) of children.

“We see many people with eczema, asthma, and allergies at the same time,” commented Dr. Sterner. “They’re all allergic conditions. It’s rare that you see asthma that doesn’t have an allergy driving it. You can give somebody an inhaled steroid for their asthma, but if you don’t fix the allergies that are underlying all that inflammation, you’re just putting band-aids on problems. Whereas at KCAA we fix the allergies, and all those other conditions get better, if not resolve completely.”

The practice tests and treats nearly every allergic and immunologic condition as part of their patient evaluation process. The practice works tirelessly to remain at the forefront of clinical excellence and technological advancements because they are committed to helping its patients find lasting relief.

As part of its commitment to patient-focused care, KCAA offers exceptional convenience for patients, especially those who receive ongoing immunotherapy, or allergy shots. Not only does it have 3 locations throughout the region, it offers a variety of hours for allergy injections Monday through Saturday on a walk-in basis. This level of accessibility sets KCAA apart and attracts patients from outside the greater Kansas City area.

Kansas City’s Family-Friendly Practice

KCAA is a full-service and family-friendly center for allergy, asthma, and immunology care. The team of specialists offers the full spectrum of care for all ages, from newborns to seniors. The offices are designed to reflect a high level of professionalism and technological and clinical expertise while being warm, comfortable, and inviting to all ages.

Very often, more than one member of a family suffers from allergies or asthma— and depending on their ages, find themselves having to go to different doctors and practices to accommodate the different ages. KCAA saw this as a huge barrier and sought to create a practice that accommodated people from infancy to adulthood, providing in-depth evaluations and treatment to provide comfort or cure. A Patient Satisfaction Survey (PSS) conducted for KCAA indicates 10% of households have 2 or more children being treated at the practice and about 20% of households have 2 people being treated (both adult and children).

The opportunity to build relationships with patients and help them live life more fully are two things driving Dr. Lavery and why he chose to specialize in asthma and allergy.

“I really loved the quality-of-life improvement that I could make. I really hadn’t thought about becoming an allergist, but then because of the impression I got treating asthma,  I enjoyed seeing how the kids got so much better. With some fairly easy treatments and with good patient and family education, their quality of life goes up significantly. That is extremely rewarding,” he shared.

The trust forged in the doctor-patient relationship is key to a patient’s willingness to participate in and benefit from the care provided. This is why KCAA believes so passionately in working with the patient, their primary care physicians, and patient families. According to the Patient Satisfaction Survey, over 75% of those patients surveyed have been with the practice for 10 or more years, 50% are from referring physicians, and 30% are from positive word-of-mouth referrals. Patient satisfaction scores further show that 9 out of 10 patients state they are “extremely/very” satisfied with KCAA, giving physicians and staff high scores across the board for everything from knowledge and professionalism to time spent and thoroughness of the exam.

The practice’s trusted reputation has also led to a positive relationship with referring physicians. “Referring providers, in general, would say they refer to KCAA because, in addition to our excellent staff members, from the billing office to the front desk to the nursing staff helping with patient care and giving allergy injections, that the physicians genuinely care about their patients and will provide the best possible medical care and advice,” Dr. Sterner added.

Kansas City Allergy & Asthma Associates is unwavering in its commitment to patients and remains one of the area’s preeminent practices for asthma and allergy care.


 For more information on KCAA,

please visit https://www.kcallergy.com/

or call 913-491-5501.

Their doctors are accepting new patients.