Mission Moment July 2015
(July 23, 2015)
Summer has heated up and so has our passion for healthy air and healthy lungs! Speaking of heat, here are some tips on beating the heat with asthma. Let's look at some other highlights from the past month:
Medical research is a cornerstone of our mission and we are proud to announce our Research Awards and Grants for this year. The American Lung Association Awards and Grants Program provides investigators with the funds they need to initiate and grow their lung disease careers. Currently the Lung Association is funding a total of 69 research projects at 47 institutions throughout 28 states. Newly funded research includes, but is not limited to, projects aimed at:
- Mapping the route to personalized medicine by investigating different approaches to lung cancer treatment resistance
- Advancing our understanding of the mechanisms of lung cancer development using novel and innovative models and technologies
- Examining the role of genetic predisposition in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Improving lung injury outcomes and treatment options for chronic lung illnesses
- Assessing adherence and risk behaviors for optimal disease management and treatment outcomes
- Researching the long-term effects of indoor air pollution, including indoor pollution that may be caused by electronic cigarettes (commonly known as e-cigarettes).
Last month we conducted LUNG FORCE Patient Panels in Boston and Ft. Lauderdale. We held five panel sessions featuring lung cancer patients and caregivers. The Panels provided a unique opportunity for patients and caregivers to share their experiences and thoughts with the Lung Association, in a supportive setting of their peers. The information and experiences we learned from these events, as well as the panels we held in early spring, and an online survey conducted with patients and caregivers this spring, will help inform our future lung cancer messaging and programming to patients, caregivers and also healthcare providers.
On June 23, key Lung Association leaders and experts participated in the first White House summit on climate change and health. They shared their experience with health impacts already seen across the U.S. as a result of climate change and called attention to the need for a strong response. The Summit featured video remarks from President Barack Obama and presentations by the U.S. Surgeon General, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator and others.
Sumita Khatri, M.D., M.S., Co-Director of the Asthma Center at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and a Lung Association national Board of Directors member, spoke as a panelist. Joining her were Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association, and Dr. Tyra Bryant-Stephens, M.D., Founder and Director of the Community Asthma Prevention Program at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. They discussed what must be done to protect those especially vulnerable, like children and older adults, and prevent health-related impacts of climate change. You can watch the video of the whole conversation here. The American Lung Association also joined other organizations in issuing a declaration to reiterate their longstanding commitment to addressing climate change as a public health issue.
We also hosted events with health partner organizations in Maine, Michigan and Ohio to view the Summit webcast and discuss ways to address the health impacts of climate change. We were honored to host Dr. Richard Spinrad, the Chief Scientist from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), at our event in Ohio, which was featured on the White House website.
This past June, the American Lung Association and Pfizer announced the launch of Quitter's Circle, an online community and mobile app designed to help smokers face common obstacles associated with quitting through educational, social and financial support. For more information, visit QuittersCircle.com and download the mobile app available on Android and Apple smartphones.
PATIENT ACTION NETWORK
The American Lung Association has joined with the Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation in an alliance to provide more support for people living with asthma, non-small cell lung cancer and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The alliance will give patients access to the PAN Foundation's lung disease-related financial assistance programs and our own patient education tools to ensure patients have access to the full range of resources they need to best manage those three lung conditions, which altogether affect millions of Americans each year.
Through this new partnership, patients will have access to the registered nurses, respiratory therapists and counselors who work at the Lung HelpLine (1-800-LUNGUSA), offering support and health education services, physician searches, help with understanding treatment options for lung cancer, connections to Better Breathers Clubs (support groups for people living with lung disease), and education resources such as Asthma Basics. Learn more.
The school year is approaching, and for children with asthma and their parents, going back to school with asthma can be a challenge. Visit us online and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for helpful tips to help make returning to school be a healthy and happy experience for students with asthma.
In late July or Early August, President Obama and the U.S. EPA are expected to announce the final Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon pollution from power plants and protect public health from the impacts of climate change. Send President Obama a message now to call for the strongest possible plan to protect our health.
Everything we do is made possible because of our great supporters, like you! The lifesaving work of the American Lung Association is driven by an exceptional team of volunteers and staff across the country. We recently recognized their excellence with our annual Volunteer and Staff Awards. Maybe one of them is from somewhere near you!
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