Mission Moment March – 2016
(March 16, 2016)
As we say goodbye to winter, we're saying hello to scores of exciting developments in lung health. Here's a quick look at how your support has helped us make a difference for everyone who breathes.
Together, we did it! Lung cancer research funding goal exceeded: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) just released the latest information about the amount that it invests in lung cancer research. Funding for lung cancer research is estimated to grow to $362 million this year – up from $349 million in 2015 and $254 million in 2014. This dramatic increase spells new hope for lung cancer patients and their families and marks an inspiring win for the American Lung Association's LUNG FORCEinitiative, which has worked nonstop the past two years to help make this increase happen! Our new goal for federal government research investing is at least $450 million by 2020.
Lung Force Advocacy Day: Our first LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day in Washington DC, on March 16 brought together LUNG FORCE Heroes from all 50 states to meet with their senators and representatives to share their personal stories and ask for sustained and increased funding for the NIH so that there can be better treatments and early detection for lung cancer. These LUNG FORCE Heroes, all either living with lung cancer or representing a family member living with lung cancer, were strong voices for research for hope.
Lung Cancer Patient Advisory Group: We're pleased to announce the formation of a new Lung Cancer Patient Advisory Group. This group is made up of 16 lung cancer patients and caregivers from across the country. This group serves as an advisory committee to the development of Lung Association messaging, initiatives and materials, bringing an invaluable patient and caregiver perspective to our work.
Moonshot to Cure Cancer: On February 1, we met staff from Vice President Biden's office about the "moonshot" initiative aimed at curing cancer. Later that day, the President announced that he will request an additional $750 million in funding for cancer research in the FY2017 budget.
LUNG FORCE Hero: Jillian shares her voice about being only 20 years old when she lost her best friend, her mother, to lung cancer. Share your voice and hear from other LUNG FORCE Heroes. Want to do more? LUNG FORCE Expo and Walk season is here. Find an event to participate in near you.
2016 Momentum Research Award - Defeating Lung Cancer in Women: The American Lung Association and the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation have announced their first joint award that will fund $125,000 per year for two years to support an early career scientist to conduct research investigating the unique burden of lung cancer among women. This grant will fund innovative and transformational research with the potential for high clinical impact in diagnostic and treatment options for lung cancer in women. Grant applicants can apply directly at proposalCENTRAL.
New Airways Clinical Research Centers (ACRC) Study Results: The Lung Association's ACRC Network is the nation's largest not-for-profit network of clinical research centers dedicated to asthma and COPD treatment research. Preliminary results of the Resistant Airway Obstruction in Children study will be presented at the American Thoracic Society meeting in San Francisco in May. Drs. Allen Dozor and Sankaran Krishnan are the lead authors of this study. Results of the Long Acting Beta Agonist Step‐Down study were presented at a special session of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology meeting in San Francisco in March. Dr. Linda Rogers, an ACRC Principal Investigator, is the lead author of this study.
Supreme Court Considers Clean Air Act Cases: The American Lung Association continues to play a leading role in the fight to reduce dangerous pollution from power plants that can cause asthma attacks and premature death, as well as contribute to climate change. When healthy air opponents cannot stop the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from issuing strong clean air protections, they sometimes take their case to the courts and the Lung Association intervenes in support of healthy air.
Mercury and Air Toxics Standards: Our arguments played a role in the U.S. Supreme Court's decision March 3 to reject a petition from power plants and other industrial representatives to put the EPA's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for power plants on hold. This is welcome news, as we strongly support the EPA's efforts to reduce toxic air pollution from power plants and the significant health benefits of doing so, including preventing up to an estimated 11,000 premature deaths and 130,000 asthma attacks each year.
Clean Power Plan: Unfortunately, on February 9, the Supreme Court granted a petition to put the EPA's rule to reduce carbon pollution from power plants, known as the Clean Power Plan, on a temporary hold. As a result, many states put efforts to develop their plans to reduce power plant carbon pollution in their states on hold until the cases are resolved. The Lung Association had argued in support of the Plan in the Courts and expressed our disappointment in the Supreme Court's action, as did many other health and medical organizations. Through our Healthy Air Campaign, we have intensified our efforts to encourage Governors to proceed with bold action to address carbon pollution from power plants and protect their constituents from the health impacts of climate change. We are pleased to see at least 20 states, including Pennsylvania, Colorado and Virginia, are moving ahead.
FAA Officially Prohibits E-Cigarette Use on All Domestic Flights:On March 2, the Federal Aviation Administration officially prohibited the use of e-cigarettes on all flights in and out of the United States. The Lung Association has long advocated for ending the use of e-cigarettes on airplanes to protect everyone from the dangers of secondhand e-cigarette emissions.
Knocking Tobacco Out of the Park! With baseball opening day fast approaching, several cities have passed local legislation that will make their ballparks completely tobacco-free when the season starts! This means that people and players will no longer be able to use tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco, in ballparks in Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Legislation is also pending in New York City and Toronto, Canada. These new laws will help ensure that the baseball players – who many kids look to as role models – are no longer sending the wrong message to our kids about tobacco use.
Living Well with COPD Webinar: With generous support from Sunovion, the Lung Association hosted a "Living Well with COPD" webinar that featured a panel of experts including a physician, respiratory therapists and a patient all sharing their expertise about how to better live with COPD.
COPD Town Hall: In February, the American Lung Association participated in a COPD Town Hall meeting organized by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Several hundred COPD patients, caregivers, healthcare providers, researchers and advocates gathered from around the country to share our experiences and make recommendations on the development of a first-ever COPD National Action Plan. A draft of the Action Plan will be released for public comment in the coming months.
Each Breath Blog
Our new blog Each Breath is growing, with fun and informative entries from lung health experts, volunteers and our own editorial staff. Did you ever wonder if beards affect lung health? Or have you thought about the role nutrition plays when you're facing lung cancer? And what could Mad Max teach us about our lungs? Visit (and bookmark!) our blog and find out!
Everything we do, we do with your generous and enduring support. When we provide parents with information to help them better manage their child's asthma, or provide the lung cancer patient with resources to help them talk to their doctor or provide the COPD patient with group support and education, it's because you've made it possible. THANK YOU for all you do to support healthy air and healthy lungs!