NHLBI Grant Awarded to American Lung Association in NY

(October 1, 2009)

The American Lung Association in New York has been selected to receive a $15,000 grant by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health. The contract award was approved by the NHLBI under its communications contract with Porter Novelli as part of its larger program to improve awareness and understanding of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

This new funding will enable the Lung Association to expand its focus on COPD risk factors; the benefits of early detection and treatment in slowing disease progression; and, improving quality of life for people with COPD in New York State.

"The Lung Association is delighted to have been chosen as one of the organizations to receive this award," said Deborah Carioto, Interim President and CEO. "COPD affects so many New Yorkers and this funding will enable us to better serve them by developing a statewide action plan that specifically addresses COPD education, data collection, and early detection and rehabilitation services. The end result will be greater awareness about COPD, enhanced support for those suffering from COPD and, ultimately, improved patient outcomes."

COPD is a serious lung disease that, over time, makes it hard to breathe. It is the 4th leading cause of death in the United States and causes serious, long-term disability. Also known by other names, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, the number of people with COPD is increasing. More than 12 million people are currently diagnosed with COPD and an additional 12 million likely have the disease and don't even know it.

The American Lung Association in New York intends to use the grant money to convene a COPD Summit that will bring together key people from all across the state involved in COPD healthcare and advocacy to share information and develop a comprehensive action plan to benefit COPD patients. This effort coincides with and supports the goals of the NHLBI's COPD Learn More Breathe Better® campaign.

The American Lung Association in New York was one of 15 organizations out of 35 applicants selected to receive a competitive grant. All programs will be completed by October 2010.

"One in five Americans over the age of 45 has COPD – but as many as half may not even be aware of it. More and more organizations are joining the NHLBI in taking on the challenge of improving understanding of this common but treatable disease," said Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D., director, NHLBI. "We're pleased to support the American Lung Association in New York as it carries forward important messages about the necessity of early detection and treatment."

The American Lung Association in New York is part of the Breathe Better Network, which is the COPD Learn More Breathe Better campaign's larger community partnership network. The Breathe Better Network is designed to broaden the reach of the national campaign effort and was developed by the NHLBI to help bridge the gap in awareness about this highly prevalent disease. Since the campaign began in 2006, more than 25 states have initiated COPD education programs or convened coalitions in support of developing plans of action.