What an incredible year we've had in pursuing our vision of a world free of lung disease. Thanks to your generous support, we've made progress with each of our strategic imperatives and continue to offer hope to all those touched by lung disease. We'll take this opportunity in our annual report to highlight those accomplishments, share some exciting moments in moving our mission forward and lay out our vision for the future. And most importantly, we want to share our gratitude for the individuals, families, foundations and businesses who have made ALL of this possible.
Defeat lung cancer
In year two of LUNG FORCE, our public education and fundraising initiative to defeat lung cancer, we continued to build momentum, awareness and engagement, with nearly 46,000 members of Team Turquoise raising their voices and helping the American Lung Association lead the charge. Lung cancer is increasing among women, affecting our mothers, daughters, sisters and loved ones across all races and ethnicities, yet for most women, it's not even on their radar. With LUNG FORCE, we are working to change that. In the past two years we have more than doubled our research investments as we work toward a 5-year goal of investing $10 million in innovative and groundbreaking lung cancer research.
To help us meet our goals through LUNG FORCE, we have teamed up with a leader in healthcare, CVS Health. CVS Health is the presenting sponsor of LUNG FORCE, helping to raise awareness of the campaign and much-needed funding through an annual in-store fundraising campaign. To-date, has donated more than $6 million (May 2014 – June 2015) to support our LUNGFORCE initiative to help defeat cancer. We could not be more proud or grateful for our partnership with CVS Health.
Improve the air we breathe so it will not cause or worsen lung disease
Through our Healthy Air Campaign and other advocacy efforts, we pushed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to finalize the Clean Power Plan and hosted a roundtable with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to address the health impacts of climate change. We also advocated for a stronger ozone standard, an important step forward in the fight to protect the air we breathe, especially for those who are most vulnerable. The work we do to ensure clean air for all Americans is important to everyone, but as any parent will attest, even more important to children with asthma.
Reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families
We know how frightening it can be to receive a lung disease diagnosis, whether that is lung cancer, asthma, COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, or pneumonia. This past year, we have worked to develop our resources for those who are impacted by lung disease. We have new asthma management resources for school personnel, parents, employers and patients with asthma, and have developed new asthma and COPD instructional videos. We have continued to develop our lung cancer support resources for patients, caregivers and healthcare providers—all available on the newly redesigned Lung.org. We’ve also added easily accessible, educational resources on many different lung diseases.
Eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases
This past year saw an exciting development in New Orleans. The American Lung Association played a key role in helping New Orleans go smokefree in all public places and workplaces. While we celebrate successes like New Orleans, we've also seen the rapid increase in e-cigarette use and blatant marketing to kids - resulting in the tripling of e-cigarette use among youth. We continue to urgently advocate to protect public health and our nation's youth by giving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority over all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, hookah and cigars.
Monitor and enhance organizational effectiveness
Our leadership has been committed to ensuring the American Lung Association is on sound financial ground and an excellent steward of the donations we receive. We are very pleased to share with you that in fiscal year 2015, we spent 88 cents of every dollar on research, programs and services nationwide.
And, if you're reading this, you are visiting our new Lung.org website, designed to bring you accessible, relevant and empowering information on lung health. The site launched on September 30, 2015, with a cleaner design and user-friendly, intuitive navigation. We invite you to look inside!
And finally, as you take a look at the highlights of the past fiscal year, we ask you pause, take a deep breath, and feel proud to be part of it. Your enduring support is what makes our lifesaving research, education and advocacy work possible. On behalf of our National Board of Directors, our dedicated staff and our passionate volunteers, we thank you. And we ask you to remember that our work isn't done, and won't be done until we can all breathe easier. Together, we are making that happen.