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American Lung Association Names 2017-2018 Volunteer Spokespeople

Serving as the media's go-to resource for lung health, tobacco and healthy air, Lung Association announces lung health experts to serve as volunteer spokespeople

(August 21, 2017) - CHICAGO

For more information please contact:

Allison MacMunn
[email protected]

Serving as the nation's premiere resource for lung health, the American Lung Association has expanded its network of expert resources available to the news media through the fiscal year 2018 National Volunteer Spokesperson program. Now in its second year, the program includes nine medical professionals from across the country with a wide variety of lung health expertise, from lung cancer, COPD, cystic fibrosis and asthma to healthy air and tobacco use.

"Lung health is more important than ever. With 32 million Americans living with a lung disease and nearly four in ten Americans living in a county with unhealthy levels of air pollution, the public needs lung health information it can trust," said American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer. "To achieve our mission of saving lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, the Lung Association's volunteer spokespeople play an important role in ensuring the public has reliable, science-based lung health information, and we are honored to work with such well-respected experts in the field of lung health."

The American Lung Association's 2017-2018 volunteer spokespeople include:

  • Brian W. Christman, M.D., Nashville, is professor of medicine and associate program director for the Vanderbilt University Internal Medicine Residency Program and former director of the fellowship program in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Vanderbilt. Christman serves veterans as chief of medical service at the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System. With expertise in pulmonary hypertension, critical care, asthma and healthy air, Christman has published more than 100 journal articles and book chapters and serves on the American Lung Association Scientific Advisory Committee.
  • David Tom Cooke, M.D., FACS, Davis, California, is an associate professor at the University of California, Davis, and the section head of general thoracic surgery and program director of the UC Davis Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency. He specializes in the surgical treatment of malignant and benign lung disease and minimally invasive thoracic surgery. Dr. Cooke's research includes oncologic trials, surgical outcomes/health services research, patient-centered outcomes research, surgical education, medical social media and public medical communication. He has authored more than 50 scholarly manuscripts and text-book chapters and co-authored a book.
  • Afif El-Hasan, M.D., Orange County, California, is a pediatrician with Kaiser Permanente and has been an active member of the organization's Asthma Care Management Team, which strives to optimize the care of thousands of patients who suffer from asthma, for more than 13 years. Dr. El-Hasan was a board member on the state governing board of the American Lung Association of California from 2011-2017. Prior, he served on the Orange County Leadership Board of the American Lung Association for more than 10 years and was the 2008 recipient of the American Lung Association in California's Outstanding Medical Achievement Award.
  • Jorge Gomez, M.D., New York, is a medical oncologist who specializes in the treatment of patients with lung cancer. He is the medical director of the thoracic oncology program and the World Trade Center Oncology Clinic at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. He started his lung cancer career as a member of the thoracic oncology program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, followed by five years with the thoracic oncology program at the University of Miami. He dedicates his time to clinical research and patient care. His primary research interests are the therapeutics of lung cancer, including immunotherapy and targeted therapies. He has also participated in multiple clinical trials with novel drugs.
  • Traci Gonzales, APRN, PNP-C, AE-C, Houston, is a pediatric nurse practitioner with McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center and sees patients at UT Physicians and Children's Memorial Herman Hospital. She is the director of the UT High Risk Children's Clinic Pulmonary Lab and oversees state-of-the-art pulmonary testing on pediatric patients. Gonzales's research and clinical interests include pediatric asthma, primary ciliary dyskinesia, pediatric sleep disorders and mechanical ventilation. She has co-authored multiple peer-reviewed publications regarding novel treatments and advances in pediatric pulmonary medicine. 
  • MeiLan King Han, M.D., MS, Ann Arbor, Mich., is an associate professor of internal medicine in the division of pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Michigan Health System and director of the Women's Respiratory Clinic. Her expertise includes end-stage lung diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), interstitial lung disease and lymphangioleiomyomatosis. She also serves as the principal investigator at the University of Michigan for two large NHLBI-funded COPD cohort studies as well as the American Lung Association Airways Clinical Research Centers (ACRC) Network.
  • Andrea McKee, M.D., Boston, is a partner at Radiation Oncology Associates, P.A., and currently serves as chairman of the department of radiation oncology at the Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, assistant professor at Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. McKee has co-authored numerous seminal peer-reviewed publications on the design, implementation and management of clinical CT lung cancer screening programs and was invited to be an advisor to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services during the development of the current national CT lung cancer screening guidelines. She also serves on the Lung Association's Lung Cancer Expert Medical Advisory Panel.
  • Deepika Polineni, M.D., MPH, Kansas City, Kansas, is assistant professor of internal medicine in the division of pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She serves as the associate adult program director for the University of Kansas Cystic Fibrosis Care Center and director for the University of Kansas and Children's Mercy Hospital Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia Clinical Center. Her research interests include the identification of non-CFTR genetic modifiers of cystic fibrosis, as well as developing methods for improving treatment adherence. She serves as a member of the American Lung Association Scientific Advisory Committee.
  • S. Christy Sadreameli, M.D., M.H.S., Baltimore, is assistant professor of pediatrics at the Eudowood Division of Pediatric Respiratory Sciences and a pediatric pulmonologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where she takes care of pediatric patients of all ages with a variety of pulmonary conditions. Dr. Sadreameli conducts research related to the pulmonary complications of sickle cell disease, including asthma and asthma-like symptoms, and the impact of environmental exposures, such as secondhand tobacco smoke and allergens, have on these and other pulmonary and non-pulmonary outcomes.

For media interested in scheduling an interview with an American Lung Association National Volunteer Spokesperson about lung health, lung diseases such as lung cancer, healthy air, tobacco use or more, contact Allison MacMunn at [email protected] or 312-801-7628. A full list of volunteer spokespeople, experts available for interviews and media resources may be found at


About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

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