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Champions of Lung Health Honored by American Lung Association with 2016 Annual Volunteer Awards

Please note local interest

(July 26, 2016) - CHICAGO

For more information please contact:

Allison MacMunn
[email protected]

The lifesaving work of the American Lung Association is driven by an exceptional team of volunteers across the country. On June 24, the American Lung Association recognized the excellence of its volunteers at an annual ceremony in Chicago.

"The American Lung Association was founded more than 100 years ago as the first voluntary health organization in the country, and today our vision of a world free of lung disease is still driven by dedicated volunteers," said American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer. "In honoring these special award winners, we recognize the volunteers who make our lifesaving mission possible."

Recipients of the American Lung Association Annual Volunteer Awards

  • Volunteer Excellence Award – Mark A. Brown, MD, Tucson, Ariz.
    Dr. Mark Brown has been consistently active with the American Lung Association in a variety of roles since 1996. For 20 years he has served as the medical director for the asthma camp hosted by the Lung Association in Oklahoma, and is the final decision maker at the asthma camp on medical related issues.
  • Volunteer Excellence Award – David Tom Cooke, MD, FACS, Sacramento, Calif.
    Dr. David Cooke joined the board of the American Lung Association in California in 2010 and quickly became an integral part of the organization's advocacy and program work in championing lung health programs and policies. Dr. Cooke provided testimony at hearings to support strong federal clean air standards and has spoken out in congressional letters and statement defending the Clean Air Act.
  • Volunteer Excellence Award – John Falcon, Lafayette, La.
  • In 2005, John Falcon contacted the American Lung Association in Louisiana with a vision to launch a fundraiser called the Jeep Jaunt. Ten years later, the annual fundraising event has raised well over $500,000 with close to 9,000 participants. All of the proceeds are dedicated to research, education and advocacy to eradicate lung disease.
  • Bernard V. Gregory Award for Diversity – Gail M. Brottman, MD, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • The Bernard Gregory Award for Diversity is given in recognition of the creation or promotion of more effective diversity practices within the Lung Association family.
    Dr. Gail Brottman's passion to address health disparities in her patients led her to the American Lung Association in 1989, where she was involved in the development of many programs and also served as co-principal investigator of the Controlling Asthma in American Cities Project in 2003. One of the many outputs of her contributing work has been in support of the program Enhancing Asthma Care in Primary Care Settings. Targeted results from the program include a positive impact in a systematic way around the way children with asthma are identified and treated in a primary care setting. This program, working with federally qualified health care systems, has been implemented across nine states in the Upper Midwest.
  • Will Ross Medal – E. Neil Schachter, MD, New York, N.Y.
    The Will Ross Medal is the highest honor bestowed on a volunteer from the American Lung Association who has made a significant contribution to the prevention and control of lung disease.
  • Dr. Neil Schachter began his affiliation with the American Lung Association as a Fellow in 1973 and is still actively involved with the organization. Dr. Schachter has helped countless people with lung disease breathe a little easier and taught many health care professionals to provide the highest level of care to their patients. In 2013 and 2014, The New York Times named Dr. Schachter to their list of Super Doctors. One of the most impressive examples of his high level of service is his work with the Southern Poverty Law Center, where he fought to create healthier workplace standards and increased workers' compensation for men and women who worked in cotton textile-mills throughout the South. He has also lobbied extensively for tougher anti-smoking laws in New York City on behalf of the American Lung Association and the Coalition for Smoking and Health. His advocacy efforts have positively impacted people throughout the country.

For media interested in learning more about or speaking with this year's winners, contact the American Lung Association at [email protected] or 312-801-7628.


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 Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

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