Our Bold Initiative to End the COVID-19 Crisis
On April 9, the American Lung Association launched a COVID-19 Action Initiative, a comprehensive $25M initiative to end COVID-19 and defend against future respiratory virus pandemics. The COVID-19 Action Initiative will be used to fund respiratory research, enhance key public health measures through education and advocacy, and establish an advanced network of public and private entities to develop new vaccines, detection tests and treatment therapies, to stop future respiratory virus pandemics. Learn more at Lung.org/cv19-action.
COVID-19 Resources: The American Lung Association is on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing the public with unique and trusted information and resources to help us all get through this crisis together. Be sure to visit our website: Lung.org/covid19 for all the latest, including: general information, health education, access to one-on-one support, blog posts, FAQs, a message from our President and CEO Harold Wimmer as well as links to weekly webinars and recordings. In addition, follow our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram social channels to help share these timely resources with your friends and family.
Protecting Healthcare During COVID-19 Crisis: The American Lung Association has also been working to ensure all Americans have quality and affordable healthcare during the epidemic. The Lung Association has encouraged the federal government to re-open healthcare.gov so uninsured Americans can get coverage and asked for additional funding for state Medicaid programs. The Lung Association has continued to ask Congress to stop surprise medical billing, especially in light of the pandemic. And the Lung Association led a letter to the Administration urging them to take action to alleviate the shortage of personal protective equipment for healthcare providers. The Lung Association will continue to work to ensure all lung disease patients have the care they need during the pandemic and beyond.
Honoring the Legacy of the American Lung Association’s Janice Nolen: It is with both pride and sadness that we announce that the late Janice Nolen, the American Lung Association’s Assistant Vice President, National Policy and lead author of the annual “State of the Air” report, was named a recipient of the prestigious Haagen-Smit Clean Air Award for 2019, in the category of Public Education. Sadly, Janice passed away peacefully on April 15. Learn more about Nolen, the award and her incredible contributions to healthier air in America. The Lung Association is also establishing an internship in her honor.
‘State of the Air’: On April 21, we released our 21st annual “State of the Air” report, our air quality “report card” that tracks Americans’ exposure to unhealthful levels of particle pollution and ozone. The report found that nearly half of all Americans were exposed to unhealthy air, and that climate change is creating conditions where it will be increasingly difficult to clean up the air we breathe.
Five Years of LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day: Our LUNG FORCE Heroes made this year’s LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day (March 25, 2020) event successful despite the COVID-19 pandemic, reaching 98 Senate offices and 84 House offices through 172 total phone calls. They spoke to members of Congress about the urgency of funding biomedical research and ensuring everyone has healthcare protections. The Lung Association is especially grateful to this year's National Sponsors of the LUNG FORCE Advocacy Event, including Premier Sponsor Merck and Champion Sponsor Genentech.
LUNG FORCE Hero: LUNG FORCE Hero Ashley S. participated in our 5th annual Advocacy Day, sharing her inspiring story with lawmakers and reminding us of the importance of hope in the fight to defeat lung cancer.
Here We Grow Again: Our Airways Clinical Research Centers (ACRC) Network has hit a growth spurt. With several clinical trials currently in process and the landmark Lung Health Cohort Study launching soon, we have expanded from the previous 22 sites to 35+. This welcome increase will help the Lung Association’s Research Program better serve the asthma and COPD communities, in addition to others living with lung disease. Learn more.
New: COVID-19 and Emerging Respiratory Viruses Award Announced: This newly announced award is intended to support investigators with a stellar track record of accomplishment who have the potential to advance our knowledge of COVID -19 and other novel respiratory viruses with pandemic potential. Successful applicants are investigators with evidence of ongoing excellence and productivity in a related field. The deadline to apply is May 30, 2020. Learn more and apply today.
Become a Citizen Scientist: In a collaborative effort to better address and track the COVID-19 pandemic, we have partnered with Northwestern University and University of California, San Francisco to engage adults in real-time data collection as part of the new COVID-19 Citizen Science study. Our collective data could help researchers gain insight into how the virus is spreading in hopes of reducing future infections. You, too, can contribute without leaving your couch! If you are 18 years of age or older, download the free app to enroll: Lung.org/citizen-science.
Lung Cancer Dream Team Discovery: Groundbreaking research by the American Lung Association Lung Cancer Interception Translational Dream Team, in collaboration with Stand Up To Cancer and LUNGevity Foundation, was recently featured in the Nature medical journal. The team’s paper, titled “Integrating Genomic Features for Non-invasive Early Lung Detection,” details their investigation of a new blood test that utilizes deep sequencing for improved personal profiling to better predict lung cancer probability at an early stage. Authors include Dream Team leader Lecia Sequist, M.D., MPH, of Massachusetts General Hospital and co-leader Maximilian Diehn, M.D., Ph.D., of Stanford University.
Sarcoidosis Awareness Month this April
To support April’s Sarcoidosis Awareness Month, we encourage you to learn more about sarcoidosis – a rare disease that can affect any organ, but 90 percent of cases affect the lungs. Watch our video – which features our patients and health education partners – to hear their personal experiences and learn about the power of peer-to-peer support.
New Inspire Community: Exon 20 Warriors: We have formalized a new partnership with ICAN (International Cancer Advocacy Network) and its Exon 20 Group to offer a new community on Inspire for cancer patients who have Exon 20 EGFR/HER2 insertion mutations, which are present in 25 different types of cancer, including lung cancer. With the discovery of numerous lung cancer mutations (also called oncogenes), treatment has become more personalized than ever before. Patients are seeking to connect with others who have the exact same type of cancer as them. This is the Lung Association’s first oncogene specific community where patients with this type of mutation can connect from all over the world and our ninth community on Inspire. Join Exon 20 Warriors today.
Please take a moment to visit Lung.org/community to join one of our existing communities: Lung Cancer Survivors, Living with COPD, Living with Lung Disease, Living with Pulmonary Fibrosis, Caring for Pulmonary Fibrosis, Quit Now: Freedom From Smoking®, Living with Asthma, Living with PAH and Exon 20 Warriors.
Enhancing Care for Children with Asthma: The American Lung Association’s Enhancing Care for Children with Asthma Program had its second publication on evaluation findings in the March 2020 Journal of Asthma. This study titled, Reducing Potentially Preventable Health Events Among Patients with Asthma, show a 38% reduction in asthma-related emergency department visits and 47% reduction in asthma-related hospitalizations from before the program to after the program execution. The Enhancing Care for Children with Asthma Program is an effective quality improvement program that was successfully executed in diverse geographic states and size and types of clinic. Findings support the widespread implementation of this program. For more information, go to www.Lung.org/enhancingcare
Latest ‘Censoring Science’ Proposal is Officially Out – Sign the Petition Today: On March 18, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) put out its latest “Censoring Science” proposal. It’s the latest in an ongoing effort to block EPA from using the best available health science in creating policy, leading to pollution limits that don’t adequately protect public health. The Lung Association along with 16 other health organizations sent a letter to the EPA Administrator requesting an extension and public hearings. The EPA did then extend the deadline for comments, but not by much. Please sign this petition to oppose this harmful proposal today, and pass it along. We need as many signatures from health professionals and from other individuals as possible by May 17.
Postponed: “Clean Air for All” Symposium now on September 29
The “Clean Air for All” Symposium marking the 50th anniversary of the Clean Air Act has been rescheduled for September 29 in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Stay tuned for more information.
EPA Finalizes Rule to Undermine the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards: On April 16, EPA announced a final rule that threatens to undermine the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. We’d long anticipated this announcement, but it was still immensely disappointing – the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards are widely supported, fully implemented safeguards that are responsible for dramatically reducing pollution from power plants. In response, the Lung Association and 20 other health and medical groups issued this joint statement opposing this dangerous rule. We also sent EPA Administrator Wheeler this updated version of our letter from health and medical professionals, now with nearly 1200 signers.
EPA Proposes Maintaining Weak Standards on Particulate Matter: On April 14, EPA released its proposal to maintain the existing national limits on particulate matter. Their decision went against the best science, which says that these current standards do not sufficiently protect health. If EPA finalizes this proposal into law, it could lock in these insufficient standards for the next several years. In response, we released this statement from Harold Wimmer, and this joint statement alongside health and medical organizations. You can help by calling on EPA to set stronger standards here.
Administration Rolls Back Cleaner Cars Standards: On March 31, EPA and NHTSA officially rolled back greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards for cars, SUVs and light trucks. The new standards are dramatically weaker and represent a significant step backward in efforts to address climate change. This is the second phase of a rollback that was initiated with an attack on states’ authority - granted by the Clean Air Act - to set their own, stronger pollution standards. The Lung Association responded to the announcement and generated media coverage in the LA Times, the Guardian, NBC, and more.
Each Breath Blog
There are two different but important types of coronavirus tests now being talked about. The detection test that has been in the news from the start, and another type of test that will measure the level of antibodies to the novel coronavirus in an individual who had the infection and survived. Read more. We’ve also launched a unique new blog series of personal stories from those serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. Read more.
You make our mission possible!
Because of your support, we can conduct research to discover new ways to prevent, treat and even cure lung disease like COVID-19. We can help keep kids from smoking and help smokers quit. We can provide information and resources that improve quality of life for people with chronic lung diseases like asthma and COPD. Thanks to your support, we can continue to clean up the air we all share, and so much more. Thank you for all you do to help us all breathe easier!
Blog last updated: March 10, 2022