Women’s History Month is a celebration of the specific achievement's women have contributed throughout history in a variety of fields, such as culture and science. For more than a century, the American Lung Association has worked to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease with our ultimate vision being a world free of lung disease. During the month of March, in honor of Women’s History Month, we work to recognize and thank the incredible women who are leading the way and making a difference in lung health.

Eva Book

Eva Book, National Manager, Tobacco Programs in Illinois, wanted to share her thoughts and experiences with the American Lung Association and Women’s History Month. “Throughout my time working for the American Lung Association, I’ve come to realize that while it may have started out as a job, it certainly turned into a lifestyle. It is impossible not to see the impact that researchers and women have nationwide through their work within the organization. Whether you’re reviewing your states State of the Air, State of Lung Cancer or State of Tobacco Control report, you can see the work being done to reach the ultimate goal of a world free from lung disease. People from every walk of life are living healthier, more active lives thanks to the medical breakthroughs pioneered by American Lung Association researchers and their colleagues nationwide. In support of this year’s Women’s History Month, we urge you to take a second to Meet the Researchers that are helping make a difference, whether that be through breakthrough COVID-19 research, improving the diagnosis of pulmonary vascular disease, shedding a light on the link between mutations and metabolism in lung cancer or evaluating asthma management policies. Women all across the country are truly making a difference and it is important to take a moment to acknowledge them for the selfless work they do to support each and every one of us in leading healthier, longer lives.”

Dr. Elizabeth Tam

Pedro Haro, Executive Director in Hawai’i, chose to recognize an individual who has forever changed the lives of people in Hawai’i as well as positively impacted him personally. “For Women’s History Month I wanted to highlight someone who has truly made an impact within her community and beyond. Dr. Elizabeth Tam was not only a Professor and Chair in Respiratory Health at the University of Hawai‘i John A. Burns School of Medicine in Honolulu, but a trailblazer in lung health research for disparately affected populations."

Dr. Elizabeth Tam Dr. Elizabeth Tam

"Part Native Hawaiian herself, Dr. Tam pioneered research that investigated the effects of volcanic air pollution over the Hawaiian Islands and its relation to lung health. Her research led to various public health initiatives, including the American Lung Association's special outreach to populations living close to active volcanoes to improve their lung health. Dr. Tam also was an active researcher in asthma, lung cancer and e-cigarettes and their effects on Native Hawaiians, Asians and Pacific Islanders. In 2021, a few months before her passing, the American Lung Association in Hawai‘i created the Elizabeth Tam Spirit of Hope Award, which will be given each year to a young person who has gone above and beyond to bring awareness and raise funds for lung health.”

Dr. Kathryn Blake Dr. Kathryn Blake

Dr. Kathryn Blake

Darlene Hamilton, National Manager, Donor Relations in Florida wanted to share her personal experiences as a mother and highlight the passion for the work women in science are doing every day. “There are many women who have provided healing and promoted hope, especially as it pertains to lung health. As a mother who has two children with asthma, the health and safety of my children are my top priority, and chronic asthma can be difficult at times to manage. For that, I am grateful to all of the researchers who have made it their goals to improve lung health and asthma in children. 

"In particular, I would like to highlight Dr. Kathryn Blake, the Director and Principal Research Scientist for the Center of Pharmacogenomics Translational Research at Nemours Children's Specialty Care, who is working hard to develop new ways to help children and adults breathe easier. She serves as the principal investigator for the Nemours Children's Health System of the American Lung Association's ACRC and as co-principal investigator on AsthmaNet, a nationwide clinical research network created by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in 2009. Dr. Blake is currently conducting a clinical trial with Nemours Children’s Health called: Use of Mobile Devices and the Internet for Multimedia Informed Consent Delivery and Data Entry in a Pediatric Asthma Trial: Study Design and Rationale. Dr. Blake has been an investigator in over 100 clinical studies related to asthma, allergy and cystic fibrosis. Her research interests are the use of mobile technology, pharmacogenomics, racial differences in drug response and asthma in sickle cell disease.”

We would like to give a big thank you and Happy Women’s History Month to the women in research across the country, as well as those women working to support lung health. Together we can watch as the number of lives saved continues to grow, and we get one step closer to a world without lung disease.

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