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Three Chicagoans Recognized for Advancing Lung Cancer Prevention, Research

(August 8, 2017) -

For more information please contact:

James Martinez
[email protected]
(312) 445-2501

This Thursday, the American Lung Association in Greater Chicago will honor one individual and two organizations at its annual Impact Awards for exceptional work to improve lung health and prevent lung disease.

“These awards highlight individuals and organizations who help make a positive difference in the air we breathe every day and our lung health,” said Kristen Young, executive director of the Lung Association in Greater Chicago. “Whether it’s volunteering, participating in a fundraiser event, or providing health services to the community, these awardees help save lives.”

The three award recipients to be honored at Thursday’s event are: firefighter Richard Gray; Mile Square Health Center; and Northwestern Medicine.

Richard Gray, Firefighter, North Riverside Fire Department 

Gray has raised more than $25,000 to support the work of the Lung Association through his participation in the Fight For Air Climb at Oakbrook Terrace Tower. Lung disease has touched his life in many ways, so he participates in memory and to honor of his uncle Frank who passed away from lung cancer and his father who received a right lung transplant in 2010. bThis year will mark his eighth consecutive year stair climbing all 31 floors of the tower in full firefighter gear, 60 extra pounds.     

Mile Square Health Center

Mile Square Health Center, a network of federally qualified health centers, has helped save lives in Chicago's vulnerable communities through smoking cession and lung cancer screening programs. To date, the center's patient outreach and navigation team has screened 80 patients for lung cancer, resulting in 12 diagnoses, of which half were diagnosed at early stages. In 2015, Mile Square partnered with the Lung Association’s Illinois Tobacco Quitline to form the "Mile Square Smoking Cessation Program," which helped hundreds quit smoking.

Northwestern Medicine

Northwestern Medicine’s significant investment in lung cancer prevention, screening, treatment and research has saved lives not just in Chicago, but across the U.S. Physicians from Northwestern Medicine have been actively involved with the American Lung Association by participating on local advisory boards and committees, as well as chairing the first LUNG FORCE Expo to help raise awareness for lung health. Northwestern Medicine has been one of the biggest advocates in helping spread awareness of the new CT scan lung cancer screening, which has the potential to save 15,000 lives annually. Locally, under the leadership of Dr. Malcolm DeCamp, Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the organization has contributed more than $250,000 in support of the LUNG FORCE movement. 


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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