Dr. Ankit Bharat, Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Northwestern Medicine, and Dr. Juanita Mora, allergist at the Chicago Allergy Center, will be featured in the American Lung Association first-ever livestream benefit on Facebook Live hosted by Queen Latifah.
The livestream takes place during the Lung Association week-long virtual LUNG FORCE Walk presented by Northwestern Medicine, during which hundreds of Chicago-area residents walk to raise funding for life-saving research against lung disease, including COVID-19.
Both doctors join a star-studded lineup of participants in their livestream benefit who will appear alongside scientists, frontline healthcare workers and people impacted by COVID-19, to spotlight the ongoing healthcare disparities across Black and Latino communities during this pandemic.
Dr. Bharat performed the first-ever COVID-19 double lung transplant in June, 2020.
“Lungs are the gatekeepers to the body. Lungs are the only organ that are directly exposed to the outside air,” Dr. Bharat continued. “A double-lung transplant is generally considered the most medically complex procedure that can be performed. There’s a very short window that lungs are able to be outside the human body. You have to take the lungs out and implant them within six hours.”
Dr. Mora saw her calling in helping the hard-hit Latino community navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
After an interview with Spanish News about the effect of COVID-19 on people with respiratory conditions, hundreds of people with COVID-19 called her office asking for help in Spanish. Instead of closing her doors and sending them to the emergency room, Mora and her staff treated everyone who called.
“This Latino neighborhood has been one of the hardest hit neighborhoods during the COVID-19 spread,” Dr. Mora said. “So I told my staff that we will put faith over fear and help our people navigate this pandemic.”
She treated hundreds of Latino patients and followed that up by donating 500 Lung Association masks to the Pilsen community in early August.
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 education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. 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: Lung.org.