CHICAGO, IL | July 1, 2017
The American Lung Association is a nonprofit organization that works to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. In pursuit of increasing its mission impact, the American Lung Association today announced that the organization's national office and eight chartered associations are uniting into a Single Nationwide Organization.
"As the nation's oldest voluntary health organization, the American Lung Association has grown and evolved over the course of more than a century to support the lung health of Americans. And with 32.2 million Americans living with a lung disease and four in ten Americans living in a county with unhealthy air, our mission is more urgent than ever," said American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold Wimmer. "We're proud to continue our long legacy of supporting those living with a lung disease, and we believe that through uniting our organization we will be best positioned to increase our mission impact."
According to Wimmer, this move was a result the Lung Association's commitment to double its mission impact, research investment and public support to save more lives and improve lung health.
"Especially as a nationwide grassroots organization, this move will expand the organization's ability to fund mission where there is the greatest need, grow our staff and invest in greater relationships with our volunteers and donors," Wimmer said. "In this way, we'll grow our presence and impact in communities across the nation and save more lives."
The decision to unite the organization was a unanimous consensus of the eight charter boards and national board, with the final vote taking place on June 23, 2017 during the National Board of Directors meeting in Chicago. The effective merger date is July 1, 2017.
"Throughout our history, we have evolved to meet the needs of the day. As an organization, the Lung Association has taken on tuberculosis, which is now largely controlled, as well as tobacco use, which is at an all-time low among adults. We're proud of these achievements, and while we continue to help smokers quit and fund lung disease research, we've also named defeating lung cancer a strategic imperative of the organization," Wimmer said. "Lung cancer is the nation's leading cause of cancer deaths, and to achieve this goal, we need to grow our organization and work together as an organization and in partnership with communities nationwide."
In 2014, the organization launched the strategic cause campaign LUNG FORCE, which focuses on raising awareness about lung cancer and greater investments in lung cancer research for better treatment options and early detection – when more treatment options are available. Since the launch of LUNG FORCE, the organization has more than doubled its investment in lung cancer research.
"We hope to build upon the momentum from LUNG FORCE, to make a greater impact for not only those living lung cancer, but also those with other lung diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which is the third leading cause of death nationwide," Wimmer said. "The reality is that when you can't breathe, nothing else matters. Our mission is urgent for so many Americans, and we're proud to announce that we're uniting our organization as a powerful strategy to impact more lives."
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.
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