Southtowns Radiology and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York Join the American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Climb Buffalo

Southtowns Radiology is the event’s Lung Cancer Screening Sponsor and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of WNY is its Official Health Sponsor

The American Lung Association announced today that Southtowns Radiology is joining the annual Fight For Air Climb Buffalo, as the Lung Cancer Screening Sponsor, while Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York will take up the mantle of Official Health Sponsor. Together the two are committed to help the Lung Association raise awareness and provide education for event participants and the wider Western New York region on lung disease and lung cancer. The Fight for Air Climb Buffalo will take place at Highmark Stadium on Saturday May 7, 2022, from 9am-12pm. The Climb will support research, advocacy and education for lung diseases, lung cancer and COVID-19 with a fundraising goal of raising $160,000.

“Our Fight For Air Climb Buffalo aims to bring awareness to lung disease, and honor all those who have experienced lung disease, either personally or through a loved one,” said Kaelyn Gates development director for the American Lung Association in Western New York. “Sponsors like Southtowns Radiology and Highmark Western New York empower us to broaden our reach, develop quality education and advocacy programs, and execute a truly fun and rewarding event for our community. We are so grateful to them for playing a part in our mission to save lives by improving lung health.”

Fight for Air Climb participants will include Western New York residents, lung health advocates, first responders, and American Lung Association volunteers and staff.  Together they will climb approximately 900 steps up, down, and across Highmark Stadium. People of all fitness levels are invited to register with a team or as an individual today at

“Lung cancer has long been the leading cause of cancer related death in the U.S.,” said Asha Ziembiec, MD, board-certified radiologist and medical director for Southtowns Radiology. “The good news is that now, lung cancer can be successfully treated when detected early. For those at high risk, we must regularly monitor for changes in lung tissue. The goal is to see the abnormality before the patient experiences symptoms. We do this using low-dose CT chest scans. We have seen this ten-minute exam save lives, and that’s our goal. It’s why we are proud be the Lung Cancer Screening Sponsor for the Fight for Air Climb Buffalo this year.”

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently expanded its guidance for eligibility of low-dose CT lung cancer screening scans. In January of 2022, Medicare adopted these guidelines, increasing access to this lifesaving scan for millions of Americans. Patients who fit the following criteria should talk with their healthcare provider about annual lung cancer screening:
•    Both males and females ages 50 – 80
•    Current smoker or has quit smoking in the last 15 years
•    Smoking history of 20+ pack years (one pack per day for 20 years; 2 packs per day for 10 years, etc.)

Dr. Michael Edbauer, President, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York said, “Our long-time partnership with the American Lung Association and support of this year’s Fight for Air Climb as the official health sponsor reflects Highmark’s commitment to improving the health of the communities we serve. We will proudly join our associates and community members at Highmark Stadium to step toward a better future for the millions of people impacted by lung disease.”

For over 100 years the American Lung Association has been at the forefront of the Fight for Air. All proceeds from the Fight for Air Climb will directly fund lung disease research, advocacy and education, including smoking cessation programs, COPD/asthma management, advocacy for strong clean air standards, as well as support the Lung Association’s COVID-19 Action Initiative.  Other community sponsors include Buffalo Medical Group, AstraZeneca Oncology, WNY Immediate Care, Robert Basil Cadillac, Geico, Acaria Health, Hodgson Russ, Roswell Park, Jada Blitz Fitness & Balanced Body Foods, and WGRZ.

More information and registration are available at

About Southtowns Radiology
Founded in 1959, Southtowns Radiology is the largest independent medical imaging provider in Western New York. With over 20 board-certified physicians, the practice reads nearly 500,000 screening and diagnostic imaging studies annually. In partnership with Catholic Health, the group also supports in-patient services at six regionally-based sites, including Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, Sisters of Charity Hospital, and Kenmore Mercy Hospital. Southtowns Radiology also operates nationally accredited outpatient imaging centers in Hamburg and Orchard Park. For more information, please visit

About Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York 
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York is a trade name of Highmark Western and Northeastern New York Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Since 1936, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York has helped millions of people lead healthier lives. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York offers a full range of insured, self-insured, and government programs and services covering businesses, families, and individuals, as well as dental and vision plans and stop-loss coverage. As a community-based, not-for-profit health plan, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York contributes significantly to organizations that strengthen and enrich the health of the community. For up-to-date news, facts, and information about the company, leadership, and industry, please visit or follow us on Twitter.

For more information, contact:

Jennifer Solomon
(516) 680-8927
[email protected]

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