Local Medical Leaders to Climb Great American Ballpark

St. Elizabeth and Radiology Associates of Northern Kentucky staff joins first-ever outdoor stair climb to raise funds, awareness for lung cancer screenings, research

Kentucky, including Northern Kentucky, has the highest lung cancer rates in the nation, but lung cancer screenings can change that statistic and save lives. That’s why local staff, family and friends of St. Elizabeth Healthcare and Radiology Associates of Northern Kentucky (RANK) are stepping up to the challenge and participating in the American Lung Association’s first-ever outdoor Fight For Air Climb at Great American Ballpark on April 25.

“We’re passionate about supporting the work of the Lung Association, given the prevalence of lung cancer in Northern Kentucky,” said Michele Kenner, Assistant Vice President at St. Elizabeth Healthcare, and a board member of the Lung Association in Ohio.

She formed “Team Screen” to encourage St. Elizabeth staff to participate in the Fight For Air Climb and raise awareness of the impact lung cancer has on the community and the importance of early detection through screenings. 

“Serving Northern Kentucky, St. Elizabeth is proud to have the leading lung cancer screening program in the region, performing more than 4,000 lung cancer screenings annually, ranking in the top 5% by volume for lung cancer screening in the nation,” said Dr. Michael R. Gieske, Director of Lung Cancer Screening at St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

One lung cancer is found for every 58 low-dose CT lung cancer screens done.  Most importantly of the 260+ lung cancers discovered through their screening program, 56% have been in stage I. 

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the St. Elizabeth lung cancer screening efforts continue.

“Our screenings were down just 5.81% in 2020 compared to 2019.  We recognize the dreadful impact of COVID-19 on our country and potentially the lung health of any individual affected, and want to be part of the solution as we help to raise not only the awareness of this pandemic but the means to overcome it,” said Dr. Gieske.

“Team Screen” is excited to get outdoors for the Climb, raise funding and awareness.

“We’re looking forward to getting some fresh air and representing St. Elizabeth. We’re climbing for all of our staff and our patients, as well,” said Kenner.

The American Lung Association invites individuals, families, groups of friends, corporate teams and first responders to the 2021 Fight For Air Climb at Great American Ballpark. 
Masks will be required at the event and social distancing will be practiced. The safety of participants, staff and volunteers is always our number one priority, so we are continually monitoring local conditions that might affect the Climb. Everyone is encouraged to check our Climb website for the most up-to-date information leading up to the event.

Money raised at the Fight For Air Climb will fund the Lung Association’s efforts to end lung cancer and lung disease, as well as support the Lung Association’s COVID-19 Action Initiative, a $25 million investment to address COVID-19 and protect against future respiratory virus pandemics. 

Registration for the Fight For Air Climb is $35 and includes a $100 fundraising minimum. For more information, and to register, visit FightForAirClimb.org/Cincinnati.

For more information, contact:

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

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