American Lung Association’s Western New York Leadership Board Welcomes New Members with ties to Buffalo, Amherst, Savona, and Northtowns

New members include a Roswell Park thoracic oncologist and LUNG FORCE Champion who lost her sister to lung cancer

Today, the American Lung Association in Buffalo, New York announced that four local leaders have been newly elected to the Local Leadership Board of Directors. 

The Lung Association’s Local Leadership Board of Directors in Buffalo, which now has 14 members, helps the organization in its mission to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. The purpose of the Board is to raise the Lung Association’s profile in the community, advocate for lung health, and increase resources to fund local projects and services. Board members work alongside the Lung Association’s Buffalo and New York State team to foster diversity, equity and inclusion in our practices, programs, and processes, as well as help to guide the Association’s local initiatives and services, public policy, research, and revenue generation.

“These new board members will be incredible assets to our local work at the Lung Association. Their insight and experience are critical to our work in the community,” said Kaelyn Gates, Senior Director of the American Lung Association in Buffalo. “Together, our entire Leadership Board is working to help Western New York residents breathe a little easier.”

The newly elected Leadership Board members are:

  • April DeArmitt, Senior Account Executive, AcariaHealth Specialty Pharmacy, and Savona resident:  April DeArmitt is a Senior Account Executive at AcariaHealth Specialty Pharmacy, with a passion for healthcare, public health, and community. April strives to promote, volunteer, and educate on the importance of lung health and early detection after losing her sister in 2020 to lung cancer. April was part of the Lung Force Advocacy Day and will continue to dedicate her passion and inspiration towards lung health awareness and promotion.  April has also been involved in the pharmaceutical and specialty pharmacy industry spanning over 20 years while developing relationships to help make an impact on the well-being of individuals and the success of healthcare organizations. April is a member of the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association and Life Coaching Network. She holds an MBA from Nova Southeastern University and a bachelor's from the University of North Carolina.
  • Sai Yendamuri, MD, MBA, FACS, Chair, Professor; Department of Thoracic Surgery, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, and Amherst resident:  Dr. Sai Yendamuri is a Professor of Oncology and Chair of the Department of Thoracic Surgery at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, where he leads a team of surgeons who are recognized as top providers in their field. Together, they are dedicated to providing Roswell Park's patients with the most current screening and treatment options for lung cancer care.  Dr. Yendamuri is a true surgeon-scientist, believing that excellence in clinical care goes hand in hand with scientific curiosity and innovation. Over the past 25 years he has shared his research hundreds of times, in presentations at the conferences of many esteemed surgical societies, and in publications across multiple top-tier peer-reviewed journals. Among other awards and grants, his research has been continuously funded by the National Cancer Institute for the past 12 years. Dr. Yendamuri deeply believes in the value of collaboration and mentorship. His contribution to mentorship has been recently recognized by a Presidential Service Award from the Eastern Cardiothoracic Surgical Society. 

    After earning his medical degree from the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Dr. Yendamuri continued his surgical training at the University of Pennsylvania and New York Hospital Queens, with fellowships at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, and Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. In 2022, he went to earn an Executive MBA from the Wharton School, with a focus in strategy.
  • Xilei Xu Chen, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Pediatric Pulmonology, Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Oishei Children’s Hospital: Dr. Xilei Xu Chen is a board-certified pediatric pulmonologist with a special interest in treating children with asthma. Having completed her fellowship in pediatric pulmonology at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC, Dr. Xu Chen developed a profound understanding of respiratory diseases, particularly asthma, which has been a constant area of interest through her career. She worked in many research projects involving the investigation of infant viral immunogenetic responses in the airway epithelium, which led to numerous publications that contributed to the understanding of asthma pathophysiology. With a commitment to improving patient outcomes, Dr. Xu Chen has worked on many quality improvement projects focused on asthma care. She is currently one of the coordinators for Project BREATHE at Oishei Children’s Hospital, a joint initiative with the American Lung Association aimed at enhancing the quality of life for children with asthma and their families. Dr. Xu Chen is currently working as a pediatric pulmonologist at Oishei Children’s Hospital. In addition to her clinical roles, Dr. Xu Chen also serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor at Jacobs Medical School, imparting her expertise to future medical professionals. She has also been an active member of professional societies such as the American Thoracic Society, the European Respiratory Society, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. 
  • Damien Damperon, Integrated Supply Chain General Manager, Commercial Aircraft Group Moog Aircraft: Damien is an Operations and Supply Chain executive working at Moog in the Commercial Aircraft Group division. Previously he held various roles in General Management, Operations, Supply Chain, Design & Development in the Automotive and Aerospace industries. Damien holds an Executive MBA from HEC (Paris, France), and a double engineering degree from Cranfield university (UK) and Universite de Technologie de Compiegne (France). He lives in the Northtowns of Buffalo with his wife, Aurelie and their two teenagers (Antonin and Andrea) and their family mascot: an English bulldog named Winston. Prior to relocating to the Western New York area, the Damperon family lived in China, Singapore, the Philippines and France. In his free time, Damien likes to play tennis and travel to discover new cultures.


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