(May 20, 2019)
Turning America Turquoise: LUNG FORCE’s annual Turquoise Takeover celebration swept the country during National Women’s Lung Health Week (May 12-18) and raised critical awareness of lung cancer, the nation’s #1 cancer killer. From coast to coast, landmarks, TV anchors and LUNG FORCE supporters turned turquoise in support of our work to defeat lung cancer. LUNG FORCE Heroes from across the country shared their stories to help change perceptions of lung cancer – and to help others know their risk and understand why better methods of early detection and new treatment options are essential to save more lives.
Notable landmarks across the country were illuminated in our signature turquoise, including One World Trade Center (New York), The Willis Tower (Chicago), the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign, The Beverly Center (Los Angeles) and the Los Angeles International Airport Pylons.
American Lung Association Presents CVS Health with First-ever Outstanding Corporate Partner of the Year Award: On April 9, we recognized CVS Health for five years of support for LUNG FORCE as National Presenting Sponsor, driving research funding and work to defeat lung cancer. Surrounded by lung cancer survivors and advocates, CVS Health was awarded the American Lung Association’s inaugural Outstanding Corporate Partner of the Year award in Washington, D.C., as part of the lead-up to LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day. The award recognizes CVS Health’s outstanding support over the past five years to advance the American Lung Association’s efforts to defeat lung cancer. Read more.
LUNG FORCE Hero: Sarah A., a respiratory therapist, was already an active Lung Association volunteer and supporter, when she got the heartbreaking news that made it all more personal. Her mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. “Once we got this diagnosis I realized just how important raising money for lung health and lung cancer research was,” said Sarah. “It is with these dollars that most researchers get their funds to continue making strides against the disease. Without the ALA and organizations like it, many of these scientists would not have the means to continue working, and there is so much more that needs to be done.”
Presentation on the Patient Voice Leading Research: Lung Association Chief Medical Officer Albert Rizzo, MD, participated in a panel presentation at the Clinical Research as a Care Option (CRAACO) conference in Durham, North Carolina on April 29 –30. The conference explores ways to promote the benefits of clinical research as an appropriate option for medical care, and how to improve the clinical trial experience for all stakeholders. The panelists addressed the role patient advocacy has in connecting clinical care and clinical research. Dr. Rizzo presented on the Lung Association’s approach of leading with the patient voice and experience. Dr. Rizzo highlighted the recent successes of advocacy day, Advancing Research, and the work of the patient advisory groups as examples of how the Lung Association engages its patient base to advance scientific and healthcare related initiatives.
Research Grants Peer Review: Throughout March and April the Lung Association Scientific-Peer Review committees convened at the National Office in Chicago to conduct the annual review of the research grants submitted for funding. This year nearly fifty scientific experts from over 30 institutions, across 26 states reviewed the 150+ grant applications that were submitted last year. The Scientific-Peer review is a rigorous process modeled after the NIH study sections, whereby applications are bundled by mechanism, research focus and disease, then assigned to a committee of experts in the fields/topics to be reviewed. The peer reviewer’s assignment is to objectively evaluate the quality and originality of ideas, the level of grantsmanship, the likelihood of success, and the eventual impact of the proposed project. At the conclusion of the each meeting the reviewers agree on a scientifically-ranked-order of applicants and projects recommended for funding. Once the recommendations are approved by the Lung Association, awardees are notified, and the new research cycle begins on July 1.
Latest Published Research: A member of our Research Team, Chris Lim, M.S. has recently been published in two medical journals. Circulation, by the American Heart Association published his study “Mediterranean Diet and the Association Between Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality Risk.” And the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine published another or Lim’s studies, “Long-term Exposure to Ozone and Cause-Specific Mortality Risk in the U.S.“
Blocking Enzyme PIM Kinase to Treat Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: Non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) rapidly become resistant to therapy. Nrf2 is a gene that contributes to NSCLC progression and the onset of resistance to therapy. Enzymes called PIM kinases control the activation of Nrf2. Dr. Noel Warfel is conducting research to block Enzyme PIM Kinase as a way to treat NSCLC.
More States Pass Tobacco 21 Laws: Raising the minimum sales age for tobacco to 21 will reduce youth tobacco use and save lives. Virtually all (94 percent) of adult smokers had their first cigarette before turning 21, and most (81 percent) before age 18.
Since the beginning of 2019, Illinois, Washington, Utah, Delaware and most recently Maryland joined California, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Oregon— as well as the District of Columbia— in taking an important step to protect their kids by raising the minimum age of sale for all tobacco products to 21. Two additional states, Arkansas and Virginia, have also raised the sales age to 21, but provisions in these laws will make the age increase less effective.
Led by the American Lung Association, more than 650 students rally at the Pennsylvania Capital in support of Tobacco 21.
Several additional states, including, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Vermont have Tobacco 21 laws working through their legislatures or awaiting the governor’s signature. On May 7, our team in Pennsylvania lead a group of over 650 students to the state capital in Harrisburg to rally for tobacco 21.
Even more exciting is that on April 30, bipartisan Tobacco 21 bills were introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate, which we endorse, that could make Tobacco 21 the law of the land. Lung Association Chief Mission Officer Deborah Brown and Queen Cornish, a high school student and Lung Association volunteer from Delaware spoke at a press conference on Capitol Hill with Senators (D-HI), Young (R-IN), Durbin (D-IL) and Romney (R-UT) in support of the federal Tobacco 21 bill in the Senate.
L to R: Sen. Schatz. Sen. Romney, Queen Cornish, Sen. Young and Sen. Durbin.
The American Lung Association has been a leader on this initiative, and our volunteers and staff across the country have worked tirelessly to achieve these important victories. Now we can all work together to see Tobacco 21 become the law of the land. Please add your voice and speak up for tobacco to 21 nationwide by taking action on this e-alert. Learn more and track progress across the U.S.
U.S. House Approves Climate Change Bill: Earlier this month, a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Climate Action Now Act, which would help ensure that the U.S. stays in the international Paris Climate Agreement. Health organizations joined the Lung Association in support. In response to the successful vote, our President and CEO Harold Wimmer called the bill “an important first step toward comprehensive climate action to protect the health of all Americans.” Read his full statement.
Year of Air Pollution & Health: Asthma, Allergies and Climate Change: This month during the Lung Association’s Year of Air Pollution & Health, the focus is on how climate change impacts individuals with asthma and allergies. We are hosting a webinar on May 30 at 3:30 p.m. CT: “Respiratory Impacts of Climate Change for Health Professionals.”Learn moreabout the Year of Air Pollution & Health, and register for the webinar.
Sign Our Petition Urging Leaders to Take Action on Climate Change: “State of the Air” 2019 shows that climate change is threatening our nation’s progress toward achieving healthy air for all. We need national action to clean up power plants, oil and gas operations, and other sources of pollution to address climate change and reduce other emissions that threaten our health at the same time. Please sign this “State of the Air” 2019 petition to Congress and the Administration urging them to take action on climate change.
Medical Society Consortium Hill Day: In early May, the Lung Association teamed up with the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health to visit Congressional offices and ask members of Congress to highlight the health impacts of climate change in their public comments. The day featured more than 70 medical and public health professionals where we met with members and/or staff for more than 100 Congressional offices – including this one with Rep. Mike Doyle (PA), pictured here looking at the Lung Association’s new Declaration on Climate Change and Health.
Historic 20th ‘State of the Air’ Makes Major Impact: On April 24, we released our 20th annual “State of the Air” report. The main message of this year’s report is more urgent than ever. After years of steady improvement, the report presents evidence that this progress is stalled or reversing, largely due to the changing climate. This year’s “State of the Air” report sounds the alarm that climate change is degrading air quality and placing health and more lives at risk.
That alarm has generated historic media response. In the first 24 hours after the release, “State of the Air” was mentioned in major national and regional print, broadcast and online media outlets resulting in more than 2,300 news stories—with new stories appearing every minute. National media hits include NPR’s Here and Now, CNN, The Washington Post, USA Today, Univision UNews, TIME, The Guardian, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, and The Hill. And tremendous regional and local coverage in all 50 states, including: Los Angeles Times, WTTW Chicago, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Knoxville News Sentinel, Boston Globe, CBS Baltimore, Oregon Public Broadcasting, ABC San Diego, CBS Sacramento, The Salt Lake Tribune and many more.
Do you want to see how the air where you live rates? Is it healthy or hazardous? Visit Lung.org/sota to learn more and find out what you can do to protect the air we all share.
New Video Tutorials for Patients with Lung Disease: With any chronic lung disease, taking your medicine correctly is a major part in successfully managing the disease. And many people living with lung disease use a nebulizer to help get the medication deep into the lungs where it’s needed most. Through new video tutorials, we show How to Properly Use a Nebulizer and How to Properly Clean a Nebulizer to ensure that patients are getting the most out of their device and their medications are delivered effectively. Developed in partnership with Mylan Specialty, L.P. and Theravance Biopharma US, these videos are also available in Spanish. Learn more about nebulizers at Lung.org/nebulizer.
Asthma Awareness Month and World Asthma Day: May is National Asthma Awareness Month and May 7 is recognized as World Asthma Day. Did you know that asthma affects 26 million Americans, including 6 million children? The American Lung Association offers support and a variety of tools to help manage this chronic lung disease. Asthma Basics, our free interactive online course (now available in Spanish) is a great primer designed to help people learn more about the disease. Our Pathways to Managing Asthma infographic is also a helpful resource to share along with our How Lung Friendly Is Your Workplace? infographic, which is designed to help adults living with asthma create asthma-friendly workplaces. To ask questions and talk to a professional about asthma, call our Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872).
Congressional World Asthma Day Briefing: On Tuesday, May 7, the Lung Association and the Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition co-hosted a Congressional briefing on World Asthma Day, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the CDC’s National Asthma Control Program, where the great news of the House increasing funding for CDC’s asthma program was announced. Dr. Pat Breysse, the director of CDC’s National Center for Environment Health (which houses the Asthma Program) and Peggy Gaddy, the program coordinator for the Missouri Asthma Control Program, each spoke about how this critical program has helped people with asthma. Erika Sward from the Washington National Office team moderated the event.
Asthma & Climate Change: Tips All People with Asthma Should Know Webinar – May 23, 5 p.m. ET: The Lung Association is hosting a webcast for people with asthma and their caregivers on May 23, at 4 p.m. CT, titled, “Asthma and Climate Change: Tips All People with Asthma Should Know.” The purpose of the webcast is to provide learning opportunity for patients and caregivers to learn more about outdoor air quality, climate change and the impacts it has on asthma. The webcast will feature Traci Gonzales, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. This educational opportunity is made possible with support from Grant Number NUE1EH001305, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Please plan to join us and help us spread the word to patients, caregivers, and community partners. Register today.
MyShot Flu Campaign Recognized with National Award: We’re pleased to announce that with your support, our MyShot flu vaccination campaign has won national industry recognition. At the annual National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit Awards Luncheon, organizations making extraordinary contributions towards improving vaccination rates are recognized. MyShot, our collaborative flu vaccination campaign with Sanofi Pasteur, was named National Winner in the Corporate Campaign award category for helping to educate adults 50 years of age and older – particularly those with chronic health conditions – about the potential dangers of flu. The award is shared with all of you as well – this campaign’s success would not be possible without your support and help sharing the campaign through your personal networks.
It’s May, and MAY we invite you to a walk or trek? Spring is here and before the summer heat arrives participating in a LUNG FORCE Walk (Run/Walk), trek or other event is a great way to support lung health and enjoy the outdoors with friends and family. Help us raise awareness and funds to help defeat lung cancer and to support better lung health. Find an event near you.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
The lifesaving work of the American Lung Association is made possible because of our wonderful supporters, like you! All the work of our researchers, volunteers and staff is made possible only because so many generous donors across the country believe in our vision of a world without lung disease. If you would like to become more involved, we always have opportunities for those who share our passion for lung health to join in our work.