November 2013

Respiratory Health Association's e-newsletter is published monthly and contains news of our happenings, program updates and links to lung health resources. This month's issue includes:

November brings awareness to lung disease

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A letter from our President and CEO

Dear Friends,

November is Lung Cancer and COPD Awareness Month.

Respiratory Health Association has made several strides this year in fighting lung cancer and COPD, two of the leading causes of death in the United States. We've co-funded a research grant for Dr. Valerie Press at the University of Chicago to study the effectiveness of a video-based strategy to teach hospitalized patients how to use their inhalers properly to manage their COPD. We've awarded Dr. Ravi Salgia at the University of Chicago Medical Center a research grant to study a potential therapeutic target for treating lung cancer. (Read about all of our funded research here.) We have hosted hundreds of people living with COPD at our social and educational COPD events, and we have brought the message of COPD awareness to Congress by recruiting two new Illinois members of the Congressional COPD Caucus.

We are proud of the steps we have taken in the fight against these diseases, but it's not enough. Lung cancer is still the leading cancer killer among men and women in the United States, and COPD is believed to affect 1 million people living in Illinois.

In this month's e-newsletter, you'll find other recent lung health accomplishments and ways you can get involved to achieve even more. We ask for your help in continuing to support new treatments and management strategies for everyone affected by lung disease. On behalf of them all, thank you.

Joel Africk 


 Joel Africk

Joel Africk
President and CEO

A look back: Smoke-free Wilmette

This month, we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Smoke-free Wilmette, a local success story that paved the way for similar public health measures in surrounding Chicagoland suburbs, Chicago and, eventually, Illinois. A decade ago, Respiratory Health Association helped secure passage of the ordinance that made all workplaces in Wilmette, including restaurants and bars, 100% smoke-free. We worked with a dedicated group of Wilmette residents who signed petitions, displayed lawn signs, and called and emailed the Village Trustees urging them to support this important decision. As predicted - and as evidenced by a now-thriving restaurant community in downtown Wilmette - the smoke-free ordinance was good for public health and it had no ill-effects on business.

Help us secure more lung health victories; become an advocate.

Healthy Lungs Initiative presents to public health leaders

Sara Semal,
Clinical Director,
Healthy Lungs

The Healthy Lungs Initiative, a multi-year program of the Cook County Hospital and Health Systems, in collaboration with Respiratory Health Association, was created to provide smoking cessation assistance, asthma management and COPD management assistance to Cook County residents utilizing Stroger Hospital and County clinics, among other locations. This year, our Healthy Lungs Initiative staff were invited to present a poster documenting their activities at the American Public Health Association's Annual Meeting & Exposition, which is attended by 13,000 workers and opinion leaders in the public health community. The presentation highlighted the Initiative's steps to improving lung health among Cook County residents by increasing quit smoking rates and improving self-management skills for people with asthma or COPD.

Find out more about the Healthy Lungs Initiative.

This holiday season, give a gift to support lung health

For more than 100 years, committed donors, partners and volunteers have been vital to advancing our mission and expanding our efforts to improve lung health. Please consider Respiratory Health Association this holiday season as you are selecting worthy causes to support. Donations to Respiratory Health Association support programs that directly benefit our efforts to address COPD, lung cancer, asthma and other lung diseases in our community.

If you have any questions about our online giving process, or if you would prefer to speak with a staff member, please call Development Director Chris Byrne at (312) 628-0213 or

Click here to make your gift today.

Get Involved: Hustle spots still remain

          Hustle        Hustle       Hustle 

When Hustle Up the Hancock registration opened November 1, full climb spots sold out in the second fastest time ever - one hour and 10 minutes! We are thrilled by our supporters' enthusiasm to raise awareness and funds for our lung disease research and programs. Although the full climb is sold out, there are still ways to get involved. Spots for the CBS 2 Half Climb and Lung Health Champion spots in the full climb (raise $1,000 or more) still remain. Sign up today!

Click here to Hustle for lung health!