Newswise — NEW YORK, NY – May 01, 2024 – A. Sonia Buist, MD, a past president of the American Thoracic Society and an advocate for global public health policy and respiratory health, has donated $400,000 to the Society, making her the ATS’s highest lifetime donor in its history. Her gift will support the ATS/MECOR Women’s Leadership Program, a new visionary program to enhance leadership capabilities in African women.

In 1994, Dr. Buist founded the Methods in Epidemiologic, Clinical, and Operations Research (MECOR) program to address the limited opportunities for training in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine in low—and middle-income countries.

Today, 30 years later, MECOR’s impact extends globally and boasts more than 2500 graduates.

“We are truly grateful to Dr. Buist,” said ATS President M. Patricia Rivera. “She is a visionary and inspiration to many. Now, with this historic gift, she has laid the groundwork for countless female scientists in Africa to realize their full potential as leaders in respiratory medicine.”

“Beyond building research capacity in Africa, Sonia is championing the overall development of African scientists,” said Obianuju Ozoh, MBBS, MSc, ATSF, of the ATS African Interest Group.

Dr. Buist will be formally recognized at the ATS 2024 International Conference beginning May 17 in San Diego.

“We hope that Dr. Buist’s donation will inspire additional support for other ATS initiatives to improve lung health worldwide,” added Dr. Rivera.

Consider making a gift to support the ATS MECOR program.


About the American Thoracic Society:

Founded in 1905, the American Thoracic Society is the world's leading medical society dedicated to accelerating the advancement of global respiratory health through multidisciplinary collaboration, education, and advocacy. Core activities of the Society’s more than 16,000 members are focused on leading scientific discoveries, advancing professional development, impacting global health, and transforming patient care. Key areas of member focus include developing clinical practice guidelines, hosting the annual International Conference, publishing four peer-reviewed journals, advocating for improved respiratory health globally, and developing an array of patient education and career development resources.

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