Newswise — June 29, 2020 -- This month the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) launched For My Lung Health, a patient-education website and media campaign. Using public service announcements and an education-based website, For My Lung Health focuses on empowering people from underserved communities who live with chronic lung disease.
As a joint effort between two leading global authorities in lung health, For My Lung Health is aimed at reducing the disparity in access to vital resources. Making lung health a priority can be challenging for many patients, especially for those who face inequities in accessing health care. Amidst the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic it is important to take control of one’s lung health. Ensuring access to credible information developed and endorsed by respiratory medical professionals and other advocacy-based organizations representing patients across the chronic lung condition spectrum is one way to enable individuals to make knowledgeable choices.
“It gives me peace of mind knowing that this campaign is alerting the community to how COVID-19 affects people like me who are at high risk for pulmonary seizures,” said Carmen Camacho of the Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome Network, ATS Public Advisory Roundtable (PAR), a partnership of organizations representing patients with lung disease.
Ensuring that information and access to resources reach the people most affected by COVID-19, who also have chronic lung disease, is a top priority for ATS and CHEST. Statistically, COVID-19 disproportionately affects people of color, including Black and Latino communities.
The For My Lung Health online media campaign targets locations showing the highest pandemic impact on underserved populations. The public service message, produced in both English and Spanish, offers supportive tips and directs viewers to additional online resources. The media campaign will last throughout the summer and has a goal of reaching more than a million viewers. In the first nine days after the launch, more than 355,000 complete video views were tracked on YouTube and there have been more than 1,600 unique visits to the website.
The For My Lung Health website provides disease-specific information, in video and written formats, on many chronic lung diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and COVID-19. The educational material was developed by ATS and CHEST’s broad network of providers, clinical education experts, and partners. The website will continue to be available and updated as need.
“Whether it is dealing with the daily effects of a chronic lung disease or the impact of a pandemic virus that targets the lungs, ensuring that patients and their families have the information they need to make crucial decisions about their health must be a priority for all healthcare providers. We have resources that can provide credible, lifesaving information for some patients, especially those who are isolated or do not have readily available access to health care. This campaign helps us get that information to the people who need it most,” said Stephanie M. Levine, MD, FCCP, and President of CHEST.
“Two reasons for the racial/ethnic disparities in the ongoing pandemic are lack of information about the health risks of COVID-19 and limited access or use of healthcare services. The For My Lung Health campaign provides good information while encouraging patients to seek proper health care. Despite the spread of COVID-19, patients should not dismiss early symptoms out of fear of contracting the virus,” said ATS President Juan C. Celedón, MD, DrPH, ATSF. “Telehealth options, allowing video or phone chats with providers, are available to patients during the pandemic. Talk to your provider, particularly if you have an underlying lung condition.”
This project was generously funded through an educational grant by GlaxoSmithKline and a donation from Boehringer Ingelheim, both as part of the ATS COVID-19 Crisis Fund.
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The #ForMyLungHealth campaign advocates for lung health care in #Black and #Latino communities through education. #lunghealth #covid19 @atscommunity @accpchest
About the American Thoracic Society
Founded in 1905, the American Thoracic Society is a leading global medical association dedicated to advancing pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. The Society’s more than 16,000 members prevent and fight respiratory disease around the globe through research, education, patient care, and advocacy. The ATS publishes four journals, the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, the Annals of the American Thoracic Society, and ATS Scholar.
About the American College of Chest Physicians
The American College of Chest Physicians® (CHEST) is a global leader in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of chest diseases. Its mission is to champion advanced clinical practice, education communication and research in chest medicine. It serves as an essential connection to clinical knowledge and resources for its 19,000+ members from around the world who provide patient care in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. For information about the American College of Chest Physicians, and its flagship journal CHEST®, visit chestnet.org.