Spread Compassion and Warmth this Holiday Season

Patricia W. Finn, MD
   Patricia W. Finn, MD

I would like to use my column this month to wish you, your colleagues and friends, and your families a joyful holiday season and a healthy New Year.

As health care professionals, we are uniquely able to lighten the burdens of those who are struggling during this hopeful and festive time. We must be especially supportive of those whose health or family or financial circumstances may isolate them from the warmth and spirit of the holidays.

I would also like to challenge you to be as supportive of and generous toward your younger colleagues who are attempting to establish research careers. The ATS Foundation's Funds for the Future campaign is on track for raising a record amount of money–over $500,000–for unrestricted research awards.

As you know, these awards make a real difference at a critical time in the professional lives of the recipients. These are smart and high-achieving people who are extremely vulnerable as they make the transition to becoming independent researchers and mentors to a new generation of scientists and clinicians. We need a deep bench to improve the lives of our patients.

An ATS research grant can make the difference between success and failure in achieving their goals. Fortunately, over the course of ten years, the ATS Foundation Research Program has helped launched more than 100 research careers, and awardees have gone on to compete successfully for more than $100 million in research grants from the National Institutes of Health and other major funders.

If you have already donated, you have my deepest appreciation–thank you. If you haven't, you may do so online at https://thoracic.secure.force.com/ContributeOnline. Every good wish for happy and healthy New Year!