ATS PAR Presents "Lung Disease Week at the ATS"

lung weekThroughout 2012, the ATS Public Advisory Roundtable (PAR) will host its second annual “Lung Disease Week at the ATS” series, a Society-wide initiative that recognizes the many rare lung disorders for which ATS PAR member organizations provide support and guidance to patients and their families. For a series of one-week periods throughout 2012, ATS PAR will bring patient issues to the front and center of the Society’s agenda. Working with its PAR partners, the ATS will develop, aggregate and host links to disease-specific content on its Web site at http://patients.thoracic.org/par/index.php.

Material will include patient stories, testimonials, interviews, videos, photos, support group information, details on ongoing legislative efforts and clinical trial updates. The ATS will foster interaction between patients, clinicians and researchers by hosting an online question-and-answer sessions, webinars and podcasts featuring lung disease experts.

Each week will have its own designation—for example, “Lung Cancer Week at the ATS” and will be branded and marketed as such. Each ‘Lung Disease Week’ will coincide with efforts by the organizations represented by ATS PAR to advocate for increased public awareness and research funding.

“It was very gratifying to see the ATS recognize the burden that lung cancer takes each year on tens of thousands of patients and their families,” said Joan Schiller, MD, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Schiller presented a live webinar entitled “The Science of Hope: Strides in Lung Cancer Research” as part of last year’s “Lung Cancer Week at the ATS,” in conjunction with PAR partner the National Lung Cancer Partnership.

“By making the resources and expertise of the ATS directly accessible to lung disease patients, I think that the ATS PAR Lung Disease Week program provides a unique and extremely valuable way for patients to educate themselves about their lung disease,” said Dr. Andrew Tager, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital. “I found my own experience of hosting an online session with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients to be extremely rewarding, and that the patients were extremely eager to hear the rationale for currently or soon-to-be enrolling clinical trials for this disease—information not always readily obtained from other online sources.”

As part of this new campaign, the ATS will highlight new or existing patient information materials for each specific disease type being recognized, as well as other information that may be of value to physicians and patients. Below is a calendar of the “Lung Disease Week” activities scheduled for 2012.

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