President's Message

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Collaborating with Patients, Collaborating With PAR

October 2017
Marc Moss, MD

Marc Moss, MD

Many health care professionals chose their profession because they wanted to help people. These “people” are our patients. The patients are the motivating factor for going to work each day. In the hospital or clinic, we get the unique opportunity to provide care for people. When we teach students and trainees or do research, the goal is always to deliver better care for future patients.

In addition to all that the ATS does to help improve patient care, our society also provides unique opportunities for health care professionals to work hand-in-hand with patients. This collaboration began with the formation of the Public Advisory Roundtable (PAR). PAR is a partnership with organizations representing persons affected by respiratory diseases, sleep-related conditions, or related critical illnesses. ATS collaborates with PAR to advance shared educational, research, patient care, and advocacy goals. PAR now comprises 15 member organizations representing individuals affected by pulmonary, critical care, and sleep problems.

The ATS advocates for multiple issues for patients and patient care; from increased funding for basic and clinical research, better TB and tobacco control policies, cleaner air, and overall improved respiratory health for the patients we serve. Patients are at our side advocating for all of these issues.

Not only do PAR and their patients advocate with us at congressional visits, they have a presence at our educational events like "Lung Disease of the Week at ATS," as well as our International Conference. At the International Conference, PAR organizes a symposium for patients. ATS members who are experts in their field deliver outstanding talks. A group of ATS experts then is available to meet with patients in smaller groups to answer their questions. Patients with a variety of respiratory-related disorders attend from all over the particular metropolitan area. The patients bring their families, and sometimes their friends. The entire event is very educational, and a great service to our patients, and inspirational for the health care providers that attend.

Once a year, PAR publishes a book of patient stories, highlighting patient presenters from the most recent conference. The sixth edition of Patient Voices, disseminated in print and online, contains stories written by the patients suffering from an array of respiratory diseases. In its unique way, each story tells a tale of hope and resilience.

Please check our PAR Publications after Oct. 15 for your copy of Patient Voices, and feel free to share the booklet widely!