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HomeATS CommunitySociety Spotlight ▶ COVID-19 Crisis Unites ATS Community
COVID-19 Crisis Unites ATS Community

In the last several weeks, ATS membership has come together to fight COVID-19 on the frontlines, and to collaborate and share behind the scenes. As a Society, our focus has shifted to countering the spread of COVID-19, making new information available as quickly as possible, and advocating for additional staffing and PPE. Recognizing that the true strength of the ATS is the connections it fosters across the pulmonary, critical care, and sleep fields, we’ve automatically extended lapsed memberships, and are offering assistance in dues to those affected by financial hardships. We’ve also provided subscriptions to a HIPAA-compliant online-collaboration system, DocMatter, to further enhance collaboration around the world as a new member benefit. Our community is critical to this fight, and we’re working hard as a Society to make sure that information is as accessible as possible.

The ATS community also extends beyond its membership to our partners , from industry partners to hotel partners. Last month, we received several generous donations, which launched the first of two new funds at the ATS: the COVID-19 Crisis Fund. Boehringer Ingelheim, a family-owned company, gave an inaugural donation of $500,000 to help the Society respond quickly to the pandemic, supporting everything COVID-19 related, from educational materials to advocacy. GSK has also generously contributed $280,000 in support of our COVID-19 related patient education and outreach efforts as an educational grant, as well as funding two COVID-19 specific research grants of $50,000.00 each.

In addition to industry grants to the COVID-19 Crisis Fund, the Society has received an outpouring of generosity from the membership and a desire to assist. A new opportunity to donate to the ATS “where it is needed most,”  drew support from the ATS Past Presidents, and was created to cover the vast and changing needs that are arising as a result of this pandemic. This fund gives the ATS the flexibility to allocate donations wherever they will most support the quickly-changing necessities in this unprecedented time. In response to member requests, members who had already registered for ATS 2020 will even have the opportunity to donate their registration fee, in lieu of a refund, to support the Society in whichever way they wish.

The ATS has always been proud of our community, within the membership and more broadly. The challenges of the pandemic have only highlighted the strength and resiliency of our members, but also of our larger community as we take this on together. Thank you for your ongoing membership and your work to defeat COVID-19.