LUNG HEALTH VICTORIES – BUILDING A HEALTHIER FUTURE TOGETHER | JULY 2022 – JUNE 2023
With your help, we’re building a future free of lung disease. A world without asthma, COPD, COVID-19 or lung cancer. A world with clean air, where everyone breathes easier. None of these successes would be possible without our donors, advocates, and event participants. To learn more about the educational programs, research, and policy work your contributions support visit RespHealth.org.
Here are just a few ways we made a difference:
- Closing Edwards Coal-burning Power Plant
- In December 2022, the E.D. Edwards coal-burning power plant near Peoria, IL closed after operating for over 60 years. This was the result of a 2019 federal consent decree settling a Clean Air Act lawsuit by RHA and our partners. Plant owner, Vistra Energy, plans to convert the power plant site to 37 megawatts of battery energy storage, enough to power more than 18,000 homes.
- Funding Electric School Buses
- RHA has advocated for several years for funding for school districts to purchase electric school buses. In 2022, we saw this effort come to fruition when 15 Illinois school districts received $48 million in federal funding for 113 electric school buses.
- Fight Asthma Now & Asthma Management Programs
- RHA received state grant funding to educate school nurses and staff on responding to asthma emergencies during school hours. This year, RHA’s asthma programs have educated more than 1,200 children and the adults in their lives on asthma management.
- COPD Caregiver’s Toolkit
- RHA’s COPD Caregiver’s Toolkit has been viewed over 12,000 times on the NIH website since it launched in Summer 2022. This tool empowers informal caregivers of loved ones with COPD with the tools they need to help and support themselves and their loved ones through the caregiving experience.
- Lung Health Research
- RHA awarded Dr. Diego Avella Patino from Northwestern University a $75,000 grant to support the identification of cells that mediate the anti-tumor effects of immune checkpoint blockade and the immune components of the metastatic process in lung cancer. Since 2012, RHA has funded over $1.6 million in lung cancer research projects at U.S. medical institutions.
- Solovy Award for Advancement in COPD
- The 2023 Solovy Award for Advancement in COPD was awarded to Dr. M. Brad Drummond from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Dr. Drummond has collaborated on numerous studies that address the needs of people with COPD, and he has studied why some people develop lung disease and others do not.
- Project WECARE
- COPD affects 8 million women in the U.S. To address this important health issue, RHA developed a public awareness campaign to bring greater visibility to women affected by COPD. This program ensures women gain a better understanding of their disease and treatment options, and empowers women to ask their healthcare providers for proper COPD screenings.
- E-Cigarettes Added to the Smoke-Free Illinois Act
- RHA advocates helped add e-cigarettes to the Smoke-Free Illinois Act. This law, combined with vaping education in schools, is expected to reduce youth vaping and help thousands avoid nicotine addiction.
- Strengthening Smoking Restrictions
- This year RHA and our partners successfully lobbied in favor of stronger local tobacco control laws. The City of Chicago passed an ordinance further restricting the sale of e-cigarettes and the City of Evanston voted down an ordinance to allow vape shops and cannabis lounges to open.
10 Successes publications from previous years are shared below.