RHA Reaffirms Commitment to Lung Cancer Research

In recognition that lung cancer continues to be the leading cancer killer of men and women, Respiratory Health Association reaffirms its commitment to local lung cancer research by making a $160,000 lung cancer research award to researchers at the University of Chicago. In the ensuing years, lung cancer research grants are awarded to researchers at other local academic centers, including Northwestern University, Rush University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

CDC awards RHA 10-Year Contract to Coordinate Tuberculosis Research

Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) announces the formation of the Tuberculosis Epidemiological Studies Consortium (“TBESC”), a national collaboration of tuberculosis researchers that includes the leading TB experts in the country. CDC names Metropolitan Chicago Tuberculosis Consortium, convened by RHA, as one of 21 sites in the U.S. and awards RHA a 10-year contract to coordinate TB research projects from Chicago. In the ensuing 10 years, RHA coordinates local participation in almost 20 tuberculosis epidemiologic research studies.

COPD National Action Plan Released

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), releases its COPD National Action Plan. Respiratory Health Association believes this plan will serve as a springboard to promote policy change that supports the needs of people living with COPD and their caregivers, and fosters better communications among healthcare providers, all in an effort to reduce the burden of COPD and improve health outcomes for people living with the disease.

RHA’s COPD initiatives are aligned to support the national plan’s goals:

  • Empower people with COPD, their families, and caregivers to recognize and reduce the burden of COPD
  • Improve quality of care delivered across health care systems
  • Collect, analyze, report, and disseminate COPD data
  • Increase and sustain COPD research
  • Turn COPD policy and program recommendations into research and public healthcare actions

During the plan’s development, RHA was pleased to work with COPD stakeholders across the nation to provide input and feedback.

Join RHA and the COPD patient community as we work together each year on advocacy activities targeting elected officials.

Krishnan Receives 2017 Solovy Award

RHA was pleased to name Dr. Jerry Krishnan, Professor and Associate Vice Chancellor for Population Health Sciences at University of Illinois at Chicago, as recipient of the 2017 Solovy Award for Advancement in COPD.

Dr. Krishnan has accomplished a significant body of COPD research over a relatively short career and stands out as a national leader in COPD research. He conducts national and local studies to identify care strategies that will help people living with COPD. With a commitment to building partnerships and developing large-scale research networks to establish better treatment options for the COPD community, Dr. Krishnan has had a significant impact on clinical practice. As an advocate, Dr. Krishnan has made great strides in improving the health outcomes for individuals living with COPD.

Pictured: David Yelin, RHA Board Chair; Dr. Jerry Krishnan; Kathleen Hart Solovy; Joel J. Africk, RHA President and Chief Executive Officer

Jerold Solovy, former chair emeritus of the Jenner & Block law firm in Chicago, was one of the estimated 1 million individuals in Illinois living with COPD. Kathleen Hart Solovy established the fund in his memory, after experiencing firsthand the toll that COPD has on individuals and their families. Through the endowment, RHA will make an annual award to an outstanding COPD researcher.


DeCamp Named Inaugural Solovy Award Recipient

Respiratory Health Association awards the inaugural Solovy Award for Advancement in COPD to Malcolm M. DeCamp, MD, chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital on June 23, 2015.

Recognizing his leadership in COPD treatment, RHA provided Dr. DeCamp with a $10,000 research gift to be used for further advancements in fighting the disease.

“It was very unexpected,” said DeCamp. “It’s great that we can use this endowment to make bigger strides towards research to help people breathe better, do more, and have a better quality of life.”

This award is made possible by the Kathleen Hart Solovy and Jerold S. Solovy Endowment for COPD, created in the spring of 2015 at RHA. Jerold Solovy, former chair emeritus of the Jenner & Block law firm in Chicago, was one of the estimated 1 million individuals in Illinois living with COPD. Kathleen Hart Solovy established the fund in his memory.

“RHA is delighted to honor Dr. DeCamp for his work on behalf of COPD patients,” said Joel Africk, president and chief executive officer of the organization. “COPD has claimed too many of our family members, friends and colleagues, and we need to do more for those who are affected by this disease. RHA is grateful to Kathleen Hart Solovy for her investment in COPD research.”

COPD Award Established by Kathleen Hart Solovy

Jerold Solovy, former chair emeritus of the Jenner & Block law firm in Chicago, was one of the estimated one million individuals in Illinois living with COPD. The Kathleen Hart Solovy and Jerold S. Solovy Endowment for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) has been created at RHA in his memory.

Kathleen Hart Solovy established the fund in her husband’s memory, after she and Jerry experienced firsthand the toll from COPD on individuals and their families.

Through her gift, Mrs. Solovy has created the Solovy Award for Advancement in COPD, an annual award made to an outstanding COPD researcher that recognizes innovation and continued progress among health professionals and others in the prevention, treatment and cure of COPD.

Nominations are accepted in the spring and the award will be presented at Respiratory Health Association’s annual Summer Reception each June.

Obesity & Asthma in Urban African Americans

Samuel Dorevitch, MD
University of Illinois at Chicago


Research Summary:

A dominant theory about the link between asthma and obesity focuses on inflammation (a component of both conditions) and an element of inflammation called oxidative stress. Dr. Dorevitch is investigating the relationship between asthma, obesity and oxidative stress within an urban African American community to gain more information about the link between asthma and obesity.

Funded By:

Respiratory Health Association Research Grant

Year: 2010

Gender Differences in Asthma

Danit Ariel, MD
Stanford University Medical Center



In partnership with The CHEST Foundation, RHA co-funds a clinical research award in women’s lung health. Dr. Ariel, a fellow at Stanford University, is researching gender differences and insulin resistance in asthma. He hopes to find connections between asthma and people who are not diabetic but show resistance to insulin, which may lead to better treatments and management strategies for people with asthma.

Research Summary:

The prevalence and severity of asthma is progressively increasing, and it is estimated that women account for 65% of deaths related to asthma. Recent research indicates that there is a relationship between obesity and asthma, and that insulin resistance may be the potential link. Dr. Ariel’s research seeks to identify the role that insulin-resistance-directed therapy plays in achieving better asthma control, and explore associated gender differences.

Funded by:

Respiratory Health Association, The CHEST Foundation

Year: 2012