Dr. Laura Feemster Receives 2022 Solovy Award for COPD Research

Respiratory Health Association (RHA) is pleased to name Laura Feemster, MD, MS, from the VA Puget Sound Health Care System and the University of Washington, as recipient of the 2022 Solovy Award for Advancement in COPD. Dr. Feemster accepted the award from Kathleen Hart Solovy as part of RHA’s 2022 Summer Reception on June 30 in Chicago.

The award is funded by the Kathleen Hart Solovy and Jerold S. Solovy Endowment for COPD, and recognizes researchers who have worked to improve the lives of people living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

“I am deeply humbled and honored to join such a distinguished group of prior awardees, whose notable accomplishments in advancing healthcare for patients living with COPD demonstrates the significance of this award,” Feemster noted. “To accept this honor is truly a highlight of my professional career and I look forward to continuing to help positively impact the lives of people living with COPD and their loved ones.”

Dr. Feemster’s work in COPD focuses on improving health care delivery to patients with COPD – including increasing the use of evidence-based treatments, but also in reducing the use of treatments that are not beneficial and sometimes even harmful.

“Many people living with COPD have severe shortness of breath that limits what they are able to do, or they suffer from frequent flare-ups that lead to hospitalization,” continued Feemster. “While medications and therapies are available that can help improve quality of life and decrease these flare-ups, COPD patients often do not receive these important therapies or receive the wrong therapies. Identifying these gaps and developing interventions to improve the quality of COPD care has the potential to greatly improve the daily lives of the millions of people living with COPD.”

Dr. Feemster is the seventh recipient of the Solovy Award, which was established in 2016. Dr. Nadia Hansel, Director of the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, was the most recent award recipient. Her ongoing research focuses on the social causes of health-related risk factors for COPD including poverty, obesity, diet, and indoor air pollution.

“We are excited to recognize Dr. Feemster for her work on behalf of COPD patients and look forward to following her research efforts,” said Joel Africk, RHA’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “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. We are reminded that funding for COPD research is much less than other common chronic diseases, and RHA is forever grateful to Kathleen Hart Solovy for her investment in COPD research.”

Each year Respiratory Health Association also awards early-stage research grants to promising projects covering lung diseases such as lung cancer, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and COPD. Learn more about RHA’s research program and funding opportunities.