Our Work Continues During COVID-19

An Update from Joel Africk, President & CEO
As COVID-19 continues to spread, we as a community are facing serious loss, challenges and uncertainty. If you’re living in Illinois, like our team is, you’ve recently heard that our stay at home order has been extended through May 30, 2020. Other cities and states are making similar decisions.

During this stay at home order we’re separated from friends and family when their comfort is sorely needed. But now more than ever, we need to stay strong as a community and continue our efforts to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

People with chronic lung disease have suffered—and will suffer—many of the worst consequences of COVID-19. That places more than one million of our friends, co-workers and family members at great risk until this virus is under control. I urge you to follow the advice of local public health leaders and be part of the solution. These measures are the only way to protect us.

These measures work. The results aren’t instantly visible, but the efforts we make today will save lives in the weeks to come.

Some of you have also expressed concern for our staff and the organization’s ability to carry out our mission. Your care and support is appreciated more than I can express. Respiratory Health Association’s staff is working remotely and following all local public health guidance.

Over the past month, we’ve created a number of general COVID-19 resources that we’re sharing on our website, through email and on social media, including guidance on what to do if someone in your home has COVID-19.

To help serve those of you with chronic lung disease, we’ve developed guides about COVID-19 and COPD and asthma. And we’ve created updated information about smoking as a risk factor for severe effects from the coronavirus and updated tips to help you quit smoking or vaping. To support our lung health communities, we’re working to assess and meet the needs of pulmonary rehabilitation leaders and provide at-home resources for patients who are unable to attend in-person rehabilitation sessions.

If there’s more we can do, I invite you to please give us feedback. We will continue striving to support our lung health community in any way we can.

Rest assured that our work continues, and we remain steadfastly committed to our vision of healthy lungs and clean air for all.

Be well,

Joel Africk
President & CEO
Respiratory Health Association