American Lung Association
A voluntary health organization, the American Lung Association was founded more than hundred years ago in 1904. The main reason for the organization that led to its formation was to fight against tuberculosis. At that time, the organization was called the National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis. It was founded by Edward Livingston Trudeau and Dr. Lawrence Flick.
The organization aims at fighting for better lung health for everyone. Therefore the fight includes looking at the various aspects that cause air pollution and leave the air unfit to breathe. Pollution, smoking, gases from factories and other pollutants are a key concern of the organization.
The organization is headed and managed by a Board of Directors, which is also the governing body. This body is responsible for providing a strategic direction to the various people who work in the many chapters that exist. The American Lung Association funds research to find treatments and methods of prevention of various lung diseases. These researches impact more than 33 million Americans who have some kind of a lung condition that needs medical care. Childhood Asthma is another area that the association fights against. Since the condition affects more than 6 million children in the country, it can be classified as one of the leading chronic illness. There are nurses that have been deployed in various schools to ensure the good health of children who need help with this condition. The Asthma Clinical Research Centers conduct large scale researches and trials to find ways and means of curing and preventing diseases that are currently not curable completely.
There are also various annual reports that the organization publishes each year. These include the State of the Air report, the State of Tobacco Control report, Lung Disease Data, the State Legislated Action on Tobacco Issues report, the Research Awards Nationwide report, the State Smoking Cessation report and other reports too.
While the tagline of the American Lung Association has changed over time, the latest tagline that they have is adopted “fighting for air”. Irrespective of the tagline, this organization has always focused on issues related to the lungs. Starting with the fight against tuberculosis, the organization expanded its horizons when the lung disease came under control in United States.
The mission of the organization is “to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease”. The association aims at eliminating the use of tobacco and tobacco products that cause lung disease. They want to improve the quality of air that we breathe so that it cannot worsen the damage that has already been done and in order to ensure a cleaner and safer environment for the next generations. While the fight against these lung disease causing factors continues, the association also provides care and support for patients and their families in the form of education, information and care.
The association makes it a point to measure their own performance in order to see the progress that they have made in the area. The board meets regularly to monitor the progress, change course if required and review the next steps.
Some of the specific areas that the association is making an impact is to include childhood asthma, secondhand smoke, smoking, air pollution and flu. While the Asthma Clinical Research Centers continue to conduct large scale researches in order to find a cure, it is known that more than 25 states have passed laws that prohibit smoking in workplaces, restaurants, bars and any public place. This is huge victory that the association has accomplished in the area of lung disease after being effective in ensuring that smoking was banned on flights.
Second hand smoke is another issue, with about 1100 kids taking up smoking each day. More than a third of these kids eventually die due to this addiction at some point in time. The association won the fight and ensured that the US FDA governed tobacco related product. But there is still a long way to go to reduce the number of children who take up smoking as a habit.
The American Lung Association was formed in 1904 by Edward Livingston Trudeau and Doctor Lawrence Flick. It was called the National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis at that time.
Prior to this Dr. Lawrence Flick had founded the Pennsylvania Society for the prevention of TB which was the first society that worked towards the prevention of tuberculosis. The National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis was renamed the National Tuberculosis Association in 1918 and it was rechristened National Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease Association in 1968. The current name was adopted in 1973.
Some of the popular taglines that the association has adopted include “it's a matter of life and death”, “when you can't breathe, nothing else matters” and “fighting for air”. The first 50 years for the organization were tough but the organization forged ahead in getting funding for the projects and continuing the fight against tuberculosis to prevent and cure it. By 1954, tuberculosis was almost non-existent in the United States.
The Christmas Seals Campaign was launched in 1907 and ever since it has been a symbol of the fight that the patient's put up to combat the illness. The first campaign was created by Emily Bissel to raise money for a sanitarium. The fight against the disease continued and since tuberculosis was mostly under control, the association expanded its horizons to include all kinds of lung diseases. This was when they took over the name “American Lung Association” in 1973.
The association stands for the right to freedom of fresh and healthy air for all. It was one of the first organizations to take over the fight against smoking, with the belief that the nation's greatest health risk that was preventable. They also fought pollution in order to fight lung disease among urban residents. The Clean Air Act that resulted in the ban on smoking on airplanes and the bill that allowed the US Food and Drug Association to regulate tobacco products were some of the victories that can be associated with the association. Some of the other diseases that the American Lung Association is fighting today include lung conditions that range from asthma to lung cancer.
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