Encana Oil and Gas (USA) Inc. gives $25,000 to Environmental Lung Center at National Jewish Health to improve lung health

National Jewish Health recently announced a $25,000 gift from Encana Oil and Gas (USA) Inc. to support research at its Environmental Lung Center. Encana, with nearly 900 employees working in downtown Denver, is a leading North American natural gas producer. Denver is the U.S. division headquarters; its corporate offices are in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The National Jewish Health Environmental Lung Center conducts research on air pollutants and on the impact of air pollution on vulnerable populations, including pre-adolescent children, elderly persons, and people with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Many people with chronic lung diseases, including asthma, bronchitis and emphysema, experience worse symptoms when exposed to air pollution. Encana funding will support National Jewish Health research to determine the impacts of air pollution on people with chronic lung diseases, the mechanisms of lung injury caused by air pollutants and appropriate treatments based upon individuals' genetic make-up.

"We're grateful to Encana for its support of this important line of study," said Robert Mason, MD, Director of the Environmental Lung Center at National Jewish Health. "This funding will help us better understand on a cellular level exactly how pollutants can injure cells in the lung. That knowledge, in turn, could lead to therapies to treat and possibly prevent lung disease caused by air pollution."

"Encana is proud to support the work at the Environmental Lung Center at National Jewish Health," said Doug Hock of Encana. "Our employees realize the importance of maintaining good air quality through strong environmental stewardship. This grant is just one more way we can help to ensure that everyone in our community breathes easier."

National Jewish Health is known worldwide for treatment of patients with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders, and for groundbreaking medical research. Founded in 1899 as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish Health remains the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to these disorders. Since 1998, U.S. News & World Report has ranked National Jewish Health the #1 respiratory hospital in the nation.

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