Picture a world where fewer children are affected by allergies, COPD isn’t life-threatening, there is a cure for severe asthma, and damaged lung tissue can be restored so people can breathe easier. With your support, you are helping to accelerate these discoveries at National Jewish Health.
National Jewish Health was founded in 1899 as a free hospital for the homeless during the tuberculosis pandemic. Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic brought renewed public awareness to respiratory health. For us, though, it has always been critical. From helping to develop a combined chemotherapy for tuberculosis, to finding a cause for long COVID, we have led the nation in respiratory and related medicine for more than 123 years.
National Jewish Health has been ranked in the top ten by U.S. News & World Report every year that the Pulmonology category has been included in the rankings (27 years). And because the lungs are intrinsically linked with many other systems within the body, our world-class scientists and physicians are pioneering advancements and developing global guidelines in areas that impact the lungs, such as the heart, immune system, brain and GI tract. They have made seminal contributions to the research and treatment of asthma, cancer, nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) and cystic fibrosis (CF). Our work, such as that listed below, is consistently recognized by the National Institutes of Health as promising and worthy of support.
Stopping the Progression of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Dr. James Crapo leads the largest study of COPD ever with more than 10,000 patients. His team’s work is geared toward discovering what genetic factors contribute to developing COPD and the treatments that can target those factors. Dr. Irina Petrache, chief of The Tuchman Family Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, is also working on several studies, including looking for non-antibiotic approaches to reducing COPD exacerbations.
Curing Severe Asthma
We are working to cure severe asthma. Twenty-five million people in this country suffer from asthma and half of them do not have their disease under control. Asthma is still responsible for more school and work days lost than any other condition. Through the Cohen Family Asthma Institute, we are on the way to understanding what triggers severe asthma attacks and finding ways to prevent them.
Preventing Childhood Allergies
We have a goal to prevent childhood allergies, another major problem in this country. This work is being done in the Silverstein Family Department of Pediatrics. Hundreds of thousands of children suffer from the allergic march that starts with eczema, goes to food allergies and then asthma. We have been leaders in the research and treatment of allergic diseases since 1967, when we identified the molecule responsible for immune response. As a result of this discovery, allergy medications have been developed, benefiting hundreds of millions of people around the world.
Understanding Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD)
Oftentimes characterized by shortness of breath and coughing that can lead to respiratory failure, the more than 130 maladies that fall under the ILD umbrella are challenging to diagnose and can go undetected or misdiagnosed for years. National Jewish Health is well-positioned to take ILD clinical and research efforts to the next level. In fact, the National Institutes of Health has designated National Jewish Health as a Specialized Center of Research for ILD. Together, our scientists, doctors and staff are broadening their understanding of the causes of ILD and developing new treatment approaches. They want to understand the mechanisms of scarring in ILD and are conducting extensive research in this area.
This is just a sample of the big challenges that National Jewish Health is tackling to improve the lives of children and adults with some of the most complex conditions we face. As we strive toward big discoveries with big impact, we never lose sight of what is most important: saving and improving lives through a model of care that is collaborative, compassionate and precise. Your support of the Breath of Life Golf Classic enables us to continue this work.