CHESTPress ReleasesCHEST awards grants to shorten time to diagnosis in ILD

CHEST awards grants to shorten time to diagnosis in ILD

Drs. Kavitha Selvan and Amirahwaty Abdullah will receive funding to implement quality improvement projects in 2024

Glenview, Illinois – The American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) announces Kavitha Selvan, MD, and Amirahwaty Abdullah, MBBS, as the recipients for quality improvement grants to shorten time to diagnosis for interstitial lung disease (ILD). The announcement was made during the CHEST Annual Meeting 2023 in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi.

The grants will support demonstration projects that implement the educational toolkit created by the pulmonary and primary care experts serving on the steering committee for the initiative Bridging Specialties™: Timely Diagnosis for ILD. Launched in collaboration with Three Lakes Foundation, the Bridging Specialties initiative was created to bring together pulmonary and primary care experts with the shared goal of shortening the time to diagnosis. 

“With research showing that Black patients develop ILD at a younger age than White patients and experience higher rates of hospitalization and increased mortality, the diverse population of Chicago serves as the inspiration for my team's project and will be a central factor,” said Dr. Selvan, Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellow at the University of Chicago School of Medicine. “This project is outlined to work closely with the Medical Director of the Primary Care Group within the University of Chicago to implement the Bridging Specialties patient questionnaire that assesses risk factors for ILD to identify potential concerns earlier, which is imperative to improving outcomes.”

Affecting 400,000 people in the U.S., ILDs are often overlooked as a potential diagnosis given their rarity. A proper diagnosis for this disease is further complicated by ubiquitous presenting symptoms that are common in many other diseases, including asthma, COPD and cardiac conditions, and often leads to a misdiagnosis. This delay in diagnosis, or an outright misdiagnosis, leads to additional delays in receiving proper treatment and, subsequently, a degradation in the patient’s quality of life.

“While ILD is a rare disease, the state of West Virginia has a disproportionately increased prevalence due to a variety of societal factors,” said Dr. Abdullah, Assistant Professor and Critical Care Medicine Associate Program Director at the West Virginia University School of Medicine. “Despite this prevalence, there is one ILD clinic in the state of West Virginia in comparison to 1,253 primary care providers throughout the state. To address this gap, the project will focus on expanding telemedicine capabilities in order to reach these patients virtually through their primary care physicians who would help us to facilitate the video-assisted visits.”

To learn more about the initiative, visit the CHEST website.

About the American College of Chest Physicians

The American College of Chest Physicians® (CHEST) is the global leader in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of chest diseases. Its mission is to champion advanced clinical practice, education, communication and research in chest medicine. It serves as an essential connection to clinical knowledge and resources for its 22,000+ members from around the world who provide patient care in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. For information about the American College of Chest Physicians, and its flagship journal CHEST®, visit