CHEST Philanthropy: Moving Into the Future

CHEST Philanthropy: Moving Into the Future


In an ideal world, change would be progressive, the direction would be clear, and adoption would be easy. We learned in these past few years that sometimes change cannot wait. The vulnerabilities of the health care system were laid bare by the pandemic, including vast disparities in treatment and the urgent need to grow our profession.

In the light of these truths, CHEST looked within and asked a difficult question: Are we doing everything we can? This question probably sounds very familiar—one you ask every day, one you know the importance of asking. It was time we asked it of ourselves.

Milestones are a good time to reevaluate

Philanthropy is not new to CHEST. We celebrated 25 years of the CHEST Foundation in Nashville during CHEST 2022. Stories about community and clinical research grants were circulated in website blogs, emails, and newsletters and on social media for years. Our committee member volunteers worked hard developing accurate and credible patient education content for the CHEST Foundation website. Because of our faithful donors, communities around the world had access to better medical care and healthier environments.

This is amazing work, but it was time to ask:

  • What can CHEST provide that others cannot?
  • Where are the gaps we can fill?
  • What is our community passionate about changing?

Working collectively, CHEST and CHEST Foundation leadership, along with staff, rigorously reviewed the success of our past fundraising efforts, areas of commitment our donors had specified, and the direction of interest our membership was leading us toward—like social accountability, growth and diversification of our profession, grassroots community impact, and partnerships to expand our reach. The process took nearly a year to complete—but, in the realm of big changes, that’s equal to the time needed for one good, deep breath.

Focusing on significant change means narrowing our scope

Meeting these goals would mean changing how we worked and letting go of areas better served elsewhere. CHEST needed to:

  1. Align philanthropy with our mission to elevate the value placed on giving, making it a core priority and responsibility of CHEST as an organization
  2. Consolidate philanthropy under CHEST to reduce administrative costs and create efficiencies, allowing more funds to go directly to our philanthropic efforts
  3. Establish clear and transparent areas of giving that resonate with our members as a way to grow our impact and make real change

With the full support of the CHEST Board of Regents, the CHEST Foundation Board of Advisors—under the guidance of Advisory Chair, Robert De Marco, MD, FCCP, and CHEST Foundation President, Ian Nathanson, MD, FCCP—approved a merger of the CHEST Foundation with CHEST.

In order to increase our impact and create greater awareness of CHEST philanthropic efforts, the Board of Advisors got to work defining a giving strategy that would meet the philanthropic goals and priorities of the CHEST membership. Four areas were defined and are referred to as our philanthropic pillars, as described on the CHEST Philanthropy Overview. These were approved by the Board of Regents at their spring leadership meeting.

Giving goals without support are just dreams

This transition puts the responsibility for funding the giving pillars in the hands of CHEST. The first step is ensuring the members see the impact of their donations.

“When you see your donation in action, you never doubt that you made a good decision,” said CHEST CEO, Robert A. Musacchio, PhD. “If we can show that to every member, the next 25 years of CHEST philanthropy are limitless.”

Helping connect donors to that experience is Meggie Cramer, the new Director of Philanthropy and Advancement, who has experience working directly with health care systems like Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and Hospital Sister Health System in Green Bay, WI. Get to know Meggie »

“When you are giving to programs you are passionate about, you feel good about being a part of making a difference,” explained Cramer. “That’s my goal—to help our members find areas they care about and know their gift is part of creating real change.”

Attendees at CHEST 2023 are encouraged to stop by Experience CHEST in the Exhibit Hall to learn more about the giving pillars and the evolution of philanthropy at CHEST.

Frequently asked questions


How will this transition enhance CHEST’s impact?

As a single entity focused on a well-defined, Board-approved set of philanthropic goals, we can pool our resources, expertise, and connections, increasing our capacity to tackle the challenges we face and make lasting positive steps toward improving patient health.

What are the organizational benefits of this transition?

Simply put, we can streamline administrative processes, reduce overhead costs, and channel more resources directly into programs, initiatives, outreach, and outcomes.

What about programs we were already committed to funding?

The Board of Advisors for philanthropy laid out a plan and received full Board of Regents approval for a giving strategy that not only sustains but expands support for the programs our members and donors value the most. Learn more about these giving pillars »


Will my past donations to the CHEST Foundation still be used as I directed?

Absolutely. Your generosity and support are more crucial to CHEST’s mission than ever. We assure you that your designated preferences for your donations will be honored. The only change is your contributions will have a bigger impact with increased transparency of the difference you are making.

Will there be any changes to the tax deductibility of my gifts?

No, CHEST is a tax-exempt organization, and the legal merger of the CHEST Foundation has no effect on your gifts remaining tax-deductible.

What happens to my recurring donations or pledges?

Your recurring donations will seamlessly continue without interruption. Our commitment to using your contributions according to your wishes remains unchanged.

Can I still designate my donations to a specific cause within CHEST?

Yes, you can continue to direct your donations to the specific cause or program that resonates with you. We recognize the importance of honoring your preferences, and our commitment to donor-directed giving remains unwavering. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to Meggie Cramer, Director of Philanthropy and Advancement, at