CHESTCHEST NewsCHEST Responds to Need for Education and Advocacy in Nashville

CHEST Responds to Need for Education and Advocacy in Nashville

Recent events, including the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs vs Jackson’s Women’s Health, have stirred people to question whether they feel comfortable visiting states where laws that restrict access to health care are in effect. Some members have inquired whether CHEST will move the annual meeting slated for October in Nashville, Tennessee, to another state. To answer this question directly, CHEST 2022 will remain in Nashville.

CHEST 2022 is our first in-person annual meeting in 3 years. This flagship event provides our community with irreplaceable opportunities to learn, debate, and explore the fields of pulmonology, critical care, and sleep medicine. At this phase of the COVID pandemic, it is also a long-overdue moment to reflect on and honor the shared experiences of our community. Leaders from across the organization are focused on ensuring this meeting encapsulates the spirit and camaraderie that is at the center of the CHEST approach to education. In addition, we will use this platform to invite all our members to become active advocates for change.

(Read CHEST’s statement on An Ethical Accountability to the Patient-Physician Relationship)

Activism and advocacy often require one to stand up and be present in places that are not comfortable. The City of Nashville has found itself in the center of a state issue that their leadership and elected officials do not support. The city council passed a bill restricting the use of city funds to investigate cases and will develop rules to prohibit housing discrimination based on reproductive health decisions. Mayor John Cooper announced an initiative to extend health coverage for Nashville’s more than 15,000 city employees to include reimbursement for obtaining medical procedures unavailable in Tennessee. The city is fighting for health equity for all of its residents.

Whether to attend a conference in a state where reproductive rights are not protected is a personal choice. Boycotting of a location or region rarely results in an outcome that changes laws or amplifies the voice of opposition. Such actions may cause inadvertent harm or unintended consequences, such as loss of income and jobs. Often, the individuals impacted are part of the vulnerable communities who will already be disproportionately affected by the lack of access to health care.

Taking action can take on many forms. CHEST 2022 represents the single largest platform for CHEST to bring attention to major issues. Being present and leveraging the strength of our membership to grow in our knowledge of advocacy and activism is one way to make an impact. Attendees can participate in advocacy sessions to learn what their peers are doing and hear the steps CHEST is taking to address health equity and become a louder voice in advocacy. We are focused on innovating the mechanisms that CHEST 2022 can provide to record, distribute, and amplify your views to attendees, national media, and those who follow along via social media.

The CHEST Annual Meeting exists because of the expertise of our contributors and our community, your willingness to challenge and educate one another. Join us. Challenge us. Give voice to things that matter.