From Advocacy to Action

What to expect from CHEST Advocates

April 7, 2023 | SPRING 2023 ISSUE

Amid the tuberculosis epidemic of 1935, a man named Murray Kornfeld proposed an idea for a professional society committed to educating clinicians and laypeople on chest diseases. Mr. Kornfeld was not a doctor, but a patient, an advocate, and the founder of the American College of Chest Physicians and the journal CHEST®.

In the early years, CHEST disseminated scientific advances and convened conferences to highlight best practices. We made it our mission to create awareness of and solutions for the gaps in health care. We focused on traditional points of concern and made a difference.

CHEST pushed landmark tobacco legislation requiring labeling on cigarettes, banning smoking from airplanes, creating funding for public awareness campaigns, and eventually enabling the creation of the Center for Tobacco Products. We developed supporting court briefs as tobacco companies turned to litigation in response. But historical areas of interest aren’t enough anymore.

CHEST Advocates is an acknowledgment that policy is not enough to create change. Action is required.

Present-day advocacy demands more of us. With the rise of COVID and growing civil unrest, our members called on us to have a voice in public health, and with it, CHEST’s Pledge for Equity statement was released, reminding us that behind every statement, policy, and regulatory and legislative action, there are lives at risk.

CHEST Advocates is an acknowledgment that policy is not enough to create change. Action is required. Here you will be introduced to members advocating for their patients through the life-changing work outside the clinic and away from the bedside, many with the support of a CHEST grant. Health issues that have a long and devastating impact on communities are revealed through their eyes. Actions that require your awareness and investment to make a change will be discussed.

In these stories, we can find hope knowing significant impact is possible when people act together. We thank you for joining us on this journey.