The Air We Breathe

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by Laura Bowers, Diagnosed in 2013

This time last year, I discovered an opportunity to apply for a grant through my pharmacy school program at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. I knew that I wanted to find a way to use the grant to help educate physicians about LAM, but I was not sure exactly what or how to go about it. I called Sue Sherman and told her about the opportunity and we brainstormed. Sue informed me the new LAM Guidelines would be published in 2016 by the American Thoracic Society. In healthcare, promoting guidelines can be a challenge. It is both expensive and time consuming, so I pitched the idea to Sue that I write a grant to help spread the news about the new guidelines.

The competition for the Eshelman Institute for Innovation grants was stiff, but after a one-minute live pitch followed by a three-minute question and answer session; the committee funded the Air We Breathe Campaign. This exciting campaign will educate emergency room physicians, obstetricians and gynecologists on the new LAM guidelines. This will be accomplished in three main ways:

  • First, there will be several pages on The LAM Foundation’s website dedicated to the campaign. Physicians, healthcare educators and patients can visit the website to find a link to the new guidelines and to download educational materials.
  • Second, a continuing medical education (CME) video is being developed for physicians highlighting the new guidelines.
  • Finally, in the spring of 2017 I will attend professional conferences for emergency room physicians, obstetricians and gynecologists and present information from the guidelines pertinent to each specialty.

At LAMposium and the Rare Lung Diseases Research Conference, other rare disease organizations thanked The LAM Foundation for blazing the trail and setting the gold standard for raising awareness. The Air We Breathe Campaign will expand upon these incredible efforts and continue to broaden the circle of healthcare providers who know how to properly diagnose and treat LAM. You can read the new guidelines and find more information on the Air We Breathe Campaign at www.thelamfoundation.org/airwebreathe.

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