The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) and Three Lakes Partners are joining forces in the fight against pulmonary fibrosis (PF), according to an announcement to mark National Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month in September.
Three Lakes Partners will provide funding to PFF to help the foundation reach its goals of raising awareness and driving the development of new treatments for PF.
“Three Lakes Partners is dedicated to establishing collaborations with PF community leaders to advance our mission to improve care and accelerate therapies. Leveraging our resources with the expertise of the PFF will allow us to make substantial progress in the fight against this disease,” Dana Ball, executive director of Three Lakes Partners, said in a news release.
“Our two organizations will come together to attack all elements of PF — from diagnosis and treatment to patient quality of life, research, and advocacy,” Ball added.
Three Lakes Partners and PFF are also appealing to the public on social media (@PFFORG) to raise awareness, and learn more about the disease and ways to get involved in the fight for a cure.
Additionally, funding provided by Three Lakes Partners will aid in the expansion of the PFF Patient Registry, which is the largest one of its kind available. Data from this registry can be leveraged to help advance research and understanding into the causes of PF.
“Continued investment and focus on research are absolutely essential if we are ever going to cure this disease,” said Ball. “Our program will help accelerate studies into the causes of PF and the development of new therapies so patients can get the care they deserve.”
PF is associated with progressive fibrosis (scarring) of the lungs. Despite the fact that 50,000 new cases of PF are diagnosed every year around the world, the disease remains largely unknown, which can result in people being diagnosed later in the disease course when limited treatments are available. Currently more than 200,000 people in the U.S. are estimated to have PF.
“Low awareness of PF is a huge barrier to timely diagnoses,” said William T. Schmidt, CEO of PFF. “Our ‘Not Everyone Breathes Easy’ campaign, and AboutPF.org web resource are designed to educate patients on the symptoms and risk factors of PF so they can drive conversations with their physicians.”
The Three Lakes Partners awareness program will also design and fund a marketing campaign aimed at patients, caregivers, and families. Two animated characters will be featured in television ads throughout September, and also used in national print and digital ads throughout the year to illustrate the experience of PF patients and caregivers.
“Right now, many patients go years before finally getting their PF diagnosis and when they are finally diagnosed, it’s often too late,” said Ball. “We want everyone in the country to not only know about PF, but to recognize the symptoms and risk factors so they can begin treatment as soon as possible.”
Three Lakes Partners also plans to sponsor an international conference — the PFF Summit 2019 — in San Antonio, Texas, on Nov. 7–9, 2019. The conference is designed to gather clinicians, scientists, patients, caregivers, and other professionals to discuss improvements in patient care and research towards better treatments.
“With the support of Three Lakes Partners, this year’s event will be an important catalyst for new, innovative thought and practices,” said Schmidt.