New Docuseries Highlights Efforts to Advance Care for Lung Diseases

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by Marisa Wexler MS |

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The American Thoracic Society (ATS) has premiered a docuseries called “Helping the World to Breathe,” showcasing the society’s commitment to advancing care for people with lung diseases.

Over 16 episodes, the series highlights stories from clinicians, researchers, and patients collaborating to advance care. For example, scientists and patients at Yale University are working with the Three Lakes Foundation to develop a potential cure for pulmonary fibrosis by creating a cellular blueprint of the fibrotic (scarred) lung.

“Pulmonary fibrosis really deserves different recognition. Pulmonary fibrosis is a rare disease, and so that’s part of the issue with lack of funding,” Danielle Antin-Ozerkis, MD, medical director of Yale’s interstitial lung disease center, said in a spotlight video. “The Three Lakes Foundation is really helping us accelerate the time from discovery to patient care, and that’s what is vital.”

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The new ATS project also features a three-part series about health inequalities and ways to make care more accessible by highlighting diversity and inclusion, and collaboration across disciplines.

“ATS members represent a wide spectrum of respiratory disease subspecialties and their expertise is informed by diverse perspectives,” Lynn Schnapp, MD, and ATS president, said in a press release.

“It’s exciting to see these expert clinicians and researchers come together to share how their collaboration with other disciplines and with the patients themselves raise the standards of care and challenge them to look critically at blind spots in how that care is delivered,” Schnapp added.

The docuseries is produced by dBase Media (DBM) and narrated by journalist Randall Pinkston. It can be viewed here.

To make the series, teams at ATS and DBM collaborated with 13 institutions in industry and academia that are working at the leading edge of lung disease care and research. In addition to Yale and the Three Lakes Foundation, these partners included Johns Hopkins University, the University of Michigan, the University of Utah, Pulmonx, and 4D Medical.

“I think that’s the magic of ATS, the fact that we have so many people with different skill sets that are all working to a common agenda, and that is to promote respiratory health,” said Enid Neptune, MD, a professor at Johns Hopkins.