2021 Press Releases

HomeAboutNewsroomPress ReleasesPress Releases from the ATS2021 Press Releases ▶ Helping the World to Breathe, a Respiratory Health Docuseries by the American Thoracic Society and dBase Media, Premieres Nov. 18, 2021
Helping the World to Breathe, a Respiratory Health Docuseries by the American Thoracic Society and dBase Media, Premieres Nov. 18, 2021

Sixteen-episode series features leading respiratory health influencers dedicated to delivering the highest level of care to patients and improving health care access for underserved communities.

New York, NY – Nov. 18, 2021— The American Thoracic Society, a global leader in respiratory health, is premiering an inspiring docuseries about the Society’s commitment to advancing global respiratory health through multidisciplinary collaboration, education, and advocacy. Helping the World to Breathe draws awareness to innovative, multidisciplinary partnerships and advanced technology to develop treatments for patients with lung disease. The 16-episode series features some of the leading respiratory health specialists throughout the world discussing how bringing together subspecialties with diverse perspectives and tailored rigorous clinical training help to shape a culture of collaboration, which in turn may improve access to care and reduce long standing health inequalities. 

During a critical period of self-examination of our health care delivery system, Helping the World to Breathe addresses some of the most important issues facing our health care system and medical institutions today. The collaboration features a separate three-part series on improving access to care and reducing health inequalities; spotlighting diversity and inclusion; and demonstrating excellence in multidisciplinary work and collaboration.  The docuseries is presented and narrated by the award-winning journalist Randall Pinkston.

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

The programs are presented by the ATS and produced by dBase Media (DBM), based in the Washington D.C. area. ATS is the world's leading medical society dedicated to accelerating the advancement of global respiratory health through multidisciplinary collaboration, education, and advocacy. Founded in 1905 to combat TB, the ATS has grown to tackle asthma, COPD, lung cancer, sepsis, pulmonary fibrosis, acute respiratory distress, and sleep apnea, among other diseases. ATS ​​focuses on leading scientific discoveries, advancing professional development, impacting global health, and transforming patient care.

The ATS and DBM leadership teams collaborated with 13 leading institutions that influence how the respiratory field is delivering care to support patients. Through the diverse contribution from industry authorities and leading academia, the result was the framework for this video series Helping the World to Breathe.

The ATS films feature: 

  • Lynn Schnapp, MD, ATSF, president of the American Thoracic Society, discusses how ATS has expanded its focus on respiratory health beyond the Americas and to the rest of the world.
  • Juan Celedon, MD, ATSF, immediate past president of the American Thoracic Society, talks about the importance of developed nations and major societies working together to reduce and eventually eliminate health disparities.
  • Gregory Downey, MD, ATSF, incoming president of the American Thoracic Society, discusses the ATS’s collaboration with other members of the Forum of International Respiratory Societies to raise respiratory health to a top priority in global decision-making.
  • Enid Neptune, MD, incoming chair of the Respiratory Cell & Molecular Biology Assembly at the American Thoracic Society, shares how ATS members are working together to advance policies that support the public health of our communities.
  • Neeta Thakur, MD, MPH, Health Equity and Diversity chair at the American Thoracic Society, shares the opportunity ATS has to greatly influence the future workforce and bring more diversity into pulmonary and critical care medicine.

 Other featured participants include: 

  • Chiesi Group talks about becoming the largest international pharmaceutical group B Corp certified, and their plan to become carbon neutral by the end of 2035.
  • The COPD Foundation Nebulizer Consortium (CNC) highlights being a leading example of collaboration across multiple disciplines with the goal of ensuring safe use of nebulization for both patients and healthcare workers.
  • 4DMedical shares their breakthrough development of a non-invasive lung imaging technology that can improve the lives of millions of people and provide equity in health care.
  • Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine discusses how technology is playing a role in interventional pulmonology and how novel devices are aiding in lung cancer diagnostics.
  • The University of Michigan shares how its Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Division is forging innovative partnerships to develop new treatments, particularly in oxygen delivery and assisted ventilation.
  • Physician leaders from Penn Medicine’s Harron Lung Center discuss how they are reshaping the future of pulmonary care. The integration of their clinical, research and teaching missions leads to better patient outcomes and improves access to care in underserved communities.
  • Pulmonx—maker of the Zephyr Endobronchial Valve— shares how their breakthrough device is a viable, safe and proven treatment option for patients struggling with severe COPD/emphysema.
  • Members of the Division of Pulmonary Allergy and Critical Care Medicine at Stanford Medicine discuss their focus on diversity and gender equity to better reflect the community they serve.
  • The Division of Respiratory, Critical Care, and Occupational Pulmonary Medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine talks about its commitment to impactful research, reducing health disparities and improving access to people of lower socioeconomic status, as well as racial and ethnic minorities.
  • The Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine at UCLA shares their commitment to improving access to care while making meaningful changes in diversity and representation within the medical profession itself.
  • The Vanderbilt Lung Institute spotlights a new program that applies a comprehensive multi-disciplinary approach and a unique integration of patient-centered resources to deliver personalized, state-of-the-art clinical care and research.
  • Members of Yale School of Medicine’s Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine (Yale-PCCSM) highlights how the diversity and cohesion of their team creates the ideal environment for clinical excellence, compassionate care, rigorous training and cutting-edge research
  • Patients and Physicians at Yale PCCSM discuss the need to increase awareness and effective therapies in Pulmonary fibrosis, and Yale’s collaboration with Three Lakes Foundation aims to accelerate a cure for pulmonary fibrosis, using innovative approaches to create a cellular blueprint of the scarred human lung.


Watch the entire series Helping the World to Breathe here premiering Nov. 18.