• CHEST Foundation Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Leaders of the Past. Trailblazers of the Future.

Celebrating Our 25th Anniversary

In 1996, the CHEST Foundation was founded on the premise of delivering grants to our members. In the more than 2 decades since, we’ve created premier patient education tools, tackled health disparities in marginalized communities, awarded millions in community service and research grants, and partnered with physicians to offer better resources to patients. Join us as we remember the past and celebrate how far we’ve come. 

Patient education: a decades-long focus

A lot has changed in 25 years, but our focus has always remained the same—to champion lung health by providing the very best educational tools to patients. In 2015, we began developing easy-to-access information on 40 different lung health topics, and today that list has grown exponentially. Here, you’ll find some of our most popular resources for patients and caregivers.

Timeline: 25 years of achievements

Through CHEST Foundation-supported programs, CHEST’s 21,000+ members engage in clinical research, participate in community service, and deliver patient education, advancing the lung health of millions of patients in local communities around the world. This year, as we celebrate our 25th anniversary, we’d like to say a huge thank you to all our volunteers, donors, and staff who have served as champions for lung health, making the successes of the last 25 years possible!

  • 1996




    CHEST Foundation, founded by a strong group of motivated leaders, awards 30+ grants for clinical research, world health partnerships, lectures, and young investigators.

  • 1997


    1997 Physicians Perspective

    CHEST Foundation film A Physicians Perspective, highlighting end-of-life care, wins AMA Freddie Award

  • 1998


    Women & Girls, Tobacco, & Lung Cancer Speaker’s Kit developed to target women and children in an anti-tobacco use campaign

  • 1999


    1999 Mccaffree

    CHEST Foundation recognizes 12 winning humanitarian programs with the new Community Service Grant Honoring D. Robert McCaffree, MD, Master FCCP

  • 2000


    2000 Outreach Event

    CHEST Foundation and Cultural Diversity in Medicine NetWork create Educational Guide on Lung Health for Elementary School Children

  • 2001


    2001 ambassador group

    Ambassadors Group was founded to serve as health advocates, participating in educational programs on tobacco addiction and asthma care


  • 2001



    CHEST Foundation established a 9/11 Emergency Response Fund, collecting $75,000 to support a free smoking cessation program for FDNY

  • 2002


    First winner selected for new Distinguished Scholar program, developed to provide multiyear grants to CHEST members whose projects promised to impact clinical chest and critical care medicine

  • 2002


    2002 CCFAP

    CHEST Foundation and Eli Lilly and Company Foundation partnered to create Critical Care Family Assistance Program (CCFAP) to better engage family members during a loved one’s ICU stay

  • 2003



    Representatives from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) joined the CCFAP advisory team and assisted in the selection of additional program sites

  • 2004



    Following major tsunami in southeast Asia, CHEST Foundation set up a disaster relief fund, generating donations to care for victims and help rebuild a small fishing village in Sri Lanka

  • 2005


    2005 Hurricane Relief Truck

    After hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma, CHEST Foundation created Hurricane Relief—Beyond the First Response Matching Gift Fund, to support CHEST members in efforts to serve their patients

  • 2006



    “Ant E Tobacco” program and “Make the Choice: Tobacco or Health?” toolkits evolved, allowing CHEST members to reach students in elementary schools

  • 2007


    CHEST Foundation Case Competition established to encourage teams of students from local universities to develop sustainable organizational models to improve asthma diagnosis and treatment

  • 2008



    CHEST Foundation supports AMA Alliance Screen-Out! Program,  changing the Motion Picture Association of America’s rating system so new movies showing smoking or tobacco use would be rated “R”

  • 2009


    Physicians Speaking For Humanity (PS4H) campaign initiated to appeal to physicians who lecture and/or attend pharmaceutical focus groups to donate their honorariums to the CHEST Foundation

  • 2010


    C. Sola Olopade, MBBS, MPH, FCCP, won his second Humanitarian Award for his work to protect women and children in rural Nigeria from the hazards of exposure to the indoor pollution. Dr. Olopade continues humanitarian efforts in Africa, with funding from the NIH and United Nations Foundation.

  • 2011


    CHEST Foundation hosts “OneBreath Luau” raising funds to support the launch of OneBreath.org, part of a new public-facing OneBreath campaign

  • 2012



    “Beyond Our Walls” capital campaign launched, seeking support for CHEST’s new Innovation, Simulation, and Training Center featuring a new model of educational delivery for chest medicine professionals

  • 2013


    CHEST Foundation offers first DVT Disease Awareness Month campaign, which inspired a greater effort in supporting similar campaigns delivering education on topics like COPD, asthma, lung cancer, and sarcoidosis

  • 2014



    CHEST Foundation participated in the FDA’s first youth tobacco prevention campaign, “The Real Cost,” designed to educate at-risk youth about health dangers and quality of life impacts of tobacco use

  • 2015



    CHEST Foundation partnered with American Lung Association to develop up-to-date online patient education guides featuring easy-to-access information on 40 different lung health topics

  • 2016


    CHEST Foundation names “Champions Circle” annual fund giving club, “Founders Society” recognizing CHEST members for cumulative lifetime giving, and “Friends of the Foundation” for long-term industry partners

  • 2018


    Popovich 2018

    “Pop” Popovich charged the Foundation with a million dollar match challenge at the Annual Meeting in San Antonio.

  • 2019


    Belmont Stakes Derby Dinner

    Belmont Stakes Derby Dinner and Auction was established to raise funds for the Foundation’s community service initiatives.   

  • 2019



    The Erin Popovich Endowment was founded to ensure that patients faced with an ILD diagnosis get access to the support and resources they need.  

  • 2020


    2020 COVID-19

    The foundation awarded a record $1,005,105 for community micro-grants to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.  

  • 2020


    Website Redesign

    The Foundation’s website gets a major overhaul, featuring easy-to-access patient education tools and information hubs.

  • 2020


    Zoom call

    The Listening Tours launch to shine a light on the health disparities that marginalized communities face.

  • 2021


    Donor Spotlight

    Taking what we learned from the Listening Tours, the Foundation establishes “Rita’s Fund” to financially help underserved patients get access to proper care.  

Voices from our past and present

We’re proud to have given out more than $10 M in community and research grants since our founding. This type of funding has meant different things to different people throughout our history, and that’s what we believe makes our philanthropy extraordinary. Hear what our leaders, donors and grant recipients have to say as we mark this historic occasion.

Bart Chernow, MD, Master FCCP, and Peggy Chernow

“Making an impact isn’t about funding Nobel Prize-winning work. It’s about providing education and resources to the people who can’t access or afford such things. It’s about the projects that provide care to the human beings that need it.” Bart Chernow, MD, Master FCCP

Robert McCaffree, MD, Master FCCP

“The foundation’s grant program has been successful beyond my imagination. To date, we’ve given $10 million to community service projects. Securing this type of funding has been one of the most gratifying activities that I’ve been involved in.” Robert McCaffree, MD, Master FCCP

Ian T. Nathanson, MD, FCCP

“The foundation has recently shifted in a new direction—one that focuses on perspective. We need to start hearing from patients in our most underserved communities to understand their point of view. Without that knowledge, we can only do so much.” Ian Nathanson, MD, FCCP

”The CHEST Foundation Diversity Award helped define a turning point in my career. It gave me the opportunity to develop pilot analyses that were used for subsequent larger grant applications. The first few years of a first faculty appointment for a physician scientist is often a vulnerable time. Opportunities to secure pilot funding in that critical window is often the key to success. I am grateful to the CHEST Foundation for supporting me in this journey.” Stephanie Lovinsky-Desir, MD 

“The CHEST Foundation funding was crucial in advancing my research career. It allowed me to collect preliminary data that I used to obtain additional federal funding. The funding also helped me train young researchers who participated in my projects, many of whom have continued a path of research.” Ghada Bourjeily, MD