Spotlight on CHEST Foundation Grant Winner: Negin Hajizadeh

Every year, with the dedicated support of donors, the foundation awards the CHEST Foundation Community Service Grant Honoring D. Robert McCaffree, MD, Master FCCP, to clinicians who need funding for their community-based projects. The primary focus of these projects and passion of the awarded clinicians is on improving lung health with the potential for the project to be sustainable and reproducible. This grant supports nonprofit and nongovernmental agencies wherein health-care professionals donate their time and medical experience.

Photo of Negin Hajizadeh, MD

Negin Hajizadeh, MD, of Northwell Health, is among one of the recipients of the Community Service Grant Honoring D. Robert McCaffree, MD, Master FCCP, for her research project. Her interest in community-based asthma research piqued when she noticed multiple asthma patients coming into her clinic having difficulty managing their symptoms. Many patients did not know how to use their inhalers properly and didn’t have the educational background or resources to make informed decisions when managing their asthma care, despite attempts in the clinic to educate patients.

“Disease control requires a 365-degree view of the patient,” Dr. Hajizadeh said “This in turn requires community engagement to understand lived experiences and what the true barriers and facilitators are to achieving good health.”

Dr. Hajizadeh decided it was a natural fit to apply for the CHEST Foundation’s Community Service Grant because she was already working on projects under El Poder De Decidir, the nonprofit community outreach organization that she co-founded. Dr. Hajizadeh’s project focused on educating and understanding the misconceptions around asthma and management of asthma within the Hispanic community in New York City. Dr. Hajizadeh was awarded her community service grant in 2017 and has since met and exceeded her goals to impact the community.

The overarching goal of the project was to develop targeted asthma education tools for the Hispanic asthma community. Because of the community service grant she received, Dr. Hajizadeh was able to assemble a team of asthma trainers and make laminated pocket cards containing educational asthma content based on the interactions the trainers had with the community. These pocket cards, both in Spanish and English, are dispersed throughout the community to help the public retain the correct information about their asthma condition and have better quality of life.

“This project would not have happened without the foundation’s support,” Dr. Hajizadeh said. “It probably would’ve taken several years to try to gain support from other mechanisms.”

Dr. Hajizadeh has been a member of CHEST since her fellowship and has continued her involvement due to the CHEST Foundation’s excellence in clinician training and grants program that supports novel patient and community level discoveries to improve lung health.

“The CHEST Foundation is a necessary leader in clinical scientific discovery, keeping clinicians up-to-date on clinical care and helping lead advocacy for patients with lung disease,” Dr. Hajizadeh said.

Dr. Hajizadeh has since continued her efforts with this project and is currently focused on obtaining more funding to conduct a larger study in other cities to see if the results can be replicated.

Dr. Hajizadeh continues to strive forward in her community service efforts and is engaged with the CHEST Foundation to procure more support and funding for other community outreach and research that is “fundamental to our ability to improve the health of everybody both locally and around the world.”

The CHEST Foundation is currently accepting applications for the 2020 grants cycle. Consider applying today to make an impact and further your research in areas of clinical chest medicine. The deadline to apply is Monday, May 11, at 3 pm CT.

The following CHEST Foundation grants are available: Sleep Medicine, Pulmonary Fibrosis, Critical Care, Diversity, Respiratory Health, Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, Lung Cancer, Nontuberculous Mycobacteria Diseases, Severe Asthma, Sarcoidosis, Venous Thromboembolism, and Women’s Lung Health.

View the list of past grant winners.