CHEST Foundation past president Dr. Ed Diamond encourages everyone to focus on the “why”

In medicine, finding one’s passion is the key to success. For Ed Diamond, MD, MBA, FCCP, this passion is triggered by filling the voids in health care and staying focused on the “why” of medicine.

The years of education, the ostensibly never-ending shifts in the ICU, and the myriad of stressors all seem more tolerable when focused on a larger purpose. For Dr. Diamond, CHEST and the CHEST Foundation have been career-long recipients of his passion for asking “why?” and seeking the answer.

Always intrigued by science, Dr. Diamond knew medicine offered him the opportunity to be challenged while helping people. He began his career in pulmonology because there was a lack of pulmonologists in his area. He was intrigued by the possibilities of this uncontested space and the opportunity to provide desperately needed value. Choosing a direction where he could make a difference would be a theme throughout his career.


Dr. Diamond was encouraged by CHEST leadership to become more involved with the organization from the very start. He first joined a NetWork for those in private practice and quickly became the chair. Through further involvement with CHEST, he joined the Finance Committee, which led to serving for 5 years as the treasurer for the Board of Regents.

To clinicians early in their careers, Dr. Diamond stresses the importance of involvement in associations and early commitment to philanthropy. Beyond the networking opportunities, of which there are many, there are a lot of avenues to serve as a leader who can promote change. With the support and strong standing of associations like CHEST, clinicians can contribute to creating medical guidelines or help shape policy that can have a true impact.

After years of working with CHEST, Dr. Diamond feels he has truly made his mark with his involvement in the CHEST Foundation.


Dr. Diamond realized making philanthropy more of a focus was another way he could make a difference in medicine. The philanthropic arm of CHEST was at its earliest stages of development when Dr. Diamond joined the effort.

“Dr. Ed Diamond leads by example, including his passion for philanthropy,” says longtime colleague and friend Kim French, MHSA, CAPPM, FCCP. “Like all other facets of his career, he approached the CHEST Foundation and philanthropy with the same rigor as he does medicine.”

Taking on a leadership position and contributing heartily to support the Foundation’s mission, Dr. Diamond shows his commitment to the cause through his actions. Helping establish a health legacy fund is a personal goal of Dr. Diamond’s. Through a legacy fund, the Foundation reaps the donor’s gift benefits while living and receives support passed along through the donor’s will.

“One of the ways Dr. Diamond leads by example is in his generosity. He is willing to donate not only his time and his talents but also financial resources to support the CHEST Foundation,” says close friend and colleague John Studdard, MD, FCCP. “I believe he does this because he knows that, in doing so, he can directly give back to support programs that will benefit his patients and others living with lung health issues.”

“Dr. Ed Diamond leads by example, including his passion for philanthropy. Like all other facets of his career, he approached the CHEST Foundation and philanthropy with the same rigor as he does medicine.”

—Kim French, MHSA, CAPPM, FCCP


The Foundation has changed dramatically through the years, and Dr. Diamond
has experienced it all. In the beginning, the Foundation’s part-time staff focused primarily on individual projects. With a Board of Advisors working in tandem with a dedicated team, the Foundation has expanded its reach, providing more patient education resources and community grant support.

According to Dr. Diamond, it is easy to fall into a pattern of wanting to accomplish tasks, especially for notoriously task-oriented doctors. It is critical to evoke the “why” of our mission to retain the power behind the work and better serve the medical community through patient access or meaningful research.

Dr. Diamond describes the Foundation now as thought leaders in identifying true areas of need by asking the critical questions: Are we supporting a patient’s access to health care? Are we empowering our patients to advocate for themselves? Are we supporting meaningful research?

“Being on the board, you can really be a key decision maker in where the money is being spent,” says Dr. Diamond. “As someone who has personally given financial donations to the Foundation, I relish being a part of the discussion of where those funds will be spent – where they can make the strongest impact and help those in need.”

“Ed’s passion lies in patient access to care and improving the care that they receive,” says Dr. Studdard. “With a strong focus on patient advocacy, he believes that if a physician is not an advocate for their patient, then that person should question their intention to be a physician at all.”

Foundation President during 2020, Dr. Diamond guided the Foundation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A new collection of materials that were COVID-specific was created and provided to the public. New videos and patient care guides were designed and posted to a newly redesigned website. The materials are now easier to understand and more accessible to those who need them most – the patients and their caregivers.


“Ed’s passion lies in patient access to care and improving the care that they receive,” says Dr. Studdard. “With a strong focus on patient advocacy, he believes that if a physician is not an advocate for their patient, then that person should question their intention to be a physician at all.”

It’s not surprising that one of the most significant initiatives the Foundation has undertaken started during Dr. Diamond’s presidency. The five-city national Listening Tour served as a platform for patients to share their experiences on how the health care system is failing them. Without strong leadership and financial support, the Foundation would not be able to fund such efforts that impact patient care and expand awareness of the CHEST Foundation.

In his own practice, Dr. Diamond focuses on how patients are served and how others engage with them. Specializing in pulmonary rehabilitation and chronic disease, Dr. Diamond wanted to shift his own attention away from the traditional inpatient and ICU arenas to an outpatient environment where he saw an unmet need. This included advanced diagnostic testing and the creation of the first interventional pulmonary medicine division in the Chicagoland area serving patients with lung cancer. Over time, more providers joined his practice who shared his vision and were inspired by the mission of finding new ways to serve their patients. Dr. Diamond believes that this shared passion helped his practice grow to what it is today.


For those joining CHEST as new members, Dr. Diamond has a message.

“When you join CHEST, you should be doing so to not only engage with the educational and networking aspects but to support patient education, philanthropy, and advocacy,” says Dr. Diamond, who hopes that CHEST becomes synonymous with philanthropy to its members. “The Foundation is something that is uniquely impactful and something one can be excited about and proud to support. Its success rests on the shoulders of all of us.”

To champion the Foundation’s goals, we need to come together with a shared common belief and excitement for the work done and engage in a deep, passionate approach to giving.

“It is my hope that every member supports and engages in the work of the Foundation to give back and to create a better world for our patients,” added Dr. Diamond.


It’s because of our generous donors that we’ve been able to fulfill our mission for over 2 decades. That’s why we want you to be a huge part of our anniversary by getting involved on social media. Be sure to follow the hashtag #CHESTFoundation25 on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. We’ll be asking questions every month, and we would love to hear your answers!



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The Donor Spotlight Summer 2021 issue is also available as a PDF DOWNLOAD THE PDF »