News From CHEST Physician®

CHEST philanthropy: Moving into the future


In an ideal world, change would be progressive, the direction would be clear, and adoption would be easy. We learned in these past few years that sometimes change cannot wait. The vulnerabilities of the health care system were laid bare by the pandemic, including vast disparities in treatment and the urgent need to grow our profession.

In the light of these truths, CHEST looked within and asked a difficult question: Are we doing everything we can? This question probably sounds very familiar – one you ask every day, one you know the importance of asking. It was time we asked it of ourselves.

Milestones are a good time to reevaluate

Philanthropy is not new to CHEST. We celebrated 25 years of the CHEST Foundation in Nashville during CHEST 2022. Stories about community and clinical research grants were circulated in website blogs, emails, and newsletters and on social media for years. Our committee member volunteers worked hard developing accurate and credible patient education content for the CHEST Foundation website. Because of our faithful donors, communities around the world had access to better medical care and healthier environments.

This is amazing work, but it was time to ask:

  • What can CHEST provide that others cannot?
  • Where are the gaps we can fill?
  • What is our community passionate about changing?

Working collectively, CHEST and CHEST Foundation leadership, along with staff, rigorously reviewed the success of our past fundraising efforts, areas of commitment our donors had specified, and the direction of interest our membership was leading us toward – like social accountability, growth and diversification of our profession, grassroots community impact, and partnerships to expand our reach. The process took nearly a year to complete – but, in the realm of big changes, that’s equal to the time needed for one good, deep breath.

Focusing on significant change means narrowing our scope

Meeting these goals would mean changing how we worked and letting go of areas better served elsewhere. CHEST needed to:

1. Align philanthropy with our mission to elevate the value placed on giving, making it a core priority and responsibility of CHEST as an organization.

2. Consolidate philanthropy under CHEST to reduce administrative costs and create efficiencies, allowing more funds to go directly to our philanthropic efforts.

3. Establish clear and transparent areas of giving that resonate with our members as a way to grow our impact and make real change.

With the full support of the CHEST Board of Regents, the CHEST Foundation Board of Advisors – under the guidance of Advisory Chair, Robert De Marco, MD, FCCP, and CHEST Foundation President, Ian Nathanson, MD, FCCP – approved a merger of the CHEST Foundation with CHEST.

In order to increase our impact and create greater awareness of CHEST philanthropic efforts, the Board of Advisors got to work defining a giving strategy that would meet the philanthropic goals and priorities of the CHEST membership. Four areas were defined and are referred to as our philanthropic pillars: clinical research, community impact, support of the profession, and dedication to education.

These pillars were approved by the Board of Regents at their spring leadership meeting.


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