Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Announces American Thoracic Society Endorsement of Inaugural Scientific Conference and Co-Chairs for Anniversary Dinner

Sep 21, 2011, 17:28 ET from The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation

Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation On Course to Achieve Major 2011 Initiatives

CHICAGO, Sept. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) is pleased to announce that it has received an official endorsement from the American Thoracic Society (ATS) for its upcoming scientific conference, IPF Summit 2011: From Bench to Bedside, taking place on December 1-3, 2011, in Chicago, Illinois.

"We are proud to have an ATS endorsement for the Summit," says Daniel M. Rose, President and Chief Executive Officer of the PFF. "The agenda has been thoughtfully designed to cover both clinical and basic scientific approaches by a faculty that features some of the top physicians and researchers in the pulmonary fibrosis [PF] community."

The Summit will feature an innovative two-day continuing medical education (CME) program for physicians, researchers, registered nurses, respiratory therapists, and other allied health professionals. Additionally there will be a separate one-day patient, family member, and caregiver program to address the growing educational needs of the idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) community.

The PFF's IPF Summit 2011 has met with excellent initial success. The patient/caregivers sessions are at capacity with a wait list available. In an effort to reach as many patients/caregivers as possible, a live webcast of the patient/caregiver session will be offered for viewing at home or at one of several satellite viewing locations. Additionally, the entire conference will be available via webinar in early 2012. Registrations for the professional sessions are still available, but seating is limited. Registrants for both segments of the Summit currently represent 38 states and 9 countries.

As an adjunct to the Summit and to celebrate the foundation's tenth anniversary, the PFF will host its New Decade, New Reach tenth anniversary dinner on Friday, December 2, at Chicago's landmark Field Museum. Co-chairs for the dinner will be Broadway star Julie Halston and her husband Ralph Howard, a Howard 100 News reporter, Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Former United States Representative Brian Baird (D-WA 3rd). "We are thrilled to have such a remarkable group of people co-chair our New Decade, New Reach dinner," says Dolly Kervitsky. "Julie Halston hosted a blockbuster, Broadway fundraiser for the foundation last February and her husband Ralph Howard was the recipient of a lung transplant due to pulmonary fibrosis. We also have the honor of Senator Kirk and Dr. Baird serving as co-chairs and thank them for their continued commitment to the pulmonary fibrosis community and for their roles in the prior and current introduction of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Research Enhancement Act to Congress."

Passage of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Research Enhancement Act (PFREA) would facilitate the establishment of a national PF advisory board, a national PF registry, funding for national PF education and awareness, and encourage support from the National Institutes of Health. This week, September 19-23, is Pulmonary Fibrosis Week, and Ms. Kervitsky will be joining other members of the PF community on Capitol Hill in an effort to gain congressional sponsors for the bill and raise awareness for the disease.

"This year has been a year of tremendous growth for the PFF," states Patti Tuomey, Chief Operating Officer. "The IPF Summit 2011, the re-introduction of the PFREA, the establishment of our national affiliate program, and our commitment to funding research are all major initiatives in support of our mission. We would like to thank all of the people who have helped to make this happen including individual and corporate donors, volunteer fundraisers, and foundation sponsors: Amira Pharmaceuticals; Booz, Allen, Hamilton; Hogan Lovells; ImmuneWorks; Lincare; Mr. and Mrs. Charles P. McQuaid; ProVideo; REI; Stromedix; and Tighe Logistics Group."

For additional information about IPF Summit 2011: From Bench to Bedside, including sponsorship opportunities, please contact Cara Schillinger at cschillinger@pulmonaryfibrosis.org or 312.265.2184.

About the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation
The mission of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation is to help find a cure for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), advocate for the pulmonary fibrosis community both locally and in Washington D.C., promote disease awareness, and provide a compassionate environment for patients and their families. The PFF collaborates with physicians, organizations, patients, and caregivers worldwide. From December 1-3, 2011, the PFF will host its first international scientific conference, IPF Summit 2011: From Bench to Bedside, in Chicago. For more information visit www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org or call 888-733-6741.

About the IPF Summit 2011: From Bench to Bedside
The IPF Summit 2011: From Bench to Bedside is an international scientific conference on idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) hosted by the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. The goal of the Summit is to foster a collaborative environment to improve education and awareness of IPF, and to identify new approaches to treat and ultimately find a cure for this devastating disease. The Summit will feature innovative continuing medical education programs for physicians, researchers, registered nurses, and allied health professionals to improve their clinical understanding of IPF, as well as a one-day program to address the growing educational needs of IPF patients, family members, and caregivers. Conference registration is currently open. The Summit is planned in accordance with the Essentials and Standards of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), and is planned in partnership with The France Foundation and National Jewish Health. For more information, please visit www.ipfsummit.org or call 888-733-6741.

About Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
According to the National Institutes of Health, IPF is a condition in which over a period of time the lung tissue becomes thickened, stiff, and scarred. The development of the scar tissue is called fibrosis. As the lung tissue becomes scarred and thicker, the lungs lose their ability to transfer oxygen into the bloodstream. As a result, the brain and other organs don't receive the oxygen they need. In some cases, doctors can determine the cause of the fibrosis, but in most cases, there is not a known cause. When there is no known etiology for the fibrosis (and certain pathologic criteria are met) the disease is called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis or IPF. IPF affects approximately 200,000 individuals in the U.S., and the annual mortality is estimated to be 40,000. At present there are no FDA-approved medical therapies.

Cara Schillinger
Associate Vice President, Communications and Marketing

SOURCE The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation