Gary H. Gibbons, M.D., director of the NIH's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Photo courtesy of the National Institutes of Health.
Join us as we welcome the new director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), Dr. Gary H. Gibbons. Dr. Gibbons joins the NHLBI from the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, where he was the founding director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute, an NHLBI-supported Research Center of Excellence. He also served as chair of the Department of Physiology, and professor of medicine and physiology.
Dr. Gibbons received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and his Doctor of Medicine degree from Harvard University. He completed his residency and cardiology fellowship at the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Dr. Gibbons served on the faculties of the Stanford and Harvard Medical Schools before joining Morehouse School of Medicine in 1999.
No stranger to the NHLBI, Dr. Gibbons has served as a member of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council since 2009, a position he resigned after being selected as director of NHLBI. He was also a member of the NHLBI board of extramural experts. He has received 15 NHLBI-supported grants since 1997.
"It's an honor to join NIH and lead NHLBI," says Dr. Gibbons. "The globally recognized research and training supported by NHLBI continues to advance biomedical knowledge in fields related to heart, lung, and blood diseases. I look forward to working with the Institute staff and with the many researchers supported by the Institute to foster multidisciplinary approaches to improve disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment that will advance the health of all Americans."
Dr. Gibbons is committed to the pre-emption of progressive lung dysfunction in COPD. The COPD Learn More Breathe Better® campaign team is thrilled to have Dr. Gibbons as the new Institute leader. We look forward to working with him in pursuit of our common vision around COPD awareness and education.
COPD Learn More Breathe Better campaign's Country Conquers COPD™ event series once again travelled across the United States to raise awareness about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The first stop was the 30th anniversary of the WYCD Downtown Hoedown in Detroit, Mich. from June 8-10, where attendees took in performances by artists such as Miranda Lambert, the Pistol Annies and Dierks Bentley. In all, more than 4,500 fans picked up important lung health information and talked to health experts about COPD. After taking an initial lung health screener, more than 150 attendees were able to take advantage of free spirometry testing administered by local respiratory therapists.
Kathleen (Kacey) Clayton, LifeCare Hospitals
Kathleen (Kacey) Clayton has been a dedicated respiratory therapist for 12 years, spending a majority of those years working with patients suffering from COPD. As Director of Ancillary Services at LifeCare Hospitals' LifeCare Specialty Hospital of North Louisiana, Clayton has been working with adults with respiratory issues since 2003.
Clayton's daily interaction with COPD patients has had a lasting impact on her. Given the many hours spent with her patients over the years, she considers many of them akin to family and says that, "As a caregiver and advocate, I've watched them struggle with this disease for a number of years now."
Earlier this year, Clayton led a grassroots effort at LifeCare Hospitals to develop a program for patients that will help them with the day-to-day struggles and overall coping with COPD. The program is set to launch in October in conjunction with a COPD community outreach event series, focusing on venues where health topics are not generally discussed. COPD Learn More Breathe Better campaign educational materials will be distributed at the events. Another objective of the event series is to reach those who are unaware of the signs and symptoms of COPD, and encouraging those suffering from symptoms to see their doctor or health care provider.
Clayton is passionate about her support role within the COPD community. "The most important aspect of any disease is having education on the disease and a good support system," Clayton said. She also recently helped to demonstrate LifeCare Hospitals' commitment to the COPD community, by spearheading its effort to become a member of the COPD Learn More Breathe Better campaign's Breathe Better Network.
In October of 2009, the COPD Learn More Breathe Better campaign formalized its partnership network and launched the Breathe Better Network. Since then, Network members have been steadily at work spreading awareness about COPD and in doing so, have expanded the Campaign's reach to 49 states and the District of Columbia. The Network continues to grow and recently added three new organizations to its ranks:
Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas (Orange Campus)
The Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas, Orange Campus, provides comprehensive health services to the people of Orange County, Texas. The facility offers a full range of medical services and diagnostic procedures in general and specialized care in cardiology, endoscopy, gynecology, internal medicine, obstetrics, pediatrics, orthopedics, ENT, general surgery, plastics, podiatry and physical medicine. With funding from the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Orange Campus is in the initial phases of executing a program targeted at reducing preventable hospitalizations of those who suffer from COPD.
Educational Concepts in Medicine
Educational Concepts in Medicine is a medical education company that provides continuing medical education opportunities to health care professionals, based in Morristown, NJ. Starting this year, COPD education will be a key offering from Educational Concepts in Medicine and the company will be directing health care professionals to the COPD Learn More Breathe Better campaign, once they complete the new COPD course.
LifeCare Specialty Hospital of North Louisiana
LifeCare Specialty Hospital of North Louisiana operates three locations in the North Louisiana area — Ruston and two remote locations in Farmerville and Homer. With 70+ beds, the Hospital specializes in the treatment of medically complex patients who require extended hospitalization, including those suffering from COPD. The staff at LifeCare Specialty Hospital of North Louisiana is looking forward to getting their COPD specific programming underway, drawing on tactical support from the COPD Learn More Breathe Better campaign.
Please join the COPD Learn More Breathe Better campaign in welcoming these new Breathe Better Network members! If you know of a group or organization that might be a strong addition to the Network, please let us know by sending an email to NHLBIinfo@nhlbi.nih.gov.