Lung Foundation Australia wraps up 2014 for Christmas
As we make our Christmas lists and New Year resolutions, Lung Foundation Australia encourages people to stop, take a breath and reflect on an incredibly busy and successful 2014.
Lung Foundation Australia CEO Heather Allan extended a huge Christmas thank you to their supporters who helped them in the journey to achieve our vision to ensure lung health is a priority for all in Australia.
Mrs Allan said it was only a month ago in November that the Foundation released Lung Disease in Australia, summarising information about the overall prevalence, burden and impact of lung disease in Australia for the first time and in one place.
The report, prepared especially for Lung Foundation Australia by the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, highlights the impact of these often ignored diseases, Mrs Allan said.
“While statistics on various lung diseases are collected, they are not reported together so it has been difficult to get the full measure of their impact,” Mrs Allan said.
“Lung disease contributes to more than 10 per cent of the overall health burden in Australia,” she said. 
“Mortality due to lung disease is significant with 14%, or one in seven deaths in 2012, caused by lung disease, yet many Australians continue to take their lung health for granted. 
“That’s why we worked actively throughout the year to promote good lung health through education and awareness campaigns including social media, disease awareness days and health promotional events,” she said.
“Back in March we launched our Check in With Your Lungs lung health promotion campaign as well as Pneumonia Awareness Week at the end of April.
“Our Information and Support Centre took a record number of calls in 2014 and our training and clinical resources continue to grow.
“This year we invested more than $1 million in supporting research through research fellowships, registries and top-up grants as well as working with key universities and pharmaceutical companies to find answers and treatments for people with lung disease.
“We also provide significant in-kind support through our work with the Australian Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Registry and the Australia Lung cancer Trials Group.
“Throughout the year we’ve run Patient Education Days and Regional Seminars, Asbestos related lung disease workshops, COPD workshops, the Australian Lung Cancer Conference in October, Shine a light on lung cancer awareness events, World COPD Day awareness activities in November and have recently launched our new awareness and health promotion campaign called Just One Breath.
Mrs Allan said the Lung Foundation has teamed up with high profile Australians to celebrate the gift of breath and collectively ask what Just One Breath means to them.
“With a focus on positive lung health and wellbeing, the campaign will inspire conversations about lung health,” Mrs Allan said.
“With 2014 almost behind us and a massive year planned for 2015, I want to take a moment to wish all our supporters, their families and carers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”
Lung Disease in Australia, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, November 2014.