CHEST Foundation celebrates 25 years of giving

Our current members may not know this, but, first started in 1996, the CHEST Foundation—CHEST’s patient-focused philanthropic arm—celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

Next year, when everyone can hopefully gather in person, we will be celebrating the anniversary properly. Until then, at CHEST 2021, the Foundation is looking back and telling the story of the trailblazers of the past with hopes to inspire the leaders of the future.

To get to 25 years in any endeavor warrants respect, whether it is a business, a marriage, or, in this case, the CHEST Foundation. A quarter of a century does not come upon quickly, and a lot of undertakings do not withstand the test of time. What is it that allows for longevity in those that do? In essence, what provided the strong foundation of the CHEST Foundation?

To CHEST Foundation President, Ian Nathanson, MD, FCCP, the success of the Foundation stems from the “why.”

Looking Back

Before the Foundation came to be, CHEST members around the world were raising concerns over what their patients were experiencing outside hospital walls—things like poverty and environmental factors. As physicians, CHEST members were doing their part, but factors outside of their control were drastically affecting the wellbeing of their patients.

This was a lightbulb moment for CHEST leadership at the time, who included Bart Chernow, MD, Master FCCP, who is regarded as the Foundation’s founding father. Leaders agreed that CHEST needed to do more. Their collective “why” was to better serve patients.

The Foundation sought to accomplish this through patient education and through research and community grants. More than $10 million has been distributed through the Foundation’s grants program over the years, including $675,000 to recipients just this year.

See the 2021 CHEST Foundation grant winners.

The Foundation is supported by people from many walks of life who donate personal resources so that the Foundation can carry out this mission. These individuals donate for any number of reasons, but most are compelled by their “why” to give back or to do more.

Embracing the Bigger Picture

Beyond grants and education, last year, in the wake of the pandemic, the CHEST Foundation sponsored a Listening Tour that focused on major health care equity issues people from vulnerable populations face when seeking health care services. Through this initiative, the Foundation learned that often, in the limited time they have with patients, clinicians are not asking about important social issues that affect the health and welfare of these patients.

This prompted the CHEST Foundation to explore the development of a clinician education program to teach all health care providers—beyond solely focusing on physicians—how to ask patients about social determinants of health. This project is still in the planning stages, but CHEST and the Foundation share the excitement of what it will become.

Marking 25 years is an accomplishment of which to be proud, and the next 25 look to be even more promising. The Foundation eagerly anticipates celebrating with you next year and hopes to help you embrace your “why.”

If you are interested in getting involved with the Foundation or would like to provide support for existing grants and initiatives, please reach out to Angela Perillo, Director, Development & Foundation Operations, at [email protected].

Get to know the CHEST Foundation during CHEST 2021

  • Visit the Foundation Lounge to learn more about CHEST Foundation projects, including patient education initiatives.
  • Visit the 25th Anniversary page, and consider donating $25 or more to commemorate this milestone.
  • Dr. Nathanson gave an update on the Foundation during the CHEST 2021 Opening Session. If you missed his presentation, you can access the recording on demand or on YouTube.


Registered CHEST 2021 attendees have continued access to 200+ educational sessions until October 1, 2022. Watch sessions on your own schedule and earn up to 50 CME credits/MOC points.



Don’t forget to claim your credit! The deadline is December 15, 2022, at 11:59 pm CT.