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American Lung Association Volunteer Spokespeople for 2018-2019 Announced

(October 10, 2018) - CHICAGO

For more information please contact:

Allison MacMunn

The American Lung Association, the nation’s premiere resource for lung health, has expanded its network of lung health experts available to the news media through the fiscal year 2019. Now in its third year, the National Volunteer Spokesperson Program includes 12 medical professionals from across the country with expertise in a wide number of lung health topics, from lung cancer, COPD, pulmonary fibrosis and asthma to healthy air and tobacco cessation.

“Breathing is essential for life, and the public looks to us for lung health information it can rely on. This has never been more true, with more than 33 million Americans living with a lung disease and more than four in 10 Americans living in a county with unhealthy levels of air pollution,” said American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer. “The Lung Association volunteer spokespeople play a vital role in our lifesaving mission by ensuring the media and public have reliable, science-based lung health information. We are privileged to work with such well-respected experts and dedicated volunteers.”

The American Lung Association’s 2018-2019 volunteer spokespeople include:

  • Brian W. Christman, M.D., Nashville, is professor of medicine and associate program director for the Vanderbilt University Internal Medicine Residency Program and former director of the fellowship program in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Vanderbilt. With expertise in pulmonary hypertension, critical care, asthma and healthy air, Christman has published more than 100 journal articles and book chapters and serves on the American Lung Association Scientific Advisory Committee.
  • David Tom Cooke, M.D., FACS, Sacramento, California, is an associate professor at the University of California, Davis, and the section head of general thoracic surgery, program director of the UC Davis Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency and vice chair for faculty development for the department of surgery. He specializes in the surgical treatment of malignant and benign lung disease and minimally invasive thoracic surgery. Dr. Cooke's research includes oncologic trials, surgical outcomes/health services research, patient-centered outcomes research, surgical education, medical social media and public medical communication. He has authored more than 60 scholarly manuscripts and text-book chapters and co-authored a book.
  • Afif El-Hasan, M.D., Orange County, California, is a pediatrician with Kaiser Permanente and has been an active member of the organization’s Asthma Care Management Team, which strives to optimize the care of thousands of patients who suffer from asthma, for more than 13 years. Dr. El-Hasan was a board member on the state governing board of the American Lung Association of California from 2011-2017. Prior, he served on the Orange County Leadership Board of the American Lung Association for more than 10 years and was the 2008 recipient of the American Lung Association in California's Outstanding Medical Achievement Award.
  • Jorge Gomez, M.D., New York, is a medical oncologist who specializes in the treatment of patients with lung cancer. He is the medical director of the thoracic oncology program and the World Trade Center Oncology Clinic at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. He started his lung cancer career as a member of the thoracic oncology program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, followed by five years with the thoracic oncology program at the University of Miami. He dedicates his time to clinical research and patient care. His primary research interests are the therapeutics of lung cancer, including immunotherapy and targeted therapies. He has also participated in multiple clinical trials with novel drugs.
  • Traci Gonzales, APRN, PNP-C, AE-C, Houston, is a pediatric nurse practitioner with McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center and sees patients at UT Physicians and Children’s Memorial Herman Hospital. She is the director of the UT High Risk Children’s Clinic Pulmonary Lab and oversees state-of-the-art pulmonary testing on pediatric patients. Gonzales’s research and clinical interests include pediatric asthma, primary ciliary dyskinesia, pediatric sleep disorders and mechanical ventilation. She has co-authored multiple peer-reviewed publications regarding novel treatments and advances in pediatric pulmonary medicine. 
  • Payel Gupta, M.D., New York City, is an expert in adult and pediatric asthma, environmental allergies, food allergies, and conditions affecting the immune system. She earned her medical degree from Michigan State University, and then pursued a residency in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Dr. Gupta is visiting attending at both SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York. She is triple board certified and holds certifications from the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, the American Board of Internal Medicine, and the American Board of Pediatrics. She serves on the board of the New York Allergy and Asthma Society. She is a physician with ENT and Allergy Associates in New York City and works with urban populations and has a strong interest in helping the underserved.
  • MeiLan Han, M.D., MS, Ann Arbor, Mich., is a professor of internal medicine in the division of pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Michigan Health System and director of the Michigan Airways Program. Her expertise includes end-stage lung diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), interstitial lung disease and lymphangioleiomyomatosis. She also serves as the principal investigator at the University of Michigan for two large NHLBI-funded COPD cohort studies as well as the American Lung Association Airways Clinical Research Centers (ACRC) Network. She also serves on the Global Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) science committee that develops internationally recognized management strategies for COPD.
  • David G. Hill, M.D., Waterbury, Conn., is a member of the Lung Association's National Board of Directors and chair of the Lung Association’s Northeast Regional Board. He is a practicing pulmonary and critical care physician with Waterbury Pulmonary Associates and serves as their director of clinical research. He is an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine, an assistant clinical professor at the Frank Netter School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University, and a clinical instructor at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He has been the principal investigator for more than 75 pulmonary research trials and the author of many papers.
  • Andrea McKee, M.D., Boston, is a partner at Radiation Oncology Associates, P.A., and currently serves as chairman of the department of radiation oncology at the Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, assistant professor at Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. McKee has co-authored numerous seminal peer-reviewed publications on the design, implementation and management of clinical CT lung cancer screening programs and was invited to be an advisor to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services during the development of the current national CT lung cancer screening guidelines. She also serves on the Lung Association’s Lung Cancer Expert Medical Advisory Panel, and also serves as co-chair of the committee that developed the Lung Cancer Screening Implementation Guide.
  • Juanita Mora, M.D., Chicago, is an allergist/immunologist in Chicago with a strong interest in asthma care and breaking down barriers to asthma care in underserved communities. She is a clinic partner with the American Lung Association in Chicago, Illinois. She received her medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago. She completed an internal medicine and pediatrics residency, as well as an allergy and immunology fellowship at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and earned a Master of Clinical Research degree. Dr. Mora's work with the Lung Association deals closely with patient management and relations as well as doing asthma education in the community and to healthcare workers. Previously, her work focused on pediatric asthma in the Latino population.
  • Cedric "Jamie" Rutland, M.D., Riverside, Calif., is a pulmonary and critical care physician based in Southern California and received his medical degree and completed residency in internal medicine from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. His clinical expertise is focused on evaluating difficult cases in interstitial lung disease, asthma, COPD and critical care ultrasound including lung ultrasound. He is a member of the American College of Chest Physicians and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine & Pulmonary Medicine.
  • S. Christy Sadreameli, M.D., M.H.S., Baltimore, is assistant professor of pediatrics at the Eudowood Division of Pediatric Respiratory Sciences and a pediatric pulmonologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where she takes care of pediatric patients of all ages with a variety of pulmonary conditions. Dr. Sadreameli conducts research related to the pulmonary complications of sickle cell disease, including asthma and asthma-like symptoms, and what impact environmental exposures such as secondhand tobacco smoke and allergens have on these and other pulmonary and non-pulmonary outcomes.

For media interested in scheduling an interview with an American Lung Association National Volunteer Spokesperson about lung health, lung diseases such as lung cancer, healthy air, tobacco use or more, contact Allison MacMunn at or 312-801-7628. A full list with biographies and headshots of volunteer spokespeople may be found at


About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

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