Each year the ELF award is given to a person or group of people who have made an outstanding contribution to the service of human health in the respiratory field.
In 2020 the ELF award was dedicated to all healthcare professionals, from nurses to physiotherapists and clinicians to support staff. During unprecedented times, respiratory professionals have pulled together in extraordinary ways; from the dedication to patient care to the rapid publication of more than 95,000 articles on the topic of COVID-19, to help inform our understanding of this new disease. While battling COVID-19, respiratory healthcare professionals have also been treating their regular patients, who have continued to live with their long-term lung diseases under stressful and worrying times.
Past ELF Chair, Isabel Saraiva, praised the work of the respiratory community: “In order to save lives and navigate through the pandemic, healthcare professionals have made countless sacrifices. They have self-isolated away from their families and worked back-to-back shifts to keep up with the huge demand on healthcare services. They have watched colleagues become ill, and in some cases lose their lives.
“They have communicated with family members of patients who were unable to visit their loved ones and have found ways to help families connect using phone and video platforms. Many hospitals have experienced a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline staff, but they have continued to put themselves at risk to provide care to patients. In the face of such adversity, healthcare professionals the world over have risen to the challenge. Please join us in recognising the incredible response of the respiratory community to the COVID-19 pandemic across Europe and the world.”
ELF Chair Isabel Saraiva presented the 2019 ELF award to Dr Maria Neira (Director, Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health at the World Health Organisation (WHO)). The award recognised Dr Neira’s commitment to improving air quality globally and helping people to breathe clean air.
In 2018, the ELF Award went to the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group for the organisation’s dedication to improving air quality in numerous major cities, and for millions of citizens, worldwide. During the ERS International Congress in Paris, ELF Chair Isabel Saraiva went to Paris City Hall to present the ELF Award to Anne Hidalgo, the city’s mayor, who also chairs C40.
Outgoing ELF Chair Dan Smyth presented the ELF Award to Professor Colin Sullivan, the inventor of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). The Award recognised Professor Sullivan’s huge contribution to improving the lives of people living with sleep apnoea – an issue personally felt by Dan, who uses CPAP himself.
We presented the ELF Award to The Sunday Times to celebrate their clean air campaign, which calls for better monitoring and reporting of pollution levels. Jonathan Leake, Science and Environment Editor of the Sunday Times, accepted the award, saying: "In journalism we receive a lot of awards, but these are mainly from other journalists. Getting recognition from scientists for the quality of our clean air campaign means a lot to us".
Coinciding with the launch of the second Healthy Lungs for Life campaign and its ‘take the active option’ message, double-lung transplant recipient and international athlete André Lassooij received the ELF Award for inspiring others through his achievements.
During the inaugural year of the Healthy Lungs for Life campaign, and in celebration of its “breathe clean air” message, the ELF award recognised WHO for its work in providing guidelines for outdoor air quality.
The ‘Ex-smokers are unstoppable campaign’, known as “Quit Smoking with Barca”. The programme aims to improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of football fans around the world, by encouraging them to quit smoking.
Norwegian Olympic rowing champion, Olaf Tufte and the World Spirometry Day Lung Champions in recognition of their dedication to exercise and sport despite living with lung conditions.
In recognition of her work to promote quality of life in asthma care and clinical research.
Who all committed themselves to the fight for a tobacco-free Europe.
Executive Secretary of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in recognition of his outstanding efforts to reduce the impact of climate change on respiratory health.
Mayor of New York to mark his outstanding contributions to combat tobacco use worldwide.
In recognition of his major contributions made to establish scientific evidence for the impact of the environment on lung health.
In recognition of his ground-breaking research into the viruses responsible for avian flu and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
For pioneering epidemiological studies on tobacco-related deaths and cancer prevention.
For the European Lung White Book.
For launching the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
For his outstanding work in the National Lung Heart and Blood Institute.
For his achievements in tobacco control in Europe.
Learn about the factors that can cause lung disease and the ways to reduce your contact with them.
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