International Participants Center

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  The International Participants Center is a resource center within the ATS 2021 International Conference. The goal of IPC programming is to illuminate common disease themes from different regional perspectives. In contrast to scientific symposia, these sessions will focus more on the social and cultural challenges and local solutions from each topic. We invite international researchers and clinicians who specialize in these themes, as well as domestic researchers and clinicians with an interest in global health to attend these sessions.

All content will continue to be available on-demand through July 2. Please click here to register.


International Participants Center

Saturday, May 15, 2021


ATS International Scholars Poster Colloquium

9 - 11:30 a.m. EDT, Saturday, May 15, 2021
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More information coming soon.

Sunday, May 16, 2021


What Do We Know About the Implementation of COPD Guidelines of Low- and Middle-Income Countries?

10 - 11 a.m. EDT, Sunday, May 16, 2021
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COPD is the most common cause of chronic respiratory disease worldwide. Indeed, its prevalence currently exceeds 250 million and more than 3 million people die from this disease die each year. Evidence-based strategies for the diagnosis, management and prevention of COPD exist; however, little has been done to tailor these recommendations to the realities of many low- and middle-income country settings. This session aims to provide a brief discussion about existing challenges, solutions and key stakeholders to combat COPD in the poorest regions in the world.

Introduction: Epidemiology of COPD worldwide (5 minutes)
Chair: William Checkley, MD, PhD

Topic 1: Gaps in the availability of COPD guidelines in low-resource settings: What do we know? (10 minutes)

Speaker: Job Van Boven, PharmD, PhD (Groningen University – Netherlands)

Topic 2: Practical recommendations how to address current challenges: What can we do to improve COPD care? (10 minutes)
Speaker: John Hurst, MBBS, PhD (University College London – UK)

Topic 3: Role of multinational organizations in fighting COPD worldwide: What is achievable in 20 years? (10 minutes)
Speaker: Sarah Rylance, MBBS, PhD (WHO – Switzerland)

Q&A (10 minutes)
1. How are COPD guidelines perceived and used in LMICs, and what guidelines are in real-world use?
2. What are the barriers and facilitators to implementation of universal, evidence-based, guideline-driven cost-effective interventions for COPD in LMICs?
3. How can the respiratory community lead changes resulting in the wider introduction of evidence-based care for COPD in LMICs?




International Standards for TB Care and Control: Involving the Private Sector Through Professional Society Collaborations

2 – 3 p.m. EDT, Sunday, May 16, 2021
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While curative regimens for TB have existed for more than fifty years, TB remains a leading cause of infectious disease morbidity and mortality worldwide.  While the majority of persons with TB are managed in government public health programs, a large number receive care through private providers, and many of these providers do not necessarily follow standard guidelines. Medical professional societies are commonly in a position to promote appropriate management, but are generally under-utilized as partners with the public sector. The International Standards for Tuberculosis Care (ISTC) were developed, in part, as a tool to engage the private sector through the adoption and promotion of the standards by professional (generally pulmonology) societies to their members.  This session will focus on both the development of international standards, and their utilization.

Introduction: The Unique Challenge of TB  (3 minutes)
Chair: David Lewinsohn, MD, PhD (Oregon Health and Science University – USA)

Topic 1: Developing International Standards for TB Care and Control (10 minutes)
Speaker: Philip Hopewell, MD (University of California, San Francisco – USA)

Topic 2: The African Experience:  Bringing TB Care and Control to Kenya (10 minutes)
Speaker: Chakaya Muhwa, MBChB (Kenya Medical Research Institute – Kenya)

Topic 3: TB Elimination in the Asia-Pacific Region (10 minutes)
Speaker: Erlina Burhan, MD, PhD (Universitas Indonesia – Indonesia)

Q&A (10 minutes)
1. How are international standards unique?
2. What are the regional challenges for TB care and control?
3. What have been the barriers to TB elimination?




An Update on Implementation and Effectiveness of Global Tobacco Control Policies

4 – 5 p.m. EDT, Sunday, May 16, 2021
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As part of the non-communicable disease agenda, countries around the world have committed to reducing tobacco use by 30% by 2025.  Current components on the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control specify 6 core policy and areas including tobacco taxation, provision of tobacco cessations interventions, protections against tobacco in public places and tobacco bans to support reduction in tobacco use worldwide. This session aims to provide a brief discussion about current progress towards reaching global tobacco control targets, opportunities and challenges for implementation of comprehensive tobacco control interventions at the national and subnational level, and the role of addressing disparities in achieving global tobacco control benefits for everyone.

Introduction: Current burden of tobacco related pulmonary disease worldwide (5 minutes)
Chair: Priya Shete, MD, MPH (University of California, San Francisco – USA)

Topic 1: Current programmatic and priority areas for Global Tobacco Control from the ATS perspective (10 minutes)
Speaker: Michelle Eakin, PhD (Johns Hopkins University – USA)

Topic 2: The impact of tobacco tax policies across Europe and their effect on disparities in European tobacco control efforts (10 minutes)
Speaker: Elif Dagli, MD (University of Istanbul – Turkey)

Topic 3: Are comprehensive tobacco control measures missing children? The implications of e-cigarettes on children and adolescents globally and in Latin America. (10 minutes)
Speaker: Gustavo Zabert, MD (Universidad Nacional del Comahue – Argentina)

Q&A (10 minutes)
1. How do socioeconomic status and disparities impact the effectiveness of tobacco control policies and interventions?
2. What are the barriers and facilitators to implementation of tobacco control policies for countries that have not scaled up efforts?
3. What additional research questions and analyses are missing but essential to supporting policies that eliminate tobacco use globally?

Monday, May 17, 2021


Impact of Climate Change on Global Lung Health

10 - 11 a.m. EDT, Monday, May 17, 2021
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Climate change is projected to have a domino effect on how environmental exposures influence health, particularly lung health.  Addressing climate change requires a coordinated global effort yet the urgency to address this challenge has varied across different countries.  This session aims to provide a brief discussion from different country-level perspectives about existing challenges, solutions and key stakeholders to combat climate change on a global level. 

Introduction: Climate Change: An Environmental Lung Health Problem that Unites the Globe (5 minutes)
Chair: Peggy Lai, MD, MPH (Harvard Medical School – USA)

Topic 1: Climate Change: The Turkish Perspective (10 minutes)
Speaker: Hasan Bayram, MD, PhD, ATSF (Koc University School of Medicine – Turkey)

Topic 2: Climate Change: The Australian Perspective (10 minutes)
Speaker: Sotiris Vardoulakis (Australian National University – Australia)

Topic 3: Climate Change: The U.S. Perspective (10 minutes)
Speaker: Mary Rice, MD, MPH (Harvard Medical School – USA)

Q&A (10 minutes)
1. Are there regional and country-specific challenges to addressing climate change, and if so, in what way?
2. How would a physician or researcher communicate how climate change might directly influence a person’s lung health? Can you give an example in your context?
3. How can the respiratory community lead changes resulting in the wider awareness or action for addressing climate change? Are there concrete things an individual can do in their day-to-day lives to address climate change?




MECOR: Understanding the Methods in Epidemiologic, Clinical, and Operations Research (MECOR) Program

2 - 3 p.m. EDT, Monday, May 17, 2021
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The Methods in Epidemiologic, Clinical and Operations Research (MECOR) program is a research capacity strengthening program that has been run through the ATS in low- and middle-income countries for over 25 years.  The MECOR Program is a multi-level research method training course intended for clinicians, investigators, academics and public health professionals who primarily work with lung health. The aim of the program is to mentor and support early career researchers to develop locally relevant research questions and support them through to publication of their work. The aim of the session is to discuss currently challenges and solutions to transitioning training onto virtual and hybrid platforms and the successes and lessons learn from this during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Introduction: MECOR 2.0 The current status of training (5 minutes)
Chair: Refiloe Masekela, MD, PhD (University of KwaZulu Natal – South Africa) and Ozge Yilmaz, MD (Celal Bayar University – Turkey)

Topic 1: Transition to MECOR 2.0:  Successes and Challenges (10 minutes)
Speaker: Obianuju Ozoh, MBBS (Lagos University – Nigeria)

Topic 2: Recreating MECOR to virtual platform: lessons learnt from the pandemic (10 minutes)
Speaker: Zuhal Karakurt, MD (University of Health Sciences Istanbul – Turkey)

Topic 3:  Connecting the big MECOR family: launching DocMatter (10 minutes)
Speaker: Nirupama Putcha, MD, MHS (Johns Hopkins University – USA)

Q&A (10 minutes)

  1. How can MECOR training be transitioned from a face-to-face to a virtual platform whilst keeping the participant engagement and throughputs?
  2. How can mentorship be sustained through the use of new tools like DocMatter and is this facility useful as an ongoing mentorship model?
  3. What are the lessons learnt from transitioning from MECOR to MECOR 2.0, and what metrics can be used to measure success?



LIVE: Advocating for Respiratory Health

5 - 6 p.m. EDT, Monday, May 17, 2021
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In this one-hour session, we will give an overview of priority ATS health policy issues including research funding, tobacco and environmental health, and ATS member advocacy engagement. Will include a live Q&A.

Panelists:
Nuala S. Moore, MA, Director of Government Relations
Sarah M. Lyon, MD, MSCE, Chair, Health Policy Committee
Priya Shete, MD, MPH, Chair, International Health Committee Health Policy Working Group

Tuesday, May 18, 2021


COVID-19: Regional Approaches to Vaccination (Latin America, Africa, Asia)

10 - 11 a.m. EDT, Tuesday, May 18, 2021
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Introduction: With the availability of safe and effective vaccines, vaccination is now a most relevant COVID-19 preventative global public health intervention. As incidence and mortality rates vary across the global regions, equitable vaccine access with focus on disadvantaged and minority populations, affordability, and logistics of vaccine roll-out are at the center of effective control efforts. This session aims to provide insights into vaccination implementation approaches and successes and challenges across Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

Introduction: Vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 – A major Global Public Health Intervention
Chair: Stephan Schwander MD, PhD (Rutgers University – USA)

Topic 1: COVID vaccination:  Latin America region (10 minutes)
Speaker: Karen Czischke, MD (Andes University – Chile)

Topic 2: COVID Vaccination: Africa region (10 minutes)
Speaker: Mosa Moshabela, MBChB, PhD, MSc (University of KwaZulu Natal – South Africa)

Topic 3: COVID Vaccination: Asia region (10 minutes)
Speaker: Kazuhiro Tateda, MD, PhD (Toho University – Japan)

Q&A (10 minutes)

  1. Is vaccine hesitancy a concern in your region? If ‘yes’, what approaches are taken to dealing with it?
  2. Have decisions that were made in the European and North American regions affected the approaches to COVID vaccination in your region? Are there take-aways for the next infectious pandemic?



MECOR: 27 years later – Overview and Impact

2 – 3 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, May 18, 2021
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The Methods in Epidemiologic, Clinical, and Operations Research (MECOR) program is a research capacity strengthening program that has been run through the ATS in low- and middle-income countries for over 27 years.  The MECOR Program is a multi-level research method training course intended for clinicians, investigators, academics, and public health professionals who primarily work with lung health. The aim of the program is to mentor and support early career researchers to develop locally relevant research questions and support them through to publication of their work. The aim of the session is to provide an overview of the history, impact, and future ambitions of the program.

Introduction: MECOR’s Impact (5 minutes)
Chair: Cecilia Patino-Sutton, MD, PhD, MeD (University of Southern California – USA)

Topic 1: The need for research capacity in LMICs (8 minutes)
Speaker: Sonia Buist, MD (Oregon Health and Science University – USA)

Topic 2: MECOR PATS (8 minutes)
Speaker: Obianuju Ozoh, MBBS (Lagos University – Nigeria)

Topic 3: MECOR Turkey (8 minutes)
Speaker: Arzu Yorgancioglu, MD (Celal Bayar University – Turkey)

Topic 4: MECOR Latin America (8 minutes)
Speaker: Gustavo Zabert, MD (Universidad Nacional del Comahue – Argentina)

Q&A (10 minutes)

  1. MECOR was initially developed to build capacity in LMICs – does the need still exist? Has the research gap widened or narrowed over the last 27 years?
  2. How valuable is mentorship and professional development for young investigators?
  3. How should MECOR continue to adapt to serve the needs of local communities? What needs remain and how can we help?
  4. How can we maximize the impact of MECOR research?