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Lung Center

A Healthier Community Starts With a Single Scan

From the Chair

The Temple Lung Center is not only a national innovator but also a pillar of population health for a community with high levels of pulmonary disease and mortality. While many health systems are now scaling up lung cancer screening in response to expanded 2021 guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, Temple has been leading the way with the Temple Healthy Chest Initiative (THCI). Using a single chest CT scan, our multidisciplinary team is able to catch not only potential lung cancer but a host of other conditions, helping ensure timely treatment.

Gerard J. Criner, MD, FACP, FACCP

Expanding Access to Multidisciplinary Care

Late diagnosis in medically underserved communities contributes to Philadelphia’s high rate of lung cancer mortality. Those same communities are often at high risk for hospitalization from other conditions such as heart disease. Led by the Temple Lung Center, THCI extends lung cancer screening to all patients who meet USPSTF eligibility criteria. Through the combined expertise of physicians at the Temple Lung Center and Fox Chase Cancer Center, the initiative provides patients with the most comprehensive lung cancer care in the region. But it’s not just about whether a patient has cancer. A Temple radiologist reviews each scan, which might reveal anything from COPD to kidney abnormalities. A THCI nurse navigator then helps patients understand newly discovered health risks and conditions, and makes reports and referrals for biopsies, smoking cessation programs, relevant specialists across Temple, and more. We’re pooling our resources to provide our community members with a one-stop shop for care. 

Through THCI, lung cancer screening becomes a key to improved population health. That’s the kind of innovative work that characterizes Temple. I’m proud to be part of this community, and I hope you are too.

Gerard J. Criner, MD, FACP, FACCP

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Chair, Thoracic Medicine and Surgery, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University
Director, Temple Lung Center

Read more in the Winter 2023 edition of the Pulmonary & Thoracic Medicine Newsletter for Temple Lung Center alumni: