International TB Campaign Launches on World TB Day

Case Western Reserve’s Tuberculosis Research Unit Spearheads “I am TB”

News Release: Thursday, March 24, 2011

CLEVELAND - Physicians across the globe are coming together to advocate for a large, underrepresented patient population – those suffering from tuberculosis (TB). On World TB Day, March 24th, a team of physician and researchers led by Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine’s Tuberculosis Research Unit will nationally launch “I am TB,” an international advocacy campaign aimed at reducing stigma among patients with TB and those at risk for the disease. TB is the most prevalent infectious disease on the planet, with more than two billion people infected with the disease-causing bacteria. What is most frustrating is this disease, which kills three million people per year, is curable. In an environment of plateaued advocacy, Case Western Reserve’s Tuberculosis Research Unit has partnered with Dartmouth Medical School’s Center for Global Health to launch this campaign. “I am TB” is a group of individuals affected by TB and their physicians, who have come together to reduce stigma around the disease and improve rates of TB testing and treatment. It aims to promote positive images of people with TB. The campaign messages incorporate the letters “TB” and do so by associating them with favorable images and words, for example "The Best," "The Beautiful," and "The Brave". The campaign also encourages physicians, scientists, and global agencies to increase efforts aimed at TB elimination. This campaign is collaborative in nature, bringing together both those affected by the disease and those who treating them – a partnership not often seen in this patient population. The campaign’s United States kick-off will take place on World TB Day on the Case Western Reserve campus at 12:30 p.m. with a campus wide-lecture, “TB 2011: The Beginning of a New Era in TB” presented by Jennifer Furin, MD, assistant professor of medicine with the Tuberculosis Research Unit and adjunct assistant professor of anthropology. Sister launch events will be held at Dartmouth College and Harvard University. The program will be launched in April in Peru and in the Republic of Georgia under the National Tuberculosis Program and internationally at the 42nd Union World Conference on Lung Health in Lille, France in October 2011. Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is home to country’s only Tuberculosis Research Unit – an international leader in TB research, advocacy, and programming for almost two decades. The creation and leadership behind “I am TB” is a major initiative of the unit to reduce discrimination of which prevents people from talking about or getting tested for TB. The campaign aims to empower those burdened by the disease. “I am TB” is The Beginning of a new era in TB advocacy, care, and research. For more information, please visit

About Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Founded in 1843, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is the largest medical research institution in Ohio and is among the nation's top medical schools for research funding from the National Institutes of Health. The School of Medicine is recognized throughout the international medical community for outstanding achievements in teaching. The School's innovative and pioneering Western Reserve2 curriculum interweaves four themes--research and scholarship, clinical mastery, leadership, and civic professionalism--to prepare students for the practice of evidence-based medicine in the rapidly changing health care environment of the 21st century. Eleven Nobel Laureates have been affiliated with the school.

Annually, the School of Medicine trains more than 800 M.D. and M.D./Ph.D. students and ranks in the top 25 among U.S. research-oriented medical schools as designated by U.S. News & World Report "Guide to Graduate Education."

The School of Medicine's primary affiliate is University Hospitals Case Medical Center and is additionally affiliated with MetroHealth Medical Center, the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the Cleveland Clinic, with which it established the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University in 2002.