CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- Memorial Health Care System Foundation announced plans for the Buz Standefer Lung Center at Memorial during a Thursday morning press conference.

Chronic lower respiratory diseases, which include emphysema and asthma, are the fifth leading cause of death in Tennessee, and all counties in our region currently exceed national rates for mortality caused by these conditions. The Buz Standefer Lung Center will treat the current health issues related to lung disease, while proactively educating and screening the community.

The center will house the latest technology and equipment, including: digital chest x-ray; a Pulmonary Function Testing Lab; a walkway for the 6-minute walking test necessary to determine if a patient needs oxygen; and exam rooms for six pulmonologists to see patients.

With screening, interventional radiology, pulmonary rehabilitation and a bronchoscopy suite featuring the latest ultrasound technology, Memorial's lung center will provide seamless and coordinated care to better serve patients with lung diseases.

This world-class lung center is made possible with a $1 million gift by Barbie Standefer and other major gifts by Mr. and Mrs. Bob Shaw, Rich and Barbara Kramer, The Schmissrauter Family Foundation, and Hilda and Lee Murray.