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COPD Foundation and American Lung Association Collaborate to Enhance COPD Research

April 26, 2017   |   
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Washington, D.C. – April 26, 2017 – The COPD Foundation and American Lung Association today announced a partnership to help more patients living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) access clinical trials, and as a result enhance COPD research and outcomes.

The nation’s third leading cause of death, COPD is a condition that encompasses emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and other diseases characterized by increased breathlessness and wheezing. Through the coordination of the COPD Foundation’s COPD Patient-Powered Research Network (COPD PPRN) and the Lung Association’s Airways Clinical Research Centers (ACRC), both organizations are aiming to improve the quality of life for those living with disease.

The COPD Patient-Powered Research Network (COPD PPRN) is comprised of patients who have provided health and quality of life information using a robust technological infrastructure that supports clinical studies and surveys. The platform provides a unique opportunity for researchers to connect directly with participants, and is overseen by a patient-led governing board to ensure that patient priorities remain at the forefront.

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Tags: American Lung Association Clinical Research COPD

COPD Foundation Establishes JW Walsh Memorial Fund

March 22, 2017   |   
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - March 22, 2017 - The COPD Foundation is proud to announce the establishment of the JW Walsh Fund to Cure COPD in honor of our late founder and director emeritus, John W. Walsh. John recently passed away on March 7, 2017. The memorial fund was created as a way to honor John’s commitment to the mission of the Foundation which strives to find a cure for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the third leading cause of death within the United States.

John’s family has requested that donations in his memory be made to the JW Walsh Fund to Cure COPD, which will be administered by the Foundation.

John’s voice changed the way research studies are designed and executed, the way industry views the patient voice, and even changed the way patients are integrated into medical education. John dedicated much of his life to his commitment to speeding the development of new therapies and a cure for COPD. The COPD Foundation remains strongly committed to furthering John’s passion to engage, educate, and empower patients, helping to improve their lives as it searches for a cure.

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Tags: Fund John W. Walsh JW Walsh Memorial Fund Memorial

Remembering John W. Walsh

March 07, 2017   |   
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The COPD Foundation is deeply saddened to announce that Founder and Director Emeritus John W. Walsh passed away today surrounded by his loving family.

John was an inspirational leader who lived each day pushing himself to advocate for those who did not have a voice and the world is a better place because of it.

John has touched the lives of countless individuals through his pioneering efforts in the respiratory field and his dedication to improving health, promoting worldwide detection and finding a cure for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Our hearts go out to his wife Diane, daughter Linda, granddaughter Lily and extended family. We at the Foundation will continue to honor John by relentlessly pursuing his vision and continuing the work he so wholeheartedly embraced.

To share your stories or memories of John, please go to The John Walsh Memorial Page.

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COPD Foundation Founder John W. Walsh Retires

February 15, 2017   |   
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The COPD Foundation’s Board of Directors announced today that John W. Walsh, founder of the COPD Foundation, has retired from the COPD Foundation so that he may focus on his recovery from an injury that he incurred last year.

The Foundation’s Board elected John as its first Director Emeritus in recognition of his extraordinary service to the Foundation, and his profound commitment to improving the lives of those affected by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

“I am honored to have worked closely with John over the past two decades to advocate for the 30 million Americans with COPD. John’s tireless commitment to the COPD community and his unabashed enthusiasm for being ‘an impatient patient’ continues to inspire me and the work we do at the Foundation” said Byron Thomashow, MD, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the COPD Foundation.

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Tags: Founder John W. Walsh Retirement

COPD Biomarker Qualification Consortium Partners with Bio-Techne to Identify COPD Indicator

January 10, 2017   |   
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WASHINGTON, D.C./MINNEAPOLIS, MN - January 11, 2017 -The COPD Foundation-sponsored COPD Biomarker Qualification Consortium (CBQC) today announced that it has partnered with the Bio-Techne Corporation, a manufacturer of biotechnology products for life science research and diagnostics. The partnership was established to evaluate the suitability of a soluble form of receptor for advanced glycation end products (sRAGE) as a predictive biomarker to support subject selection for clinical trials in emphysema. Increasing evidence suggests that serum sRAGE could serve as an indicator of the presence and/or progression of emphysema, a form of chronic obstructive disease (COPD). A validated commercial assay or test for sRAGE does not currently exist. The COPD Foundation, along with its partners in the CBQC and Bio-Techne, will be collaborating with a working group of industry and academic affiliates on the initiative.

“We are honored that the CBQC has chosen Bio-Techne as their development partner for this important test,” said Charles R. Kummeth, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bio-Techne. “We have a long history of innovation with different immunoassay technologies and biomarkers that can be applied here to ultimately help improve outcomes for emphysema patients.”

Since its inception in 2010, the CBQC has selected several important measures to be considered for qualification by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as tools for drug development. The initial measures/biomarkers selected were plasma fibrinogen (a blood biomarker), the St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire, and the 6-minute walk test (an exercise test). Since serum and plasma sRAGE levels can prospectively identify the subset of patients with COPD at greatest risk for emphysema progression, targeted drug/biologic development and treatments could be optimized by using sRAGE measurements. Several large cohort studies have reported sRAGE to be a strong marker of emphysema, even more so than airflow obstruction.

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COPD Foundation Recognizes 2016 Honorees at Annual Air Affair Event in New York City

December 09, 2016   |   
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - December 9, 2016 - The COPD Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to curing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hosted its 2016 annual Air Affair Benefit, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Dr. Byron Thomashow chaired the event as the Foundation paid tribute to a special group of individuals and organizations who were recognized for their contributions to the COPD community over the past year.

The gala evening featured country music artist Billy Dawson, famous for his songs Lance Corporal Austin and Whatever Happens. There was a special performance from Emmy Rose Russel the granddaughter of country icon Loretta Lynn. Emmy represented the Lynn family in memory of her aunt and Loretta’s daughter Betty Sue Lynn who passed away from COPD.

The COPD Foundation was pleased to announce the 2016 Air Affair Benefit awardees for their commitment to COPD awareness and the advancement of a COPD cure. Their advocacy, research, outreach, and care-delivery efforts have helped to build a broad understanding of the disease and support the Foundation improving lives for individuals with the disease. John W. Walsh, co-founder of the COPD Foundation, received the highest honor for his achievements in the COPD space.

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COPD Foundation Now Accepting Donations Using Apple Pay

November 14, 2016   |   
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - November 14, 2016 - The COPD Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), today brings supporters the ability to donate with Apple Pay. COPD is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. and affects 30 million Americans. The progressive lung disease is characterized by increased breathlessness, coughing, and wheezing.

The COPD Foundation relies on the support of its membership to implement its research, education, and advocacy initiatives. Apple Pay will allow COPD Foundation supporters with the option of a more efficient and secure online financial transaction, making it easier for members to help the organization’s mission to help those affected by COPD.

Security and privacy is at the core of Apple Pay. When you use a credit or debit card with Apple Pay, the actual card numbers are not stored on the device, nor on Apple servers. Instead, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in the Secure Element on your device. Each transaction is authorized with a one-time unique dynamic security code. Donating in apps and on websites accepting Apple Pay is as simple as the touch of a finger with Touch ID, so there’s no need to manually fill out lengthy account forms or repeatedly type in shipping and billing information.

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Propeller Health Receives FDA Clearance for the Propeller Platform in Association with Ellipta Inhaler

November 08, 2016   |   
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MADISON, WI - Nov. 8, 2016 - Propeller Health, the leading digital solution for respiratory medicine, today announced U.S. Food and Drug Administration 510(k) clearance to market its Propeller platform for use with GSK's Ellipta® inhaler, the pharmaceutical company's innovative, patented, dry powder inhaler (DPI). The sensor for the Ellipta inhaler was built and cleared as part of a development agreement and R&D collaboration between Propeller and GSK that was announced on December 1, 2015.

"Today, we are pleased to announce the FDA clearance of the Propeller platform for use with GSK's Ellipta inhaler," said David Van Sickle, CEO and co-founder of Propeller. "Inclusion of GSK's Ellipta inhaler in Propeller's digitally-guided therapy platform is an important step in our goal of modernizing the management of respiratory disease. We look forward to working closely with GSK to deploy sensors for the Ellipta inhaler in the U.S. and abroad, in the near term."

Read the full press release here.

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COPD Foundation "Goes Orange" for National COPD Awareness Month in November

November 01, 2016   |   
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - November 1, 2016 - The COPD Foundation is pleased to celebrate COPD Awareness Month, an internationally recognized event held annually in November to enhance awareness of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Throughout the month, the COPD Foundation will partner with respiratory health organizations to host various online and in-person activities that will allow COPD community members to rally, inform, and support one another. COPD is a progressive lung disease with symptoms that include shortness of breath, wheezing, and cough. It is affects 300 million individuals worldwide and 30 million in the United States.

Key statistics about COPD include:

  • Every four minutes, someone in the U.S. dies of COPD
  • COPD causes 285,000 emergency hospitalizations annually in the U.S.
  • Approximately one in five Americans over the age of 45 lives with COPD

The Foundation’s awareness theme for the month is “Go Orange,” which highlights the organization’s efforts to promote unity among the COPD community and raise public awareness about the disease. In 2011, the U.S. COPD Coalition named orange the official color of COPD in the “Go Orange Resolution.” In honor of the fifth anniversary of the resolution, the COPD Foundation has launched the “Go Orange” campaign. From now until November 30, 2016, a photograph of anyone wearing orange can be posted using the hashtag #GoOrange to the COPD360social community at For more information about the campaign or to download the free digital toolkit, please visit:

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Dorney-Koppel Foundation Helps Create New Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation Center at Tulane Medical Center

September 07, 2016   |   
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NEW ORLEANS - September 7, 2016 - New Orleans-area residents who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) will soon breathe easier thanks to a partnership with the Tulane University School of Medicine and the Dorney-Koppel Foundation.

The Grace Anne Dorney Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation Center at Tulane Medical Center’s downtown campus is named after the wife of senior CBS Sunday Morning contributor and former Nightline anchor Ted Koppel. More importantly, though, Dorney-Koppel is president of the COPD Foundation and a longtime advocate for sufferers of chronic breathing conditions.

“Not being able to catch your breath – and the fear that your next breath might not be coming – is like drowning. Nothing is more frightening,” said Dorney-Koppel, who became a national spokesperson for COPD patients after being diagnosed with the disease herself more than 15 years ago. “Pulmonary rehabilitation is a breathing program based on the highest level of scientific evidence, and it can improve patient’s lives.

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COPD PPRN to Participate in $4 Million Research Study Comparing Stress Management Approaches

July 26, 2016   |   
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - July 26, 2017 - A team of patient and stakeholder partners and investigators from 20 Patient-Powered Research Networks (PPRNs) that comprise PCORnet will take part in a $4 million research project, Healthy Mind Healthy You, to determine the optimal type and frequency of mindfulness-based treatment for managing stress. This project will be under the leadership of MoodNetwork, an online network for patients with bipolar disorder and depression. MoodNetwork, based at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), is one of 20 PCORI-funded Patient-Powered Research Networks (PPRNs) participating in this study, which will also demonstrate the capabilities of PCORnet, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network.

An ambitious initiative funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), PCORnet is accelerating the nation’s ability to conduct patient-centered clinical research more efficiently by using health information shared by patients and other clinical data. PPRNs, which are collaborations among patients, other stakeholders, and research partners who share an interest in advancing patient-centered research, comprise 20 of the 33 networks that together make up PCORnet.

Healthy Mind Healthy You will randomly assign participants across more than 100 conditions to a “light” (3-session) or “standard” (8-session) online mindfulness-based intervention to determine which treatment is most helpful for improving well-being. This topic has been recognized as a top priority area for comparative effectiveness research by the Institute of Medicine and has the potential to inform patients, caregivers, and clinicians as to the most effective dose of mindfulness for stress and wellness management. This study will be led by a team of active stakeholder and patient partners across the 20 patient powered research networks.

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COPD Foundation Releases “A Child’s Eye” Animated Short

June 15, 2016   |   
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 15, 2016 – The COPD Foundation today released a video animation, “A Child’s Eye,” to promote awareness and education about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a spectrum of inflammatory lung diseases that include chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Patients with COPD experience chronic respiratory symptoms such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, and coughing. Approximately 300 million people worldwide are affected by COPD. The video animation was developed by Make Believe Studios, an in-house creative studio that specializes in bringing stories to life through film, animation and digital output.

“A Child's Eye” is a short animated film commissioned by Novartis in collaboration with the COPD Foundation. It is inspired by real life stories from patients around the world and demonstrates the effects of the disease on patients’ loved ones, including caregivers, friends, and family. “A Child’s Eye” depicts the daily struggles of life with COPD from the perspective of a child whose beloved grandparent lives with the disease. Upon being introduced to, a unique social networking website for individuals whose lives are affected by COPD, the child’s family is provided with educational resources and access to a worldwide community. By showing the meaningful impact lifestyle changes and treatment can have through the perspective of ‘Jonny’ (a patient’s grandchild), the video touches upon a central insight for people who live with COPD.

“The COPD Foundation would like to thank Novartis for the creation and adaptation of this video,” said Craig Kephart, COPD Foundation’s chief executive officer. “We hope the piece will encourage individuals who have difficulty breathing to seek diagnosis and visit for support and education. Early detection is crucial to successful treatment of COPD.”

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