COPD Foundation Recognizes Its 2019 Honorees For Their Contributions

November 21, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 22, 2019 - The COPD Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to curing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hosted its 15th Anniversary Awards Gala on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at the Metropolitan Club in New York City. The event was hosted by Joel Sternfeld, Ruth Tal-Singer, PhD and Laurie Thomashow. COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States with approximately 30 million Americans affected by the disease. The COPD Foundation has become the voice of the COPD community by advocating for more research funding, supporting patient-led research projects and providing educational opportunities to patients, family members and healthcare providers.

"The COPD Foundation brings together stakeholders who are at the forefront of COPD treatment, research, education and advocacy. This year's honorees are shining examples of dedication and commitment to finding new treatments and raising awareness of this horribly debilitating disease which impacts 30 million Americans. We are grateful for the work they do each and every day" said Corinne Costa Davis, Chief Executive Officer of the COPD Foundation.

“On Tuesday night, we had an impressive turnout for our 15th Anniversary Fundraising Gala. We came together to honor five remarkable champions for COPD and reaffirm our collective commitment to improving the lives of all people affected by this disease” said Michael P. Mayer, Chairman, Board of Directors, COPD Foundation.

We are very pleased to present our 2019 honorees:

  • James D, Crapo, MD, John W. Walsh Visionary Award.. Dr. Crapo is currently a Professor of Medicine at National Jewish Health in Denver, Colorado and is a principal investigator of COPDGene, a study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). COPDGene is focused on identifying primary genes that determine risk for developing COPD, as well as identifying clinical and imaging subtypes of COPD that underlie risk, prognosis or response to therapy. In addition to his work on COPDGene, Dr. Crapo is the Editor-in-Chief of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases: Journal of the COPD Foundation and has been a member of the COPD Foundation’s Board of Directors for more than 10 years.
  • Patti Everly, Champion for COPD Award. Ms. Everly worked for the Los Angeles Police Department for 20 years as a police dispatcher and 911 operator. During this time, she volunteered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a child abuse prevention organization and a therapy dog program. In 1999, Ms. Everly married Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers and began her second career in music publishing in Nashville, Tennessee. When Mr. Everly died in 2014 due to complications from COPD, Ms. Everly worked with COPD Foundation founder John Walsh to create the Phil Everly COPD Memorial Fund. Ms. Everly continues her volunteer work with the Foundation through her website:
  • Edna Shattuck Advocacy Awards
    • U.S Senator Mike Crapo, Senator Crapo has learned that a willingness to listen makes for a more effective leader and lawmaker. Senator Crapo’s sensible approach has earned him the respect of his colleagues, and he has been selected to serve in various leadership roles, including as Chief Deputy Whip among Senate Republicans. In 2004, Senator Crapo co-founded The Congressional COPD Caucus and currently serves as co-chair.
    • U.S. Representative John Lewis, often called "one of the most courageous persons the Civil Rights Movement ever produced," Representative Lewis has dedicated his life to protecting human rights, securing civil liberties and building what he calls "The Beloved Community” in America. His dedication to the highest ethical standards and moral principles has won him the admiration of many of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the United States Congress. Representative Lewis co-founded The Congressional COPD Caucus in 2004 and currently serves as co-chair.
  • William “Bill” Clark, John W. Walsh Dedication to Excellence Award. Mr. Clark is the Senior Director of Patient Engagement for the COPD Foundation. Diagnosed in 2001 with Alpha-1, a genetic form of COPD, Mr. Clark has been a staff member of the Foundation since its inception and serves as the Foundation’s voice of the patient. Mr. Clark travels throughout the country as a noted speaker on COPD issues, addressing corporate, patient and professional groups. His colleagues at the COPD Foundation selected Mr. Clark as the initial recipient of this award for his tireless efforts on behalf of the COPD community.

“Our honorees covered the full spectrum of the COPD community, including a doctor leading innovative research projects, members of Congress fighting for more funding, a caregiver who lost her husband to COPD and a patient advocate selected by his peers at the COPD Foundation” said Dr. Byron Thomashow, Chief Medical Officer, COPD Foundation and the 2018 recipient of the John W. Walsh Visionary Award.

About the COPD Foundation
The COPD Foundation was established to undertake initiatives that result in expanded services for COPD and to improve the lives of individuals affected by COPD. The Foundation’s activities focus on achieving these results through research, education and advocacy programs that will lead to prevention and a cure for this disease. For more information about the COPD Foundation please visit

Media Contact:
Bret Denning
COPD Foundation
Care Delivery & Communications Program Specialist
866-731-2673, extension 201