The COPD Foundation Elects Three New Members to the Board of Directors

MIAMI, Feb. 8, 2022 - The COPD Foundation, a not-for-profit organization focused on improving the lives of those affected by COPD, bronchiectasis, and NTM lung disease, today announced that Valerie Chang, JD, Risa Stack, PhD, and Mark T. Dransfield, MD, have been elected to the Foundation's board of directors.

"We are delighted to welcome three dynamic new leaders to the Foundation board," said James Crapo, MD, COPD Foundation board president. "Valerie, Risa, and Mark strengthen our board through their expertise and diverse perspectives in lung health, patient advocacy, business development, and medicine. With their addition to our dedicated leadership team, we are better poised to innovate and improve the lives of patients and caregivers across the country," added Dr. Crapo.

Valerie Chang, JD, is the executive director and founder of the Hawaii COPD Coalition and vice-chair of the US COPD Coalition. Ms. Chang has 20 years of active involvement in the COPD community, including participation in the COPD Foundation Patient-Powered Research Network (PPRN), the Coalition for Tobacco-Free Hawaii, and advocating on behalf of COPD and lung health issues. She also partnered with pharmaceutical companies, the American Thoracic Society (ATS), and the American Association of Respiratory Care (AARC) as a patient advocate. Prior to her work in the COPD community, Ms. Chang served as a part-time district court judge in Hawaii.

Risa Stack, PhD, holds a doctorate in immunology from the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine. Dr. Stack is the co-founder of Veracyte and Menlo Microsystems and has been head of new business creation for GE Ventures and a Partner at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, and Byers. She has over 20 years of experience serving on boards for life science companies and industrial businesses, including Metagenomi, Avitas Systems, Vineti, Trius Therapeutics, and Corthera.

Mark T. Dransfield, MD, is Professor of Medicine, the William C. Bailey, MD Endowed Chair in Pulmonary Disease, and Director of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine division at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He also serves as the medical director of the UAB Lung Health Center, the University's primary center for clinical and translational pulmonary research, and as a staff physician at the Birmingham VA Medical Center. Currently, Dr. Dransfield serves as a member of the Foundation's Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee and editor in chief of the COPD Foundation Journal. Dr. Dransfield completed his medical degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1997, followed by a residency in internal medicine and fellowship training in pulmonary and critical care medicine at UAB, where he served as chief fellow.

About the COPD Foundation
The COPD Foundation is a not-for-profit patient-centered organization committed to preventing COPD, bronchiectasis, and nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung disease and seeking cures while improving lives and advocating for all affected. We do this through scientific research, education, advocacy, and awareness. To learn more, please visit


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