COPD Foundation Marks 10th Anniversary Year: Advocates for more than 24 Million Americans, Leads Fundamental Progress, Fosters Life-Changing Research

January 22, 2014   |   
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 22, 2014 – The COPD Foundation (COPDF) celebrates ten years of helping more than 24 million Americans living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), fostering life-changing research, developing comprehensive educational programs and generating support from all members of the COPD community. Established with the help of sister organization the Alpha-1 Foundation, COPDF is committed to improving the lives of all people affected by COPD while working on preventing and curing this devastating disease.

"COPDF was created in direct response to the scarcity of resources, education and information about the disease that left many patients, families and caregivers with nowhere to turn for help,” says John W. Walsh, president and co-founder of the COPDF. "Since our inception, COPDF has evolved and progressed, providing vital services to the public, increasing understanding and awareness about lung health, and aiding the development of new drugs and therapies. Moving forward, we will build upon our successes and continue to help those living with COPD achieve their highest quality of life."

Research has held a pivotal role in the evolution of COPDF: creating the COPD Biomarker Qualification Consortium (CBQC) to help fast track research for better treatment; supporting the COPDGene® Study, which looks at genetic factors that can contribute to an individual’s risk for developing COPD; working tirelessly to support research designed to improve quality of life for COPD patients; and fostering the development of new drugs and therapies. COPDF also initiated the creation of the Bronchiectasis Research Registry, a consolidated database of 1,715 patients affected with certain subsets of COPD, as well as the COPD Research Registry, a confidential database of 2,273 individuals living with COPD or at risk of developing COPD.

Over the past 10 years, COPDF has generated a wealth of educational materials for patients, caregivers and medical professionals, including basic information about the disease for patients. The newly released COPD Pocket Consultant Guide for the Diagnosis and Management of COPD is a practical tool to help clinicians manage the diagnosis and treatment of COPD patients. COPDF also responded to the needs of its community by expanding globally with the recent translation of three educational resources into 10 languages in addition to English.

Through its many publications, COPDF has emerged as a respected voice on behalf of the COPD community and a force in the medical community. The organization’s COPD Digest magazine is the first free magazine on COPD, offering practical advice, news and information on treatment and resources to COPD patients, healthcare providers, families, and caregivers. COPDF also publishes Lung Health Professional magazine, a publication geared toward primary care physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and other ancillary healthcare providers. Most recently, COPDF responded to the call from the pulmonary community for an open access journal with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases: Journal of the COPD Foundation, to be launched in May 2014 with editor-in-chief, James Crapo, M.D., board member at COPDF.

COPDF has also worked throughout its tenure to develop many different programs. The State Advocacy Captains program allows individuals to serve as peer leaders and provides an important resource to the COPD community. The COPD Advocate program and Operation 435, enable members of the COPD community to make their voices heard with the COPD Action Center serving as the cornerstone of COPDF’s advocacy strategy. Through these programs, work continues on finding a cure for COPD, discovering better treatments, providing greater access to care, making higher quality of life possible and ending discrimination against people with COPD by educating political leaders and policy makers across the country.

In the wake of a COPD diagnosis, patients, family members and caregivers often search for much-needed guidance. In response, COPDF established the C.O.P.D. Information Line, a toll-free number staffed by associates who are also patients and caregivers who assist those impacted by COPD. The C.O.P.D. Information Line is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern, and manages over 5,000 contacts monthly in English, Spanish, French, Italian, as well as translation available in over 175 languages.

As part of its mission to generate awareness and encourage people to get screened, COPDF joined forces with NASCAR. The two organizations share a passion for making NASCAR fans, many of whom are affected by COPD, aware of this life-threatening disease. With its DRIVE4COPD campaign, designed to help individuals recognize the signs and symptoms of COPD, COPDF inspired almost three million people to take the five-question Risk Screener – making an enormous impact in the community.

Walsh adds, "As we recognize our 10th anniversary, we are grateful to the many individuals and organizations dedicated to bringing hope to everyone affected by COPD, and reaffirm our commitment to making a difference in individual lives and communities, across the nation and around the world."

About the COPD Foundation

Celebrating its 10th Anniversary and a decade of progress, the mission of the COPD Foundation (www.COPDFoundation.org) is to prevent and cure chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and to improve the lives of all people affected by COPD. The C.O.P.D. Information Line, 866-316-COPD (2673), is a toll-free number for information and referrals on COPD, offering callers access to peer-to-peer patients and caregiver associates. DRIVE4COPD (www.DRIVE4COPD.org) is a public awareness and education campaign of the COPD Foundation.

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