COPD Foundation Announces New Leadership Grace Anne Dorney Koppel named President and Craig Kephart to become CEO
WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 9, 2016 – The COPD Foundation, the only U.S. healthcare nonprofit solely dedicated to preventing and curing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) while working to improve therapies, today announced that Grace Anne Dorney Koppel has been named President of the COPD Foundation, effective May 6, 2016. Craig Kephart who had been serving as Acting President at the Foundation has been named Chief Executive Officer.
“I am delighted that Grace Anne has taken on this new position of President after having been such a valuable member and contributor to the COPD Foundation Board of Directors,” said Byron Thomashow, MD and Chairman of the Board of Directors. He continued, “In addition to having a long history of patient advocacy, Grace Anne is a proven leader ready to tackle the issues facing the 30 million Americans affected by COPD. I am confident that with Grace Anne and Craig at the helm, the COPD Foundation will continue to build on the legacy started by Founder John Walsh over a decade ago. We remain hopeful that John will continue to recover and ultimately resume his important role at the Foundation.”
Dorney Koppel was diagnosed with COPD in July 2001 and since January 2006 she has served as the national spokeswoman and patient advocate for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of Health to increase awareness of COPD. She has appeared on CBS Evening News, Good Morning America, The View, and other major venues. Dorney Koppel is a graduate of Fordham University (BA), Stanford University (MA), and Georgetown Law (JD). Dorney Koppel is a practicing attorney and business manager for her husband, former Nightline anchor Ted Koppel. She is president of the Dorney Koppel Foundation which provides start-up funding and strategic guidance for pulmonary rehabilitation centers. Dorney Koppel is a current member of the COPD Foundation Board of Directors.
“No goal is more urgent than the development of a cure for COPD, but until such time, we have two interim goals that require the nation’s immediate attention and support: identifying the twelve to fifteen million Americans who have COPD but don’t yet know it, and conveying to the overall population of thirty million COPD patients in America that it is still possible to continue living a useful and productive life until we find better treatments and a cure. Ours is a misunderstood and under acknowledged disease. To the best of my abilities, I hope to bring COPD out from the shadows into the light of understanding and support which we desperately need,” said Dorney Koppel.