Content Review and Evaluation Committee (CREC)

The purpose of the COPD Foundation Content Review and Evaluation Committee (CREC) is to develop or solicit high-quality content for publication on the COPD Foundation website and to coordinate review to ensure accuracy, timeliness and quality. The COPD Foundation Website content aims to provide valuable information on topics relevant to anyone affected by COPD, including patients, caregivers, healthcare providers, and friends or family members of those affected.

  • Ruth Tal-Singer, PhD (co-lead)
    Chief Scientific Strategy Officer
    COPD Foundation

    Ruth Tal-Singer, PhD

    Ruth Tal-Singer, PhD Chief Scientific Strategy Officer at the COPD Foundation (consultant) and President of TalSi Translational Medicine Consulting, LLC is internationally recognized as an innovative, patient-focused and highly analytical healthcare leader and clinical scientist with extensive Research and Development experience. She has a proven history of successfully leading international public and private partnerships and non-profit organizations through critical advancements and progress of clinical trials and large observational cohorts. Adept at building and maintaining partnerships between Pharma, patients, academia and governments. Wide-ranging technical and scientific knowledge comprises molecular biology, immunology, application of digital technology and in vivo disease models (pre-clinical and clinical). Ruth led the initial clinical development of GSK’s inhaled anti-muscarinic portfolio, currently available to patients as Umeclidinium bromide. Authored 160+ peer-reviewed including highly cited scientific publications (h-index 58). Ruth was the Industry co-chair of the COPD Biomarker Qualification Consortium (CBQC) since its inception in 2010 and up to her retirement from GSK in October 2019.

    As Chief Scientific Strategy Officer at the COPD Foundation, Ruth is focused on working with the leadership team and the MASAC on aligning the research strategy with the mission of the COPD Foundation.


  • Vincent Malanga, BS, MCP (co-lead)
    EVP, Chief Information Officer
    COPD Foundation

    Vincent Malanga, BS, MCP

    Vincent Malanga is the Chief Information Officer for the COPD Foundation. In this role Vincent serves as the senior technology strategist providing guidance and vision on emerging technologies, technology innovation, digital trends and infrastructure advances as well as defining, implementing and evolving the technology solutions and procedures that comprise the COPD360 technology platform. Vincent is the chief architect of the COPD360 platform and works with the COPD Foundation leadership team in strategic planning around business growth objectives in line with the COPD Foundation’s mission.

    Vincent has over 20 years of experience in software architecture and development, database design, data and systems integration and Enterprise Architecture, and 15 years of experience in Search Engine Optimization. Prior to joining the COPD Foundation, Vincent ran a successful technology consulting company and has architected and developed custom business solutions for many Fortune 500 companies including Ralph Lauren, Omnicom Group and Elsevier. He is a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) in numerous Microsoft programming languages and development tools, has been a guest blogger on the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) and has spoken at industry conferences. Vincent has a BS from Hofstra University and has a Series 7 broker’s license.


  • R. Graham Barr, MD, DrPH
    Hamilton Southworth Professor Epidemiology and Medicine
    Columbia University
    New York, NY
  • Surya Bhatt, MD
    Associate Professor
    University of Alabama, Birmingham
  • Cathy Gray Carlomagno, BS
    Managing Editor
    Journal of the COPD Foundation

    Cathy Gray Carlomagno, BS

    Cathy Carlomagno has more than 20 years of medical communications experience, including writing, editing, publications management, public relations and communications strategy with national and international health organizations.

    After serving 13 years at a regional pediatric medical center as the institution’s primary spokesperson, publications editor and Director of Communications, she joined the American Thoracic Society as the Director of Communications and Marketing. In this role she worked closely with the staffs of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (AJRCCM) and the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology (AJRCMB) promoting both journals. She worked with editors and authors to highlight AJRCCM and AJRCMB articles within the medical community and in medical, trade and popular press. She also served as editor of the Society’s newsletter and annual reports and co-Editor of the Society’s 100th anniversary commemorative book, Colleagues in Discovery: One Hundred Years of Improving Respiratory Health.

    Ms. Carlomagno received the American Thoracic Society Presidential Commendation award in 2005.

    She has also served as a medical communications consultant for various national health care organizations including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where she served as a writer/editor.

    Ms. Carlomagno is a member of the American Association of Medical Writers and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Tarlov Cyst Disease Foundation.


  • Richard Casaburi, MD, PhD
    Associate Chief of Research, Professor, Division of Respiratory and Critical Care Physiology & Medicine
    Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
    Torrance, CA
  • Min Joo, MD
    Associate Professor of Medicine
    University of Illinois at Chicago
    Chicago, IL
  • Sara Davenport Latham, BA
    EVP, Chief Operating Officer
    COPD Foundation

    Sara Davenport Latham, BA

    Sara Latham is the Chief Operating Officer for the COPD Foundation. Sara is responsible for the community, care delivery and policy departments of the Foundation. She focuses on the intersection between patients and providers and facilitating the dialogue between the two. Sara also heads up COPD Global, the Foundation’s initiative seeking to unite global advocacy organizations in a common mission of raising awareness of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease worldwide.

    Sara is an active member of the National Health Council and was recently elected to the American Thoracic Society’s Public Advisory Roundtable.

    Prior to joining the COPD Foundation, Ms. Latham worked in various positions in the healthcare, nonprofit and arts sectors for international global communications firms.

    Sara received a Bachelor of Arts with honors in Art History and European History from the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to her undergraduate coursework, Sara completed graduate coursework at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.


  • Barry Make, MD
    Department of Medicine
    Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
    National Jewish Health
    Denver, CO
  • Elisha Malanga, BS
    EVP, Chief Research Officer
    COPD Foundation

    Elisha Malanga, BS

    In her role as Chief Research Officer, Elisha oversees COPD360research which encompasses all aspects of the COPD Foundation research portfolio, including COPD, Bronchiectasis and NTM . She has unique experience in integrating research with other aspects of the Foundation, including with the communications, education and community outreach aspects. Elisha has been instrumental in including patients in all aspects of research, including study design, execution and dissemination. Elisha is the staff liaison to COPDF research programs including, but not limited to the COPD Foundation’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee (MASAC), Bronchiectasis Research Registry Consortium, COPDGene, CAPTURE and COPD360, the sustainability plan for COPD PPRN. In addition, Elisha has extensive experience with PCORI funded studies including overseeing the COPD PPRN, Overlap demonstration project, participating as the COPD PPRN liaison on the pragmatic trial, serving as a co-PI on the Reliance study and participating as a stakeholder in the Bariatric study. Elisha also has experience with studies funded by other sources including a recent sub-study of the COPD PPRN that are often launched in collaboration with industry partners. Elisha has been co-author on abstracts and publications from multiple studies. In addition, Elisha is the recipient of the ATS American Thoracic Society-Presidential Commendation 2007.


  • David Mannino, MD
    Professor of Medicine
    University of Kentucky
    Lexington, KY
  • Byron Thomashow, MD
    Professor of Medicine Columbia University Medical Center
    Columbia University Medical Center
    New York, NY
  • Gerard Turino, MD
    John H. Keating Professor Emeritus Columbia University
    St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital
    New York, NY
  • Barbara Yawn, MD
    University of Minnesota
    Rochester, MN

COPD360social Moderation

COPD360social posts are monitored by the COPD Foundation's Senior Director of Community Engagement and COPD360social Community Manager, as well as certified staff Respiratory Therapists and nurses.

  • Bill Clark
    Senior Director of Community Engagement
    COPD360social Community Manager
    COPD Foundation

    Bill Clark

    Bill Clark is the Senior Director of Patient and Outreach Programs for the COPD Foundation. A staff member of the foundation since its early inception, Bill was instrumental in designing and implementing the COPD Information Line and Caregiver line, the Coaches Corner, Faces of COPD and presently serves as Community Manager of COPD360social. Bill serves on several research committees as both a patient investigator or member and represents the Foundation at many events across the country as well as being a noted speaker on COPD.

    Bill was diagnosed with Alpha-1, a genetic form of COPD, in 2003 and joined the staff of the COPD Foundation shortly after retiring from teaching. He is considered an authority on traveling with supplemental oxygen and Medicare issues affecting COPD patient and serves as the “patient face” of the foundation. Bill is a regular contributor to many of the Foundation’s educational materials and served on several committees in establishing PCORI.


  • Stephanie Williams, BS, RRT
    Director of Community Programs and Volunteer Management
    COPD Foundation

    Stephanie Williams, BS, RRT

    Stephanie Williams is the Director of Community Programs and Volunteer Management for the COPD Foundation. Stephanie is a recognized leader and educator in respiratory therapy. Over the course of her career she has designed and implemented pulmonary rehabilitation and respiratory programs in a variety of patient care settings. During her tenure as Director of Cardiopulmonary in the acute care setting, she started a support group for COPD patients in the community as well as a smoking cessation program. Stephanie’s intellectual curiosity, commitment to patient engagement and hard work has allowed her to play a central role in numerous areas of respiratory innovation. She is a Registered Respiratory Therapist and holds a bachelor’s degree in Education from Tennessee Technological University.


The COPD Coach

The COPD Coach is aimed at providing information for individuals with COPD to take to their doctor, and is not in any way intended to be medical advice.

Development and Fundraising

  • Mary A. Byrnes
    EVP, Chief Development Officer
    COPD Foundation

    Mary A. Byrnes

    Mary A. Byrnes, EVP, Chief Development Officer, joined the COPD Foundation in May 2018. Mary is responsible for the cultivation and stewardship of COPD Foundation donors and oversees the Development Team. Development is responsible for implementing on short and long term fundraising strategies, fundraising events, donor gift processing, and acknowledgement. Mary and team keep abreast of developments in philanthropy and ensure compliance with all regulations, as well as the code of ethics for fundraising professionals. Mary fosters a culture of philanthropy and ensures that fund development is executed in keeping with the Foundation’s values, vision and mission.

    Prior to joining the Foundation, Mary was a Senior Human Resources Professional in the financial services industry. Mary spent more than 20 years leading global teams to develop and implement complex change agendas to address organizational and functional strategies for operational excellence, including business process re-design, risk management, communications, third party vendor management, operations and technology strategy.


Policy and Advocacy

COPD advocates across the country are spreading information at health fairs, calling and writing elected officials, inspiring fellow community members, speaking at support groups, hosting fundraisers, and much, much more. The COPD community works with local, state, and federal policy makers to increase research funding, improve care delivery, protect access to treatments, and create policy that improves the lives of those with COPD.

  • Jamie Sullivan, MPH
    Vice President of Public Affairs
    COPD Foundation

    Jamie Sullivan, MPH

    Jamie Sullivan is the COPD Foundation’s Vice President of Public Affairs and has been with the organization since 2010. In this role, she leads the Foundation’s efforts to achieve federal, state and regulatory policy changes including increased research funding, resources for public health prevention and management, and improved access to treatment. Prior to joining the COPD Foundation, Jamie supported the research and clinical programs of the Alpha-Foundation. She obtained her master’s in public health policy and management at the Florida International University and works in the Foundation’s DC office.


  • Stephanie Williams, BS, RRT
    Director of Community Programs and Volunteer Management
    COPD Foundation

COPD Education and PRAXIS

The COPD Foundation provides education and awareness for people affected by Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). PRAXIS is an initiative for healthcare providers, health systems administrators and policy makers created to improve COPD care across the continuum and reduce preventable hospital readmissions.

  • Jane Martin, BA, RCP
    Assistant Director of Education
    COPD Foundation

    Jane Martin, BA, RCP

    Jane M. Martin is the Assistant Director of Education for the COPD Foundation. She is a respiratory therapist with over 35-years’ experience across the continuum of care, including establishing and coordinating pulmonary rehabilitation and breathing support group programs. Known as a trail blazer and fierce patient advocate, Jane was a member of her hospital’s first asthma clinical pathway team in the early 1990’s, and went on to write and teach that facility’s first COPD and asthma education programs for home care nurses. She is the author of over 100 COPD-related articles and two books on living with chronic lung disease. Jane is a Certified Respiratory Therapist and holds a bachelor’s degree in Education and Language Arts from Hope College in Holland, Michigan.


  • Kristen Willard, MS
    Vice President of Population Health & Care Delivery
    COPD Foundation

    Kristen Willard, MS

    Kristen Willard serves as the Vice President of Population Health & Care Delivery for the COPD Foundation. She oversees the work of the care delivery division of the Foundation, including patient, caregiver and healthcare professional education and supports. In 2015, she launched PRAXIS, the Foundation’s first online hub for healthcare providers, designed to support their care improvement and hospital readmissions reduction efforts. She later developed the Foundation’s Readmissions Reduction Institute model.

    Kristen has been with the Foundation since April of 2015. Prior to joining the team, she gained 20 years of experience in research, writing, editing and project management related to primary- and behavioral health-related initiatives at universities, non-profit and government consulting organizations.

    Ms. Willard was a caregiver to her father, who had COPD, an experience which afforded her a passion for improving the quality of life for all affected by these conditions.

    She serves on the board of directors of Clean Air Partners as well as Disability PolicyWorks.

    Ms. Willard holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in English from James Madison University and a master’s degree in clinical psychology from the Florida State University.


  • Stephanie Williams, BS, RRT
    Director of Community Programs and Volunteer Management
    COPD Foundation

About The Authors

About the authors of articles posted in the COPD Foundation blog (The COPD Digest) and The PRAXIS NEXUS.

  • Bill Clark
    Senior Director of Community Engagement
    COPD Foundation
  • Bret Denning, JD
    Care Delivery & Communications Program Specialist
    COPD Foundation

    Bret Denning, JD

    Bret Denning is the Care Delivery & Communications Program Specialist at the COPD Foundation. In this role, he is active in multiple projects for the Care Delivery team and also handles much of the communications efforts for the Foundation. This includes newsletters for both patients and healthcare providers, as well as social media outreach.

    Prior to joining the Foundation in June of 2017, Bret spent nearly 20 years working with nonprofit organizations in Washington, DC and New York City, primarily in fundraising and development positions. He has an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Juris Doctor degree from the Massachusetts School of Law, where he served on the Law Review.


  • Jane Martin, BA, RCP
    Assistant Director of Education
    COPD Foundation

This page was reviewed on March 6, 2020.