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)
    President & Chief Scientific Officer
    COPD Foundation

    Ruth Tal-Singer, PhD


    Ruth Tal-Singer, PhD President & Chief Scientific 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 President & Chief Scientific 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.


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  • 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 is also a co-author on numerous abstracts and publications from various research studies. Vincent has a BS from Hofstra University and has a Series 7 broker’s license.


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  • 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.


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  • 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
  • Keira A. Cohen, MD
    Assistant Professor of Medicine
    Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
    Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
    Baltimore, MD
  • Min Joo, MD
    Associate Professor of Medicine
    University of Illinois at Chicago
    Chicago, IL
  • Barry Make, MD
    Professor
    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.


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  • David Mannino, MD
    Professor of Medicine
    University of Kentucky
    Lexington, KY
  • Xavier Soler, MD, PhD
    COPD360 Medical Director
    COPD Foundation

    Xavier Soler, MD, PhD


    Dr. Soler received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, where he also completed his fellowship in Pulmonary and sleep medicine and a specialization in Non-Invasive Mechanical Ventilation and tobacco cessation. He was a physician and pulmonologist in Spain before moving to the United States to join the University of California at San Diego in 2006.

    Dr. Soler is senior consultant at Gossamer Bio, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, acquiring, developing and commercializing therapeutics in the disease areas of immunology, inflammation and oncology.

    Prior to join the COPDFoundation, Xavi was a medical expert and team leader in U.S. medical affairs at GSK. Xavi has a strong background and formal training in chronic lung diseases such as COPD and asthma and extensive experience in other lung disorders and programs such as chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, tobacco cessation, pulmonary rehabilitation, imaging, or lung cancer. His role at GSK served as an internal expert to provide input and lead projects for evidence generation, clinical trial development, and data analysis. Xavi developed scientific content for educational and training materials for internal and external audiences and served as an internal expert consultant to USMA or critical stakeholders. He has experience managing investigator-initiated studies and large collaborative research endeavors and engaging with healthcare professional organizations, regulators, and governmental agencies in a scientific capacity.

    As an Associate Professor of Medicine at U.C. San Diego, he assumed increasing levels of responsibility, including serving as the Medical Director for Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Director of the Clinical Trials Center & Airway Research Center. He was also director of cardiopulmonary services for El Centro Regional Medical Center, a U.C. San Diego affiliate. Xavi has served as a principal investigator on numerous clinical trials, including the NIH-funded American Lung Association Airway Clinical Research Network (ALA-ACRN) and COPDGene studies. He serves as a reviewer for many pulmonary medicine journals and has authored many original publications, invited articles, book chapters, and abstracts. Dr. Soler completed the National Center of Leadership in Academic Medicine (NCLAM) program from U.C. San Diego (2012). He was awarded the American Thoracic Society Foundation Outstanding Early Investigator Award (2014), the American Thoracic Society Pulmonary Rehabilitation Early Career Achievement Award (2015), and the U.C. San Diego, International Mentorship Award (2017). Xavi was also recognized as a San Diego Top Doctor (2018).

    Dr. Soler maintains a U.C. San Diego affiliation as associate professor of medicine teaching at the School of Medicine and mentoring fellows and young researchers. Xavi holds a formal business administration background and 25+ years of business management and has served pro-bono as an advisory board member and consultant for companies and non-profit organizations (underserved areas in Senegal, Africa).


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  • 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

About The Authors

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

  • Bill Clark
    Vice President of Patient Experience
    COPD360social Community Manager
    COPD Foundation
  • Bret Denning, JD
    Director of Public and Professional Education
    COPD Foundation

    Bret Denning, JD


    Bret Denning is the Director of Public and Professional Education 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.


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  • Michael W. Hess MPH, RRT, RPFT
    Senior Director of Public Outreach and Education
    COPD Foundation

COPD360social Moderation

COPD360social posts are monitored by the COPD Foundation's Vice President of Patient Experience and COPD360social Community Manager, as well as certified staff Respiratory Therapists and nurses.

  • Bill Clark
    Vice President of Patient Experience
    COPD360social Community Manager
    COPD Foundation

    Bill Clark


    Bill Clark is the Vice President of Patient Experience and COPD360social Community Manager 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.


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  • Stephanie Williams, BS, RRT
    Senior Director of Community Education Programs
    COPD Foundation

    Stephanie Williams, BS, RRT


    Stephanie Williams is the Senior Director of Community Education Programs 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.


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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.

  • Bill Clark
    Vice President of Patient Experience
    COPD360social Community Manager
    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.


  • Michael W. Hess MPH, RRT, RPFT
    Senior Director of Public Outreach and Education
    COPD Foundation

    Michael W. Hess MPH, RRT, RPFT


    Mike Hess has been a respiratory therapist for 14 years. His first major foray into the world of COPD came in 2014, when he launched the Facebook group COPD Navigator. The group was one of the first clinician-run COPD-oriented groups on social media and provides objective, evidence-based best practice information to a variety of stakeholder groups in the COPD community to this day. For early research work demonstrating the efficacy of and satisfaction with COPD Navigator (and in support of other networks such as COPD360social), Mike was presented with a Young Investigator Award by the COPD Foundation at COPD9usa in 2015. The COPD Navigator ‘universe’ has since expanded to include a YouTube channel and website, providing education and social support to the entire COPD community.

    Mike comes to the Foundation from WMed Health in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he served as Chronic Lung Disease Coordinator. In this role, he was one of the first respiratory therapists to provide integrated diagnostics, patient education, and care coordination in a primary care clinic. At 2017’s COPD10usa, Mike presented data indicating significant and immediate quality of life benefit for the clinic’s COPD population through this model. In 2018, an interprofessional team led by Mike was awarded a subcontract through the NHLBI’s Learn More, Breathe Better campaign to raise community awareness of COPD through a series of billboards and outreach events, as well as the City of Kalamazoo’s first-ever proclamation recognizing November as COPD Awareness Month.

    On the personal side, Mike splits his time between his home in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where one of his three children is finishing high school, and Beaver Island, Michigan, where his wife Kelly Becker is a family nurse practitioner for the small rural community there. He is an avid science fiction fan and can usually find an appropriate quote from Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica for any situation.

    Mike has long admired the dedication and efforts of the COPD Foundation. He is excited and honored to join the team and contribute to those efforts, and looks forward to improving access to needed therapies for all those living with COPD, bronchiectasis, and related conditions, as well as their caregivers, friends, and families.


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  • Jane Martin, BA, CRT
    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.


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  • Kristen Willard, MS
    Vice President Public and Professional Education
    COPD Foundation

    Kristen Willard, MS


    Kristen Willard serves as the Vice President Public and Professional Education 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.


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  • Stephanie Williams, BS, RRT
    Senior Director of Community Education Programs
    COPD Foundation

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.



Research

The COPD Foundation research mission is to ensure a central role for the patient/caregiver in all stages of research including project feasibility, study design, implementation, and dissemination of results.

  • Elisha Malanga, BS
    EVP, Chief Research Officer
    COPD Foundation
  • Danielle Boyce, MPH
    Research Investigator
    COPD Foundation Consultant

    Danielle Boyce, MPH


    Danielle Boyce is a researcher and award-winning patient advocate with more than 20 years of professional experience. She holds a Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in epidemiology and will complete her Doctorate in Public Administration in 2020. For thirteen years she has worked as a research data analyst at Johns Hopkins University. She was a member of the FDA expert panel that recommended the approval of Epidiolex, the first CBD-based medication indicated for Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS). She has authored and co-authored dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles, a children’s book, and writes a popular blog.

  • Cara B. Pasquale, MPH
    Senior Director of Research and Project Lead for COPD360Net
    COPD Foundation

    Cara B. Pasquale, MPH


    Cara B. Pasquale is the Senior Director of Research at the COPD Foundation and Project Lead for COPD360Net. Ms. Pasquale has been with the COPD Foundation since 2014 where she was focused on establishing and growing the COPD Patient-Powered Research Network and engaging with patient and caregiver partners. In her current role she oversees several research projects and is focused on building the COPD Foundation’s COPD360Net program.

    She is skilled at overseeing and managing complex projects and has several years of public health experience including working with researchers to translate their work into action, community interventions, systematic literature reviews and engaging stakeholders.

    Ms. Pasquale holds a Master in Public Health from George Washington University and is a certified project management professional (PMP).

  • Delia Prieto, BSEd, MSEd
    Senior Director of Research
    COPD Foundation

    Delia Prieto, BSEd, MSEd


    Delia Prieto is the Senior Director of Research at the COPD Foundation. She has been involved with the Foundation since 2009 and joined the team full-time in 2011 after obtaining a master’s degree from the University of Miami. In her role at the Foundation, she manages several of the Foundation’s research programs including the Bronchiectasis and NTM Research Registry and BronchandNTM360social. Delia also serves as the primary staff liaison to the Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee, the COPDGene Industry Advisory Consortium, and the SPIROMICS Industry Advisory Consortium. Delia has extensive experience managing patient registries and research consortia, and serves a critical role in connecting patients, healthcare providers, researchers, and industry partners to work collaboratively in an effort to advance research in the fields of COPD, bronchiectasis, and Nontuberculous Mycobacterial (NTM) lung disease.

  • Ruth Tal-Singer, PhD
    President & Chief Scientific Officer
    COPD Foundation