Faces of COPD: Jane Martin is '...inspired by patients, some of whom became like family to me'

Posted on November 27, 2017   |   

Whether you’re an individual living with COPD, a caregiver or healthcare professional, education is key. Having the right educational materials is essential and that’s a responsibility Jane truly takes to heart. Read on to learn more.

As the Assistant Director of Education for the COPD Foundation (COPDF), Jane’s role covers all things education – whether it’s for patients, caregivers or healthcare professionals. Having the right materials and making sure these materials get in the right hands is no easy feat, but Jane approaches her role with determination, creativity and honesty.

Jane Martin COPD Foundation Education One of Jane’s key responsibilities is to update existing educational materials as well as coordinate the creation of new ones. Most recently, Jane updated the “1s, 2s and 3s of COPD” resource and created the new “1s, 2s and 3s” resources for bronchiectasis and nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung disease.

Additionally, she works with “my colleagues on the Care Delivery and Harmonicas for Health teams to offer materials and programs to help improve the lives of all people affected by COPD. Our team is currently working to develop a more robust training program for Harmonicas for Health leaders. I also write some of the blog posts for PRAXIS and articles for the COPD Digest.”

All of these materials can be found in the COPDF online educational catalogue which features a variety of easy-to-read, up-to-date COPD patient education materials, information for healthcare professionals and Harmonicas for Health materials.

But that’s not all. As Jane explains, “I assist pulmonary rehab coordinators in finding educational materials and programs to further their patients’ education as well as their own professional development. I track inventory and work with our fulfillment center to make sure these materials are available to everyone who needs them.”

Jane first learned about COPD “when I began working as a respiratory therapy trainee in 1980.” While she doesn’t have family members with COPD, she was “inspired by patients, some of whom became like family to me.”

Protecting one’s family is a natural instinct for many of us, so it’s disheartening when one encounters severe misconceptions about COPD, especially for Jane. In particular she often hears, “You get it from smoking and what did you expect? You did this to yourself.”

“What a horrible thing to say!” says Jane. “COPD has many causes—airborne hazards at home or in the workplace, second-hand smoke, genetically inheriting alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and yes, 20% of people who currently smoke or smoked in the past develop COPD.”

Jane wants everyone to know that the “COPDF team is a small, hard-working group of great people who are fiercely dedicated to finding a cure for COPD and making life better every day for those who are impacted by COPD.”

Asked to give one piece of advice to someone living with COPD or who has a loved one affected by this horrible disease, Jane says “learn all you can from solid sources and stay connected with others impacted by COPD. I know that’s two pieces of advice, but it illustrates that there’s a LOT you can do to live a fuller life with COPD!”


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  • Thank you, Jane, for all you do. You are a true asset to the COPDF team!

  • Thank you, Jane - and you didn't mention your books, which were a tremendous help to me soon after I received my diagnosis and found them.

    "Live Your Life With COPD- 52 Weeks of Health, Happiness and Hope"
    "Breathe Better, Live in Wellness: Winning Your Battle Over Shortness of Breath"


    Thank you for all that you do to make our lives better :-)

    • Thank you Jane. I am so glad that I got to speak with you. You are such a warm and caring person. Thank you for everything you do and thank you for your books.
    • Thank you so much, Karen, for making mention of my books. Researching and writing them was a labor of love and it's great to hear they're getting out there and helping people! Thank you, also, Stephanie, Caroline, Jan, Bill and Debbie. You inspire me!
  • Jane, Thank you. I too have your books. They too helped me. I was working the info line and was told they were a must read. No mistake there. Thank you for all you do. Waiting on the next book.
  • Thank You Jane for all your hard work you do. Words cannot justify or remotely explain the impact you and everyone at COPDF have on the COPD community. Love Bill66
  • Thank you Jane for all your hard work and commitment to the community here.
  • Thank you Jane, and I will go and buy your books, they sound wonderful, hugs!
  • Hi Jane,
    I’m interested in becoming a Harmonicas for Health leader in the state of Alabama. How do I sign up for the leader training currently offered by the Foundation? Thanks
    • Hello Harmonica George,

      Thank you for asking about getting starting with Harmonicas for Health! I will email you directly with some information on that.

  • Hi Jane. Could send me info on Harmonicas for health. I have a harmonica--don't know how to play it---but you never know--I might learn
    • Hi das23,

      Thank you for asking about Harmonicas for Health! We're very proud of the program. It was developed with the help of respiratory healthcare professionals with decades of experience leading harmonica groups and helping folks with COPD and other chronic lung diseases breathe better.

      Playing the harmonica is a great activity for folks with COPD! Follow this link for basic information on the program, then scroll down and click the "+" sign next to "Harmonicas for Health Background." This tells why we started the program. https://www.copdfoundation.org/Learn-More/I-am-a-Person-with-COPD/Harmonicas-for-Health.aspx

      Watch this video to see and hear from folks in one of our first Harmonicas for Health groups. In it they tell how harmonica playing has helped them feel better have fun!

      Harmonicas for Health kits and materials are available in our online catalogues. If you are a person diagnosed with COPD, a family member or caregiver, follow the link to the Customer Catalogue. If you are a healthcare professional, follow the link to the healthcare professional catalogue.

      Das23, I hope you can pick up your harmonica, enjoy playing, and have fun! Because we don't see you up close and know your medical condition, we always recommend that you talk with your healthcare provider before starting any new activity, including harmonica playing.

      Good luck and have fun!

  • Yes let me add one more thank you for all the hard work and dedication NOT only you but all that i have had the pleasure of coming into contact with at the foundation. Because of people like yourself i am proud to severe as a California State Captain. Again Thank you for Caring!
  • Thanks Jane