A Trip to the Villages

Posted on February 28, 2018   |   

Villages learn about COPD Last weekend I had the wonderful opportunity of traveling to The Villages in Florida with my COPD Foundation colleague, Jamie Sullivan, and a group of enthusiastic and passionate researchers, physicians, and nurses from the University of Illinois Chicago and the University of Washington.

Right when we arrived we got to work, with meetings with the Villages Regional Health Center, the local hospital, and were able to meet with staff at Buffalo Crossing, a local assisted living facility. We were joined by doctors Jerry Krishnan and David Au. We learned from staff more about the wonderful support group, Airheads, the educational programming for COPD, and some of the challenges COPD patients are facing. In the evening, we were able to meet with Airheads Support Leader, Stephen Rule for a homestyle barbeque dinner, to learn from Stephen more about the local work he is doing in the community.

Villages learn about COPD The next day, we all prepared for an exciting COPD & home oxygen therapy education workshop at Buffalo Crossing. We were excited to welcome 50+ COPD patients, respiratory therapists, and community members, and had the opportunity see COPD Foundation State Captains Bob Sobkowiak, who gave an excellent presentation on the basics of COPD, as well as State Captain David Thompson. The presentations of the day included topics about oxygen therapy, current research and advocacy opportunities, and a sharing session on patient experiences with COPD and feedback about care. Patients, and community members also had the opportunity throughout the day to share their stories with COPD, be screened and participate in a University of Illinois Chicago Insight Study and ask experts any questions they had.

This was a great trip, where we walked away with new insights and perspectives about what COPD patients are facing in the Villages, top concerns and issues, and ways to collaborate moving forward! Thank you for having us, your hospitality was incredible, and we look forward to future partnerships!

This post was written by Tracie Sullivan, former grassroots advocacy manager. If you have questions or want to get involved in the State Captain Program, please email statecaptains@copdfoundation.org and one of our team members will reach out.


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  • Glad it was such a great trip, Tracie. I know everything you heard from both patients and providers will inform your efforts moving forward!
  • Awesome, that's great! What was the most interesting thing you learned? Thanks for representing our community!
  • Great article come to North AL.. please