Meet Your State Advocacy Captains!

State Captains are volunteers with COPD, caregivers, friends and family members or healthcare providers who use their contacts and talents and partner with the COPD Foundation to serve as state and community leaders.

Captains promote the importance of becoming a part of the COPD community. They work to spread COPD awareness in their state and local areas, mentor fellow COPD community members, and participate in online and in-person grassroots advocacy and community building activities focused on health policy issues that are important to those who have COPD. To learn more about becoming a state captain in your area please email statecaptains@copdfoundation.org.


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Gabrielle Davis

Gabrielle Davis Profile Photo Boise, Idaho
davisg@slhs.org

As a respiratory therapist and the newest State Captain from Idaho, I hope to accomplish working with other Captains in the state in order to promote awareness about COPD and assist people with COPD increase their quality of life. I hope to promote the necessity of more educators (both with and without lung disease) in our state to be available for people with COPD.

As a COPD advocate, I have spoken to my family and friends about COPD, participated in health fairs or community events to promote COPD awareness and have sent a letter to my members of Congress about COPD. I have also signed up for COPD360Social.

As a State Captain, I am interested in raising awareness by participating in health fairs and community events, as well as connecting others in the COPD community to the resources available so they can live healthier, fuller lives. I would also like to write about COPD to share my story and help raise awareness.

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Patti Gilpin

Patti Gilpin Profile Photo Louisville, Kentucky
patti.gilpin@nortonhealthcare.org

As a respiratory therapist and State Captain of Kentucky, I hope to accomplish raising awareness about COPD within our communities and to educate people about testing, treatment options and lifestyle changes to improve their quality of life.

As a COPD advocate, I have written about COPD in a newspaper, magazine, or other publication, and I have sent a letter to my members of Congress about COPD. I have also participated in health fairs or community events to promote COPD awareness.

As a State Captain, I hope to connecting others in the COPD community to the resources available so they can live healthier, fuller lives, and raise awareness by participating in health fairs and community events. I would also like to host and participate in fundraisers to support my community.

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Judi Bailey-Jackson

Judi Bailey-Jackson Profile Photo Salmon, Idaho
judith.jackson@steelemed.org

As a respiratory therapist and State Captain for Idaho, I hope to accomplish informing members of my community about COPD and resources available. Providing screening to persons with symptoms of COPD but not yet diagnosed will help improve their lives. Working together with the medical staff to provide the best care for patients suffering from COPD in my community is my goal. I hope to gain insight and information that I can pass on to someone to ease the burden of living with COPD.

As a COPD advocate I have participated in health fairs or community events to promote COPD awareness, have spoken to my family and friends about COPD, and have participated in health fairs or community events to promote COPD awareness. I have also written about COPD in a newspaper, magazine, or other publication.

As a State Captain, I am interested in working with state, local, and national officials to improve COPD policy, raising awareness by participating in health fairs and community events, and in connecting others in the COPD community to the resources available so they can live healthier, fuller lives.

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Kim Bennion

Kim Bennion Profile Photo Eagle Mountain, Utah
kjbennio@gmail.com

As a respiratory therapist and State Captain of Utah, I hope to accomplish three key objectives!

  1. Improve awareness of the need for early identification and treatment for COPD.
  2. Align legislators, healthcare professionals as well as patients and their caregivers to raise awareness and improve healthcare access so patients with COPD can have the right care, in the right location at the right time.
  3. To improve general patient knowledge of their disease and it's trajectory so they are equipped to make educated decision about their healthcare to include advance care planning.

As a COPD advocate, I have created and gifted the Breathe-zy health promotion and disease prevention, free course to the AARC State Societies. It's an after school program that includes tobacco prevention and culminates in pig lung dissection.I have also written about COPD in a newspaper, magazine, or other publication, and have sent a letter to my members of Congress about COPD .

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Deborah Bartlett

Deborah Bartlett Profile Photo Milford, CT
hatethebartletts@gmail.com

As a COPD patient advocate and the newest State Captain from Connecticut, I hope to accomplish helping others understand all aspects of COPD. I would love to help people stay positive. I want to be a friend and a helper to those that may need me.

As a COPD advocate, I to my have spoken to family and friends about COPD, and I have signed up for COPD360Social.

As a State Captain, I am most interested in connecting others in the COPD community to the resources available so they can live healthier, fuller lives, and writing about COPD to share my story and help raise awareness. I would also like to host and participate in fundraisers to support my community.

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Elizabeth Berger

Elizabeth Berger Profile Photo Silver Spring, Maryland
maryland08@copdfoundation.org

I’m a COPD advocate because I have seen the effects first-hand within my own family. It saddens me that many people are unaware about the seriousness of COPD, which often involves chronic physical pain and sometimes, mental illness. COPD doesn’t get nearly as much attention within the health research domain, and I would love to see research grow in this area. Research is the cornerstone of advancement, and has to be done to improve prevention efforts, treatment, and the overall quality of life for people affected by COPD! Achieving this goal starts with spreading the word about COPD.

As State Captain I would like to be more engaged with the local COPD community and assist in research initiatives. I want to connect more with other State Captains and providers so I can learn more, specifically about pulmonary rehab and how to make it more accessible for people who don't have access to it. I also would like to be more politically active and meet with elected officials regarding COPD more regularly. I would like to increase my participation in community events and fundraisers to raise awareness and generate funds to support the COPD Foundation.

My proudest COPD moment was being asked to assist with the recent COPD Foundation grant proposal. I was also thrilled when I inspired a few other folks to submit comments regarding COPD-legislation.

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Pamela Plasch

Pamela Plasch Profile Photo Grantsburg, Wisconsin
Wisconsin07@copdfoundation.org

As the newest State Captain for Wisconsin, I hope to accomplish bringing awareness to our rural communities about COPD and to give COPD patients hope with accurate information about treatment for this disease to show them that we can still lead a happy and productive life. I would like to hold health fairs in our hospitals, clinics, and possibly in our local gyms to spread awareness and information.I would also like to see if I can raise awareness to Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance companies about what is needed for COPD patients with the hope that we can provide the care and medications for all patients with COPD.

As a COPD advocate, I have created an active Facebook COPD support group in 2015 with over 7,200 members. I have also emailed my elected officials, sent a letter to my members of Congress about COPD, am a member of a support group, and have spoken to my family and friends about COPD.

As a State Captain, I am interested in connecting others in the COPD community to the resources available so they can live healthier, fuller lives, as well as working with state, local, and national officials to improve COPD policy. I would also like to raise awareness by participating in health fairs and community events, participate and promote research opportunities to help find a cure, and write about COPD to share my story and help raise awareness.

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Kathleen Hendrick

Kathleen Hendrick Profile Photo Deland, Florida
Grandma3quilter@gmail.com

As the newest State Captain for Florida, I hope to accomplish providing education to our community and support to others with COPD. I am disabled due to COPD for the last ten years but my diagnosis was twenty eight years ago. Living with COPD has its challenges but I made constructive changes to my diet by becoming a vegetarian, exercising on a regular basis and avoiding situations that trigger flare ups. My Doctors good advice was not to sit for longer than thirty minutes at a time, but to get up and move. I have found that has helped me not only with my COPD but other health issues also.

As a COPD advocate I have participated in health fairs or community events to promote COPD awareness, and have spoken to my friends and family about COPD. I am also a member of a COPD Support Group, and serve as the group secretary.

As a State Captain I hope to connect others in the COPD community to the resources available so they can live healthier, fuller lives, and raise awareness by participating in health fairs and community events. I would also like to work with state, local, and national officials to improve COPD policy and raise awareness by participating in health fairs and community events.

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Scott Brusky

Scott Brusky Profile Photo Tarpon Springs, Florida
conwaysrb@gmail.com

I was diagnosed with COPD over 15 years ago and found that we receive very little advice on living with COPD from our doctors. So for the last several years I’ve tried to bring awareness to several online communities that I administer. I spend a great deal of time helping educate and meeting COPD patients and have started a few exercise groups.

As State Captain, I am here to help as many people as I can gain a better understanding of COPD.

My proudest COPD moment was having a fellow patient tell me they learned more about this disease from me than their doctor.

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Kathy Mitzel

Kathy Mitzel Profile Photo Aberdeen, South Dakota
kmitzel@hotmail.com

As a Respiratory Therapist and the newest State Captain for South Dakota, I hope to accomplish increasing awareness and treatment options in my community and surrounding areas.

As a COPD advocate, I have spoken to my family and friends about COPD, participated in health fairs or community events to promote COPD awareness, and have met with my elected officials to discuss COPD policies. This year I was chosen to represent my state of South Dakota in Washington DC as a PACT member to advocate for Respiratory Therapists and Telehealth in our communities.

As a State Captain, I am interested in working with state, local, and national officials to improve COPD policy, and raising awareness by participating in health fairs and community events. I would also like to connect others in the COPD community to the resources available so they can live healthier, fuller lives.

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Dan Kealing

Dan Kealing Profile Photo The Woodlands, Texas
dankealing@me.com

As the newest State Captain for Texas, I hope to accomplish developing a list of quality resources such as doctors, pulmonary rehabilitation specialists, dietitians,psychologists and other professionals in my area and reach out to other COPD patients to connect them with those resources.

As a COPD advocate, I have spoken to my family and friends about COPD and I have signed up for COPD360Social.

As a State Captain I hope to connect others in the COPD community to the resources available so they can live healthier, fuller lives as well as to participate and promote research opportunities to help find a cure.

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Regina Bradshaw

Regina Bradshaw Profile Photo Fayetteville, Arkansas
gabradshaw@live.com

As the first COPD patient advocate and State Captain for Arkansas, I hope to accomplish bringing more awareness to others about COPD. I want others to understand that it not only affects the lungs, but other parts of the body as well. I want others to understand just how important breathing is for those of us that have COPD. I want my elected officials to understand just how important funding is to support research to find a cure.

As a COPD advocate, I have spoken to my family and friends about COPD, have signed up for COPD360social, and have started a COPD fundraising campaign.

As a State Captain, I hope to write about COPD to share my story and help raise awareness, work with state, local, and national officials to improve COPD policy, and raise awareness by participating in health fairs and community events. I would also like to participate and promote research opportunities to help find a cure!

 

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COPD Foundation State Captain Program Informational Video

The COPD Foundation is looking for new State Captains to join our community to be champions for promoting COPD awareness, improving quality of life for those with COPD, to participate in research opportunities, policy, and much more. Email statecaptains@copdfoundation.org for questions and to start the onboarding process today!