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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Nancy Wall

Nancy Wall Profile Photo Grandville, Michigan
nancy.speedsong@gmail.com

As a respiratory therapist and State Captain for Michigan, I hope to accomplish improving the quality of life of the COPD patients that I serve by implementing proven strategies, and I hope to raise awareness of the disease with the general public. Also, to become knowledgeable about available resources and to use my decades of experience in any way possible to promote research and aid in finding a cure.

As a COPD advocate, I facilitate the Better Breather’s Club and a Harmonica’s for Health Program. I also am a member of a support group, have spoken to my family and friends about COPD, and have signed up for.

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 work 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 and write about COPD to share my story and help raise awareness.

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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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Victor Eckstein

Victor Eckstein Profile Photo Jasper, IN
vicellie@aol.com

As a patient, I am looking forward to using my perspective, and sharing my insights with others as a State Captain for Indiana.As a State Captain I hope to help other COPD patients have a better life through education.

As a COPD advocate I have called, emailed, and met with my local officials. I have written letters to local papers about COPD, been active on 360Social, and have participated in COPD research opportunities such as the COPD PPRN. I have also been active in my local support group, spread awareness about COPD through talking to my family, friends, and community members.

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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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Jeremy Fulmer

Jeremy Fulmer Profile Photo Bloomsburg, PA
jrfulmer@geisinger.edu

Our respiratory therapy department is so excited to become group State Captains for Pennsylvania. As a department, and State Captains, we would like to accomplish being a resource and affiliate for the community.

As COPD advocates, we have participated in speaking to our friends and family about COPD, signing up for 360Social, and have engaged in health fairs or community events to promote COPD awareness. We have also emailed our elected officials, and participated in a COPD support group.

As State Captains, we are most interested in Raising awareness by participating in health fairs and community events, and Connecting others in the COPD community to the resources available so they can live healthier, fuller lives. We would also like to Host and participate in fundraisers to support my community

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Felisha Fuller

Felisha Fuller Profile Photo Greenwood, South Carolina
nellyo83@yahoo.com

As a respiratory therapist and State Captain for South Carolina, I am passionate about making the lives for my COPD patients better. As a State Captain, I hope to accomplish bringing awareness to the disease process in my state. Finding ways to ensure patients and their family understand their disease process and helping them understand the treatment process. Bringing compassion to the patients suffering with this disease and ensuring they receive the help they need!

As a COPD advocate, I have spoken to my family and friends about COPD, am a member of a support group, and I have participated in health fairs or community events to promote COPD awareness.

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

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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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Douglas Martin

Douglas Martin Profile Photo Springfield, Tennessee
dougmartin202@gmail.com

As the newest patient advocate and State Captain for Tennessee, I hope to create a better network and spread information about COPD and other pulmonary diseases.

As a COPD advocate I have participated in health fairs or community events to promote COPD awareness, signed up for COPD360Social, spoken to my family and friends about COPD, and am a member of a support group.

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, participating and promoting research opportunities to help find a cure, and working with state, local, and national officials to improve COPD policy.

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Erica Mann

Erica Mann Profile Photo Fayetteville, GA
Emann@synsormed.com

As a healthcare professional and the newest State Captain for Georgia, I hope to accomplish being able to help those that are suffering from COPD to get their voices heard. Only they know what they are struggling with on a personal level, and if I can help spread their voices in high numbers, I believe more changes will come. I also want to get a better understanding of what respiratory therapists go through, so they can receive more support as well as they encounter more and more patients with COPD.

As a State Captain, I hope to accomplish raising awareness by participating in health fairs and community events, and hosting and participating in fundraisers to support my community. I would also like to connect others in the COPD community to the resources available so they can live healthier, fuller lives, and participate and promote research opportunities to help find a cure.

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Keith James

Keith James Profile Photo Driftwood, Texas
keithjames2002@yahoo.com

I lost my grandmother from COPD (Emphysema) when I was ten years old. I watched my grandmother progressively get worse over the years and as a small child I didn’t understand why. My grandmother was in stage IV with a FEV1 of 27%. My last memory of her was in ICU on the ventilator. I held her hand and told her I would fight this disease so other families wouldn’t have to go through what our family did. I dedicated my life from that day forward to bring COPD awareness to families and friends. I’ve developed many novel medical modalities over the years to help patients with COPD and I have participated in several clinical studies to understand the importance of exercise with COPD patients to improve their quality of life.

My greatest accomplishment has been being asked by the Wounded Warrior Foundation to take one of our countries heroes, from Viet Nam era, to his class reunion at West Point. Our veteran was unable to walk greater than 10 feet at a time without becoming SOB. Our veteran wanted to be able to walk across the stage at West Point and receive an award that was given to him by his classmates with dignity. At the time, I was with a company that created a one pound wearable ventilator that was uniquely designed to provide positive pressure that significantly increased patient’s tidal volumes and improved ventilation. Our war hero was able to walk across the stage and accept his award and give a short speech to the crowded room full of decorated soldiers, family, and friends.

As State Captain I hope to bring awareness to COPD and have Texas lead other states for having the most support and raised the most money.

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Tyler Voorhees

Tyler Voorhees Profile Photo Beavercreek, OH
tevoorhees@me.com

I am a respiratory therapist working to provide education and training throughout the Midwest to improve the quality of care COPD and bronchiectasis patients receive. Over the course of my career I have participated in health fairs and educational events to promote awareness and better education for those dealing with COPD.

As a State Captain, I hope to participate in promoting research opportunities to help find a cure, recruit new State Captain volunteers, and help connect people in the COPD community to the resources available so they can live healthier fuller lives.

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Kim Saunders

Kim Saunders Profile Photo Wellston, Michigan
kjsaunders1975@yahoo.com

As State Captain I hope to raise awareness about COPD and help those newly diagnosed get help.

My proudest COPD moment is that I have gotten five people to quit smoking. One has slipped back but has begun working on quitting again.

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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!