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.


Search for a State Captain

 Search

To search by keyword(s), simply type the words in the search box and click Search.

To search for a specific phrase, enter the phrase within quotation marks and click Search.

To filter by State, sledct a state from the drop down above the search box.

Karissa Dyar

Karissa Dyar Profile Photo Seminole, Florida
Florida24@copdfoundation.org

As a research coordinator that supports the COPD Community, I am excited to jump onboard as a State Captain for Florida for the COPD Foundation. As a State Captain, I hope to spread the word about COPD and its effects on our loved ones.

As a COPD Advocate I have spoken with my hometown mayor about my community concerns, as well as have spoken to my family and friends about COPD. Additionally, I have been active on COPD360Social.

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

Read More

Cyndy Ruess

Cyndy Ruess Profile Photo San Bernardino, CA
cyndyluu2u@yahoo.com

As a patient and spirometry technician, I am excited to use my skills, and advocacy to join the State Captain program in California. As a State Captain I hope to help accomplish a national ban on tobacco.

As a COPD advocate I have participated in emailing, and calling my elected officials. I have also participated in health fairs to promote COPD awareness, an active in educating my patients about COPD, and I have been involved in COPD research opportunities through the COPD PPRN.

As a State Captain I am looking forward to participating and promoting research opportunities to help find a cure, as well as working with state, local, and national officials to improve COPD Policy. Additionally, I would like to host and participate in COPD community fundraiser efforts.

Read More

Michele Ceuterick-Feehan

Michele Ceuterick-Feehan Profile Photo South Bend, IN
indiana02@copdfoundation.org

I am a daughter, sister, wife, mom, grandmother, and friend. I am that person you may look over and see at a stoplight, or pass in a store. My story is modest, I have spent the majority of my life beginning in high school participating in community volunteerism and raising my children.

I was diagnosed with emphysema in 2008 and I was terrified, left mostly on my own to try and figure out how to cope. In 2015 my Dr. gave me two years, told me to get my affairs in order, begin my goodbyes. I took a second to breakdown and feel the full weight of devastation, and then I got angry, very angry, nobody was giving me an expiration date, period. I have always during difficult times sat myself on the floor in front of a mirror and told me to get up, find my strength and move on. I’ve spent my life never accepting no, never allowing someone to tell me or anyone I loved that something could not be done, I am the consummate think outside of the box person and now I needed to find that tenacity for me.

I researched, I read, I asked a million questions. I fought for six months to get into rehab, and I went from sitting on a couch with a potty chair near, and using a walker to get around my home to completing approximately forty to sixty miles a week via treadmill and bike often using a 4% incline, I lift weights, and use tension bands, and I work out at home as well. This opportunity to make a real difference, to help people like me find hope and strength, to help change the narrative is both humbling and exciting. I am honored to be given this moment at this time in my life.

Read More

Kristie Hamilton

Kristie Hamilton Profile Photo Springdale, Arkansas
kdhamilton1014@icloud.com

As a respiratory therapist, and the newest State Captain from Arkansas, my goal is to educate patients on the disease process and bring awareness of COPD through meeting with government and businesses, Hosting fundraisers, and providing support to patients and their families.

As a COPD advocate I have participated in health fairs or community events to promote COPD awareness, spoken to my family and friends about COPD, and educate my patients everyday on COPD.

As a State Captain, I am interested in working with state, local, and national officials to improve COPD policy, connecting others in the COPD community to the resources available so they can live healthier, fuller lives, and raising awareness by participating in health fairs and community events. I would also like to write about COPD to share my story and help raise awareness, and recruit new State Captains and volunteers.

Read More

Tammy Keck

Tammy Keck Profile Photo Elkton, KY
kentucky01@copdfoundation.org

As the first State Captain of Kentucky, I hope to accomplish promoting more awareness about COPD. I want everyone to know what COPD is, that it is not just people who smoked. I want to help get funding for research. I want people to stop dying from this disease.

As a COPD advocate I have sent emails and letters to my members of Congress about COPD. I have also spoken to my friends and family about COPD, joined a COPD support group, and am an active member of COPD360Social.

As a State Captain I am interested in Participating and promoting research opportunities to help find a cure, writing about COPD to share my story and help raise awareness and hosting and participating in fundraisers to support my community. I would also love to be involved in raising awareness by participating in health fairs and community events, recruiting new State Captains and volunteers, and connecting others in the COPD community to the resources available so they can live healthier, fuller lives.

Read More

Rhonda Clover

Rhonda Clover Profile Photo Lufkin, Texas
texas01@copdfoundation.org

My COPD story is actually about my family and our struggles to fight and advocate for a cure. In most, cases if one person becomes effected by a disorder it effects everyone and ours is no exception. For 27 years my husband and I have had a small ministry gaining a reputation for our willingness to help worthy causes. We are advocates for those without a voice or struggling to survive. In order to achieve our goals it was necessary to work with pastors, politicians local, state and federal, foundations and non profits. Our motto " helping those in need and the organizations' which support them." Never my husband, daughter or I ever imagine one day, we would be on the other side of the spectrum. COPD came on my radar when my step mother and mother in law were both diagnosed within months of each other. My step mother lost her battle with COPD only a few short years later. My mother in law, she has suffered many years with COPD and it's crippling effects. She has been a pillar of strength even in the worst of times.

As State Captain I hope to bridge the gap of understanding between those affected by lung disease, medical professionals, media and elected officials is immensely rewarding. As a COPD State Captain, nothing makes me prouder than to know those initiatives were met & people were positively impacted

My proudest COPD moments evolve around reaching out to support other Captains accomplish their goals and knowing makes a difference for those affected by COPD.

Read More

Rita Newman

Rita Newman Profile Photo Sherwood, Arkansas
arkansas02@copdfoundation.org

I have been a respiratory therapist for over 30 years and have been involved most of that time with critical care therapy but always caring for COPD patients. I now teach COPD education to the patients, which has opened a completely new avenue for me. I want to get more advocates involved in COPD awareness, so we can create more attention to this disease and hopefully increase funding for research.

As State Captain I hope to get more people involved with COPD advocacy and to get more information out to patients in the community to help educate them so they can better take care of their disease.

Read More

Kathy Laffoon

Kathy Laffoon Profile Photo South Chesterfield, Virginia
butterflymom81@msn.com

As respiratory therapist and the newest State Captain from Virginia, I hope to be able to work with others who share the passion of promoting COPD awareness. I would like to also make the younger generation aware of the impact smoking has not only on them, but those around them.

As a COPD advocate, I have participated in health fairs or community events to promote COPD awareness, spoken to my family and friends about COPD, and I have sent a letter to my members of Congress about COPD. I have also hosted a COPD fundraiser such as a Breathe Strong Rally and am a member of a support group.

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 write about COPD to share my story and help raise awareness, and participate and promote research opportunities to help find a cure.

Read More

Ken Ellis

Ken Ellis Profile Photo Kennewick, Washington
washington04@copdfoundation.org

I’m a COPD Advocate because I wanted to help make a difference for the 24 million Americans with COPD. A democracy runs best with the input of its citizens so for me being an advocate is about being sure my voice is heard. As an advocate I want to make sure Congress knows who the COPD community is and what we want.

As State Captain I hope to keep the COPD community in our elected officials minds and bring a face to them.

My proudest COPD moment is when I am able to help somebody.

Read More

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.

Read More

Bonnie Adler

Bonnie Adler Profile Photo Milford, NJ
Bonniemadler@gmail.com

As a State Captain of New Jersey, I hope to accomplish bringing more awareness about this disease and help educate elected officials and community members.

As a COPD advocate I have called written, and emailed my elected officials, as well as have participated in COPD research opportunities such as the COPD PPRN, and have spoken to my family and friends about COPD. Additionally, I am a member of a support group, and have signed up for COPD360social.

As a State Captain, I am most interested in participating and promoting research opportunities to help find a cure, and want to work with state, local, and national officials to improve COPD policy. I would also like to connect others in the COPD community to the resources available so they can live healthier, fuller lives.

Read More

Teena Culhane

Teena Culhane Profile Photo Royal Oak, Michigan
michigan09@copdfoundation.org

As State Captain I hope to improve access to care for patients with pulmonary disease and increasing lung health awareness.

My proudest COPD moment is happening right now. I am assisting one of our pulmonary rehab patients apply for a lung transplant. Due to his age, 73, he has been denied at over 35 transplant centers and we will not give up until we’ve applied to the remaining 35+ centers.

Some of my advocacy work includes, being a member of the Regional Leadership Council of the American Lung Association’s midland states and I am also the Legislative Co-Chair for the Michigan Society for Respiratory Care. For the past eight years I have met with the Michigan Congressional offices in DC to advocate for greater access to respiratory therapists.

Read More

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

 


Join Us on COPD360social

Sign In to Participate
Or register to become a member

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!