Meet Your COPD Foundation Captains!

COPD Foundation 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. If you are interested in joining our group of volunteers, click here.

If you'd like to speak with a COPD Foundation Captain directly, please email statecaptains@copdfoundation.org and we will connect you with the Captain in your area of interest.


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Nickole Hackney

Nickole Hackney Profile Photo Purcellville, VA


Hi, I live in beautiful northern Virginia and have a passion for Pulmonary Rehabilitation. I am a long time Respiratory Therapist with over 20 years of experience empowering individuals living with lung disease. Most recently, my career focus has been on COPD and empowering individuals in their COPD self-management journey.

As a Virginia State Captain, I am interested in advocating for individuals with COPD and supporting their best quality of life. I look forward to working with people living with COPD, their families, and engaging with elected officials to make an impact on COPD care.

I believe that “knowledge is power” and I enjoy sharing knowledge as a respiratory therapist and learning from others.

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Bill Wornstaff

Bill Wornstaff Profile Photo Mount Laurel, NJ


As a patient advocate and Captain of New Jersey, I hope to accomplish spreading more awareness about COPD.

As a COPD advocate, I have spoken openly to others about COPD, and The COPD Foundation. I am an active member on 360social, I think it is important to share a positive voice with those who are coming to the site to learn more about living with COPD.  I have also had opportunities to participate in COPD research opportunities, webinars, and other research through the COPD PPRN network. I continue to reach out to my members of Congress about COPD.

As a Captain, I am interested in connecting others in the COPD community to the resources available so they can live healthier, fuller lives, and I would also like to be involved in fundraising opportunities.

My proudest COPD moments are when I can approach someone who may or may not have COPD and engage in a healthy conversation about COPD and The COPD Foundation.

My inspiration to share is, “Reading the wonderful posts daily on 360 and realizing no matter what corner of the world we are from, we have a wonderful family!”

A fact about me, “I was diagnosed in August of 2016, I quit smoking a month prior to my diagnosis and have remained smoke free since, honestly there is no secret, a healthy diet, exercise, immunizations and most of all COPD360Social I couldn't have done it without the Foundation and wouldn't want to.”

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Lauren Berger

Lauren Berger Profile Photo Mount Morris, NY


I am an advocate for COPD patients and providers because I am the daughter of a mother who passed away from COPD. I have experienced the stress and frustration of COPD caregivers, watched first-hand the struggle of COPD patients in rural areas, and felt the anguish and heartache of surviving a major loss.

Because COPD is a major issue for so many – yet so comparatively ignored, I want to use my role as a COPD Foundation Captain to bring more awareness to communities, specifically in the rural areas where I live (and where my mother lived). I want to use community outreach and social media networks to share information about COPD symptoms, management options, and resources for more support. Part of this awareness is specific outreach to health care providers, giving them materials to support their patients diagnosed with COPD. Another goal is to continue lobbying at the state and federal levels for more funding and public dialogue about COPD.

I want to broaden the conversation about COPD. Yes, advocacy for COPD patients in the medical realm is important and necessary. But I also want to give voice to the range of emotions patients endure – which can include shame, guilt, isolation, and despair. Caregivers also may experience a range of emotions and, because they don’t want to add to their loved ones’ stress, feel they have nowhere to turn. I hope to use my COPD Foundation Captain role to create space for these conversations and amplify support wherever possible.

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Kim Nors

Kim Nors Profile Photo Georgetown, TX


As a Respiratory Therapist for the past 33 years, I am excited to be a State Captain for Texas. My experience in Critical Care, Pulmonary Rehabilitation and as a RT Navigator has given me an overall perspective on educating patients and helping people manage their COPD. I have had a life- long passion for helping those with lung disease.

As a State Captain, I would like to be involved with advocacy and healthcare policy on the state and local levels. I believe that, with a collective voice, we can accomplish many great things. Our leaders need our support and guidance to better serve the COPD community in this country. We need to bring COPD awareness to our communities and our government.

I am currently in the process of starting a Better Breathers Club in Georgetown, Texas. I am also employed by a pulmonology group here. There are so many patients we serve needing the support of others and the medical community. It is equally important that COPD patients have the tools to self- manage their own disease.

We can educate and advocate everyday but…. "Patients don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care". This quote has always reminded me that with service comes great compassion and kindness.

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Renea McClure

Renea McClure Profile Photo Hoover, AL


I am a happily retired former Human Resources Professional. I have over 30 years of experience in HR - including talent acquisition, training/development, compensation and benefits, labor relations and strategy.

I live with Edward McClure, my husband of 44 plus years, in Hoover, AL. Edward lives with COPD (emphysema). I would like to use the position with the COPD foundation to engage other members of the community leveraging my experience caring for Edward to assist in making their lives better. Using my training/presentation skills, I would like to educate others about this illness and how they might make a difference. This includes interacting with governmental officials and agencies.

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Lisa Hall

Lisa Hall Profile Photo Sauk Center, MN


I am involved in the COPD Foundation, and I am on the Propeller App advisory board. I am interested in traveling to Capitol Hill as a patient advocate with the COPD Foundation to represent people with Asthma ,COPD, and chronic respiratory conditions. I have had asthma all my life which has turned into COPD. I am on disability because of my condition. I was on prednisone for 5 years as a child which could have contributed to my spinal issues resulting in fusions or metal rods in all but 2 vertebrae in my back.

I recently shared my story with ResMed, a medical technology company focused on respiratory disease, in a recorded interview and a graffiti artist interpreted my experience. ResMed works with clinician and patient organizations to support their voices. After my recent experience, which was displayed at ViVE, a health technology conference, ResMed offered to sponsor patient organizations to help patients like me speak with policy makers to get our point of view across. I, and I’m sure other patients, can’t afford to go to these events as we are forced to choose between working or our very expensive medication.

As a child I also went to Camp Superkids for 2 weeks out of every summer in the 80’s where I learned how important it is to advocate for yourself, and I learned I can do almost anything anyone else can do with limitations and time. My whole life I have hit brick walls trying to keep a job or afford my medicine.

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Dr. Sara Tibbett-Wright

Dr. Sara Tibbett-Wright Profile Photo Millsboro, DE


I have been a registered respiratory therapist for 19 years, with roles in acute care, LTACH, pulmonary rehabilitation, and management. Most recently, I am an entrepreneur and the Executive Director of a new non-profit organization, the Southern Delaware COPD Coalition. My passion is empowering those living with COPD, through education and advocacy.

Over the past 19 years, I have enjoyed volunteering with the American Lung Association and participating in numerous health fairs. I have also participated in job fairs, promoting the role and importance of respiratory therapists in both the acute and homecare settings.

My greatest COPD accomplishment would have to be when I received final approval for a Pulmonary Navigator position, filled by a respiratory therapist, at my current employer. This took more than 3 years of research and data collection and a large presentation to demonstrate a positive ROI (return on investment) - and was worth every minute! The Pulmonary Navigator has been truly instrumental in addressing the COPD-specific needs of patients, which has made a tremendous impact on the lives of patients living with COPD.

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Linda Esposito

Linda Esposito Profile Photo New York, NY


I am a health and fitness educator specializing in helping individuals diagnosed with chronic diseases who are looking to make lifestyle changes. What a surprise when in 2017, I myself was diagnosed with two rare lung conditions–bronchiectasis (BE) and NTM lung disease.

Fortunately, I live in New York City and have access to top specialists in the field. However, I know many do not have bronchiectasis centers nearby. As a BE/NTM lung disease Ambassador, I look forward to answering questions about these poorly understood diseases. I also hope to learn more about COPD and how COPD as a comorbidity impacts one’s health management.

Being a COPD Foundation Ambassador and a Captain will enable me not only to help individuals, but to advocate for our community as a whole. I am especially passionate about pulmonary rehab and would like all individuals with COPD, BE and NTM to have access to these life-enhancing services.

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Edward McClure

Edward McClure Profile Photo Hoover, AL


I am 66-year retired advertising/account executive who was diagnosed with COPD/emphysema in 2013. However, I have had health issues most likely attributed to COPD for over 20 years. In recent years, it has progressed significantly which led to my early retirement.

My association with COPD support groups and medical professionals has inspired me to charge my experiences with others living with this disease. Having this personal perspective allows me to help others with coping strategies and educational opportunities.

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Jamie Anderson

Jamie Anderson Profile Photo Franklin, TN


I am glad to join a great group of advocates with the COPD Foundation! I’m originally from Toledo, OH but have been in Nashville for 29 years and planning to stay. As a Post-Acute Respiratory Specialist, I hope to educate the public and offer support for those dealing with pulmonary diseases.

There are a few things that I have already done as a COPD advocate. I have spoken to my family and friends about COPD, and I have participated in health fairs and community events to promote COPD awareness. Also, I stay active on COPD360social.

As a COPD Foundation Captain, I am interested in connecting others in the COPD community to more resources so they can live healthier, fuller lives. I hope to do more work raising awareness and hosting fundraisers to support my community. I would also like to participate in research opportunities to help find a cure.

My proudest COPD moment has been recognizing that I can help change how this disease affects people. I love offering education and support to my community!

My favorite inspirational quote is, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” -Unknown

I love spending time with my family and my 2nd canine Princess Lucy. My passion is with patient education. I believe respiratory technicians have a responsibility to teach our patients how to manage their disease better and have them realize that LIFE can get better if we work together in helping to reach your goals. I’ve seen it!! Let’s do this TOGETHER, YOU are not alone.

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Dr. Luis C. Losso

Dr. Luis C. Losso Profile Photo Sao Paulo, Brazil


I am Dr. Luis C. Losso and I am honored to be the first Captain of the COPD Foundation in Brazil. I am currently Director of the Center for Thoracic Medicine and Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery, and also of the Severe Pulmonary Emphysema Unit at Hospital Edmundo Vasconcelos de São Paulo; and former President of the Department of Thoracic Surgery of the Sao Paulo Society of Pneumonology.

At our institution I have the opportunity, along with my entire team, to treat many patients with COPD, especially those with severe pulmonary emphysema. I have been book editor, author of several book chapters, as well as scientific articles on thoracic surgery presented at national and international conferences around the world.

I see the need to raise awareness among physicians and patients about the treatment of COPD in my country, particularly with regard to the minimally invasive interventional treatments available and so underutilized in patients severely compromised by pulmonary emphysema for which they can represent the very best in precision medicine.

I understand that, as a captain, I can exercise influence at health fairs and other community events and promote information, awareness, and research opportunities for people to participate. I believe that, working together, we can improve the quality of life for people with severe pulmonary emphysema.

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Chrishuna Vasser

Chrishuna Vasser Profile Photo Oklahoma City, OK


I am a goal-oriented Respiratory Care Practitioner with a demonstrated history of working in various healthcare environments within the healthcare industry. Strengths include adult acute, critical, long term and home care environments. I have a passion for education, with emphasis on disease management education. As an educator, I take pride in motivating, influencing, and sharing professional experiences.

I am a small business entrepreneur who administers life-saving training courses using curriculums of the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross. I am also a practicing COPD Educator and Pulmonary Disease Educator.

Professional goals include building my brand as a dynamic Respiratory Care Practitioner and serving the aging population as a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator while facilitating effective team organization and collaboration. I am a proud and active member of the American Association for Respiratory Care, Oklahoma Society for Respiratory Care, American Association for Notaries, National Notary Association, and American College of Health Care Administrators.

In my role as State Captain, I look forward to empowering patients and caregivers with evidence-based knowledge to leverage clinical understanding and increase awareness. I am eager to work with state, local, and national officials to improve COPD policy. COPD Education is a true passion of mine and I am excited to explore research opportunities and participate in health fairs and community events.

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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!