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

Char Raley

Char Raley Profile Photo Sioux Falls, South Dakota

As State Captain I hope to help COPD patients in any way I can.

I am a respiratory therapist with 31 years of experience, and I have learned something every day from working with the COPD patients in my community. My proudest COPD moment was working with a patient who has improved his lifestyle by quitting smoking, taking medications as ordered, wearing his BiPAP, and exercising. He is now leading a much more fulfilled life.

Some of my advocacy work has included meeting with Senators Thune and Rounds, and Representative Kristi Noem. Once a year I participate in the AARC PACT Lobby Day. We find the representatives to be quite aware of COPD, but we continue to educate them. We know this is important to continue to share with them so that the needs of the COPD community are seen as a priority for them.

My inspiration to share is “live like there is no tomorrow.”


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 for questions and to start the onboarding process today!