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

Teena Culhane

Teena Culhane Profile Photo Royal Oak, Michigan

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

I have been a Respiratory Therapist (RT) for 21 years and one of my greatest passions is advocating for our patients and for the RT’s who provide care to people with chronic lung disease. I currently serve as the Legislative Co-Chair for the Michigan Society for Respiratory Care (MSRC) and have had the opportunity to meet with members of the House and Senate on Capitol Hill every year for the past 12 years to discuss legislation regarding increasing access to care for our patients and to advance our profession. I also serve on the American Lung Association’s Local Leadership Board where I’ve been involved with planning several community events such as the “Lung Force Walk” and the ‘Fight for Air Climb”. Working in a Pulmonary Rehab program for almost 20 years has been such a rewarding career and I am inspired every day by our patients who walk in with a smile and a cheery ‘Hello’ despite the daily struggles of living with a lung disease.

My inspiration to share is “if you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.”


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!