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

Elizabeth Berger

Elizabeth Berger Profile Photo Mount Morris, New York

I’m a COPD advocate because I have seen the effects first-hand within my own family. It saddens me that many people are unaware about the seriousness of COPD, which often involves chronic physical pain and sometimes, mental illness. COPD doesn’t get nearly as much attention within the health research domain, and I would love to see research grow in this area. Research is the cornerstone of advancement, and has to be done to improve prevention efforts, treatment, and the overall quality of life for people affected by COPD! Achieving this goal starts with spreading the word about COPD.

As State Captain I would like to be more engaged with the local COPD community and assist in research initiatives. I want to connect more with other State Captains and providers so I can learn more, specifically about pulmonary rehab and how to make it more accessible for people who don't have access to it. I also would like to be more politically active and meet with elected officials regarding COPD more regularly. I would like to increase my participation in community events and fundraisers to raise awareness and generate funds to support the COPD Foundation.

My proudest COPD moment was being asked to assist with the recent COPD Foundation grant proposal. I was also thrilled when I inspired a few other folks to submit comments regarding COPD-legislation.

My inspiration to share is, “patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor.”--Joseph Pilates and “when we let go of the idea that something must change, we can move past perceived limitations.” -unknown


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!