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

Valerie Chang

Valerie Chang Profile Photo Honolulu, Hawaii

As State Captain I hope to continue to help spread awareness and advocate for better treatments and a cure locally and nationally, including more universally accepted oxygen forms for planes.

My proudest COPD moment was learning that, despite dire predictions of needing a lung transplant very soon in 2000, learning that I’m way too healthy and hopefully may never need one. I have also enjoyed speaking as a COPD patient advocate for numerous conferences and interviewed by Newsweek and other publications for articles.

Some of my advocacy work has included, speaking at national conferences about COPD as a patient and advocate, created and run a nonprofit for COPD, and I am a patient advocate for DOD medical grants on lung disease. I also shared a desk with Senator Mazie Hirono, we practiced law together for several years.

My inspiration to share, a group of committed individuals can change the world--that’s all that ever has”, to paraphrase Margaret Mead.


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!