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

Cyndy Ruess

Cyndy Ruess Profile Photo San Bernardino, CA

As a patient and spirometry technician, I am excited to use my skills, and advocacy to join the State Captain program in California. As a State Captain I hope to help accomplish a national ban on tobacco.

As a COPD advocate I have participated in emailing, and calling my elected officials. I have also participated in health fairs to promote COPD awareness, an active in educating my patients about COPD, and I have been involved in COPD research opportunities through the COPD PPRN.

As a State Captain I am looking forward to participating and promoting research opportunities to help find a cure, as well as working with state, local, and national officials to improve COPD Policy. Additionally, I would like to host and participate in COPD community fundraiser efforts.

My proudest COPD moment has been my participation in a crowdshaped event where innovative concepts were created to help COPD patients breathe better.

My inspiration to share is, “The choices you make today, dictates the life you live 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!