As a Registered Respiratory Therapist and COPD Navigator, I am thrilled to apply my professional knowledge and background into the State Captain role in Oklahoma. As a State Captain, I want to be an advocate for patients and caregivers. I want to help eliminate the stigma behind the disease and create awareness. I want to be a voice for those who need it and educate others. I want to empower others to take control of their disease and give them the tools to care for themselves.
As a COPD advocate I have emailed my elected officials, spoken to my family and friends about COPD, and a host weekly support group, provide patient education, and patient advocacy. Additionally, I help to find resources for patients with COPD who are uninsured, underinsured, and help low income individuals who cannot afford their medications. I also help patients with tobacco cessation, and teach at pulmonary rehabilitation.
As a State Captain, I hope to participate and promote research opportunities to help find a cure, work with state, local, and national officials to improve COPD policy, and write about COPD to share my story and help raise awareness. I would also like to raise awareness by participating in local health fairs and community events.
My proudest COPD moment has been in my past three months in this role, I had one patient who was admitted to the hospital five times. She was self-pay, with no insurance. I was able to connect her with the appropriate resources to get her the medications she needed, enroll her in pulmonary rehab, and connect her with a primary care physician. Her COPD is now under control. She is actively participating in pulmonary rehab and benefiting. Her quality of life is improving and she has not been in the hospital or emergency room in three months. Helping her find what she needed to regain her independence has been a thrill to watch.
My inspiration to share is, “Let the beauty of what you love be what you do”- Rumi