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

Caroline Gainer

Caroline Gainer Profile Photo Daniels, West Virginia

As the newest State Captain from West Virginia, I hope to help elevate the care for COPD patients in my community and create public awareness of the disease. I hope to get elected officials to take actions that will promote the well-being of local COPD patients.

As a COPD advocate, I have met, called, sent letters and emailed my elected officials. Additionally, I have participated in COPD research opportunities such as the COPD PPRN, have signed up for COPD360Social, and have spoken to my family and friends about COPD.

As a State Captain, my interests include participating and promoting research opportunities to help find a cure and connecting others in the COPD community to the resources available so they can live healthier and fuller lives. I am also interested in working with state, local, and national officials to improve COPD Policy.

My proudest COPD moment has been when I was asked to represent the COPD Foundation this year as a consumer advocate for the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRRMRP). Running a close second if not tied for first is representing the COPD Foundation in formulating research parameters for the Individualized Medicine Forum sponsored by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

I am working on scheduling some speaking engagements with health care students and professionals locally to further promote the cause.

My inspiration to share is, “Do the best that you can for as long as you can” and "just keep on keepin’ on".


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!