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

Sarah Ray-Derfuss

Sarah Ray-Derfuss Profile Photo Deland, Florida

As a State Captain for Florida, I hope to accomplish helping to connect others in the community to the COPD resources available to them. I look forward to participating in health fairs, possibly workshops in my community. As a caregiver of a loved one with COPD and multiple health problems I am always interested in educational opportunities to help make my job easier. I know that education is vitally important to caregivers and want to help make their job as a caregiver easier.

As a COPD advocate I have spoken to my family and friends about COPD, am a member of a COPD support group, and I have participated in health fairs or community events to promote COPD awareness. As a new member, I am looking forward to participating in more opportunities!

As a State Captain I hope to connect others in the COPD community to the resources available so they can live healthier, fuller lives, as well as to hosting and participate in fundraisers to support my community and help to recruiting new State Captains and volunteers.

My proudest COPD moment has been participating in a recent health fair in my community and placing literature about our support group in doctor's office and seeing it displayed.

My inspiration to share is,” Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence - Augustine of Hippo


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!