Meet Your COPD Foundation Captains!

COPD Foundation 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. If you are interested in joining our group of volunteers, click here.

If you'd like to speak with a COPD Foundation Captain directly, please email and we will connect you with the Captain in your area of interest.

Crystal Irwin

Crystal Irwin Profile Photo Topeka, KS

As a respiratory therapist and the newest state captain from Kansas, I hope to accomplish gaining a working understanding of community health promotion and keeping abreast of advances in management of COPD.

As a COPD advocate, I have sent a letter to my members of Congress about COPD, met with an elected official to discuss COPD, and have taught chair yoga to better breathers club. I have also participated in health fairs or community events to promote COPD awareness.

As a State Captain, I am most interested in 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, fuller lives. I would also like to work with state, local, and national officials to improve COPD policy and raise awareness by participating in health fairs and community events.

My proudest COPD moment has been working in Washington DC promoting my profession to better serve patients in rural areas that suffer from COPD. I also taught a group of 30 individuals with COPD a chair yoga class with emphasis on breathing exercises to reduce anxiety.

My inspiration to share is, “No one can heal you the way you can heal yourself, that is your own special magic”

More about me, “I’ve been a Respiratory Therapist for 9 years working with both pediatric and adult populations. My area of interest is the Emergency Department, and patient education. I own a yoga studio in Topeka, Kansas and teach classes 3 times per week”


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!