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

Lisa Ellison

Lisa Ellison Profile Photo Sitka, AK

As a respiratory therapist and Alaska’s first State Captain, I hope to advocate for the COPD community by recruiting volunteers and new state captains. Alaska is a large state with many different communities and cultures. My experience as a respiratory therapist in Alaska will enable me to promote awareness among our state legislators, healthcare professionals, and patients.

As a COPD advocate, I currently live on an island in southeast Alaska and see the need for promoting COPD education with an emphasis on COPD Patient Action Plans. In our remote villages, when a COPD exacerbation occurs, many times the patient is medically flown out to a larger city for a higher-level of care. By encouraging early diagnosis, education, and treatment, this will have a potential impact on the state of Alaska by decreasing air transfers, earlier tobacco cessation, decreased hospital admissions, and reduction of patient care costs.

My vision for Alaska is to create an atmosphere encompassing COPD education programs that include youth education on the dangers of tobacco and e-cigarette use, providing resources for early diagnosis, and improving patient knowledge of their disease.


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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!