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

Pam DeNardo

Pam DeNardo Profile Photo Fort Myers, FL

Since I am patient, I have a special interest in advocacy, along with our healthcare professionals and caregivers, though I may have a different perspective living with COPD. Twenty years of being a member of this community has had a profound effect on me. Besides being a patient myself, I have worked among some of the finest people I have ever met. They are kind, empathetic, and eager to share information that is so helpful. I am grateful to be a part of this community. My inspirations have been many, including everyone I have met and/or worked with for 20 years.

As an advocate, I have spoken publicly many times, including my first speech in front of a Senate Subcommittee hearing on behalf of Tobacco Free Kids headed by Richard Durbin, Senator from Illinois. I have attended many health fairs, educational conferences, two live radio programs, and answered (too many to count) calls from patients seeking help, support and education on the COPD Foundation Information Line. I have also participated in multiple walks around DC to speak with our legislators about COPD issues.

As a State Captain and part of the COPD Foundation advocacy team, I hope to keep reaching out. There are still so many out there that we need to educate about COPD and the issues we face as a community.

My permanent inspirational quote is from John Walsh, “Educate, Empower, and Engage.” Like John did, I also believe there will be a cure one day.


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!