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

Ken Benson

Ken Benson Profile Photo Laguna Woods, CA

I am a COPD and Alpha-1 patient whose aim it is to raise awareness of COPD with anyone and everyone I meet. I want to change the general public, health care providers, and government stakeholder’s perspectives about COPD, with the end goal being to improve the quality of life for the entire COPD community.

I have met with elected officials and called and written others. As I try to spread awareness, I have participated in health fairs and other community events and participated in research opportunities such as the COPD Patient Powered Research Network. I have written to various publications and have taken part in interviews to share my perspectives on living with COPD and Alpha-1. Another way I help the COPD community is by being active on 360social and other patient oriented media.

As a State Captain I hope to continue working with local, state and national officials to improve COPD policy. I have traveled extensively to raise awareness and hope to continue in the future.

My proudest COPD moment is “yet to come”.

My inspiration to share is, “to know that even one life has breathed easier because I have lived. That is to have succeeded.” Ralph Waldo Emerson


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!