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.

Kimberly Pianko

Kimberly Pianko Profile Photo Wixom, MI

I am a registered respiratory therapist in Michigan and Florida. I have previous experience in the hospital, skilled nursing and pulmonary rehabilitation settings (owner and therapist), clinical site for respiratory students with Oakland Community College, partner with the COPD Foundation's "Circles" program, as well as having been the program owner/ manager for a home COPD/asthma education program later named "Catching A Breath" for Meridian Medicaid HMO contracting for over thirteen years. This program, as well as pulmonary rehabilitation taught patients how to recognize and self-manage their lung disease more affectively leading to a healthier lifestyle and reduced hospital readmissions and thus reduced insurance costs. This program won an award with the Michigan Association of Health Plans. I have gained a unique skill set in that not only was I able to teach and help patients, but I was able to advocate to Meridian Medicaid, physicians, senior citizens and the community about lung disease, pulmonary rehabilitation and the importance of understanding the disease process, exercise, support and resources along with insurance reform. In fact, my advocacy consists of enhancing the home COPD program with Meridian from 5 counties in Michigan to the entire state and Illinois. I will be using this background to continue to advocate and share knowledge about lung disease. The COPD Foundation is a wonderful organization and platform to partner with to be able to advocate and educate. I look forward to the opportunity.


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!