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COPD: Learn More Breathe Better<sup>®</sup>
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
COPD: Learn More Breathe Better<sup>®</sup>
Volume 2, Issue 4
May 2008

COPD In The States:
Illinois Launches State COPD Plan

On May 1, the Illinois COPD Coalition, convened by the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago (RHAMC), introduced a new statewide plan to address COPD at a press conference in Chicago.  The strategic action plan seeks to stem the growth of new cases, reduce mortality rates, and improve quality of life for the more than 500,000 Illinois residents currently living with COPD.

The plan incorporates the distribution of co-branded COPD Learn More Breathe Better® materials and the implementation of key campaign messages into outreach activities at the state level.  James P. Kiley, PhD, Director of the Division of Lung Diseases at NHLBI, and patient advocate Grace Anne Dorney Koppel were among the presenters.

While in Chicago, Ms. Koppel was also recognized by the RHAMC for “making a lasting difference in lung health”.  Ms. Koppel was awarded the Lynn Kotsiantos Lifetime Achievement Award for her work as a COPD patient advocate at Inspiration, A Benefit for Women’s Lung Health, where she delivered the Keynote address.

For more information visit

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5 Ways You Can Get Involved!

  1. Link your website to the COPD Learn More Breathe Better® website.
  2. Plan a COPD Awareness event using our COPD Learn More Breathe Better® Resource Kit.
  3. Partner with a hospital or community center to host an information session on COPD and incorporate our speaker’s guide.
  4. Donate ad space for our print PSA* or air time for our radio PSAs, or direct local media to our online press kit.
  5. Organize a statewide COPD awareness effort using our tools for state outreach.

Click here for more information

COPD in the News…

MediZine’s Healthy Living - Summer 2008

The summer edition of Healthy Living, a quarterly magazine available at CVS pharmacies nationwide, featured a two-page story titled, “Life’s Breath.” In the article, Grace Anne Dorney Koppel explained how she handles the challenges of COPD and her advocacy efforts with the COPD Learn More Breathe Better® Campaign.  Each issue of Healthy Living reaches more than 3.5 million readers.

The Chicago Tribune - April 27, 2008

The April 27 issue of The Chicago Tribune featured a story on Grace Anne Dorney Koppel’s battle with COPD and her participation in the launch of the Illinois COPD strategic action plan.  The Sunday edition reaches nearly 900,000 readers.  Click here to view the story online.

Chicagoing - May 11, 2008

Ms. Koppel also appeared on Chicagoing, a local weekly TV news magazine, along with Joel Africk, RHAMC President and CEO.  The 30-minute program, which aired on May 11, was dedicated entirely to COPD, addressing topics including the need to raise awareness, the specifics of the Illinois COPD state plan, and the importance of spirometry testing for those at risk.

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Campaign Update

Look what our partners are up to!

Our partners are doing great things and we want you to know about it!  Visit our new “Partners in Motion” page on the COPD Learn More Breathe Better® Campaign website.  The page now features highlights of recent outreach efforts undertaken by our partners in support of the Campaign.

From generating media attention, hosting screening events, and convening COPD coalitions to disseminating materials and even driving traffic to the campaign website -- our partners are engaged, active, and working hard to spread the word!  Learn more about how we work together to increase COPD awareness, encourage diagnosis, and help patients manage the disease.

Want to see your organization’s efforts featured on the Partners in Motion page?  Check out the tips featured here or click on “How Can I Get Involved” to learn more.  Then, drop us a line and let us know about your COPD success story!

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Spotlight on…Jean Rommes

Photo of Jean RommesRecently profiled in The New York Times for a front page story on COPD, we talked to Jean about her new found ‘fame’ and why she feels it’s important for COPD patients to share their own stories about living with the disease.

What’s changed for you since being profiled in The New York Times?
Many people have told me that my story made a difference to them.  In fact, a man I had never met who read the New York Times article somehow tracked me down and called to thank me for sharing my story.  I understand now the value in this type of “testimonial” outreach.  I’ve become much more aware of the need for raising awareness of COPD and for letting people know that you can live with it.  I now appreciate how extremely important it is for those of us with COPD to share our stories in as many public forums as possible.

Why was it important for you to share your story?
I strongly believe that as patients, we need to take some responsibility for improving our situation.  Most times, what will make a difference is not as much what the doctor or health care provider can do for you, but what you can do for yourself, and people need to understand that.  I wanted other people who have this disease to see that you can live with it.  Managing COPD requires lifestyle changes – those things are really difficult, I know first hand – but people can make those changes.  It can be done!

What advice do you have for other COPD patients who want to get involved in raising awareness about the disease?
There’s a truckload of us out there!  Let’s accept that it happened, that we have COPD and let’s move on with our lives.  We need to help each other – we are the only ones who can share our success stories and show what a real, live person with COPD can do.  It’s so much easier to drive the point home if you can talk passionately about living with COPD, and who can speak with more passion than someone living with it every day.

Read Jean’s story in The New York Times and view her New York Times video profile, Gasping for Air: Life with COPD.

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In Memory of Gary Bain

Gary Bain, founder of EFFORTS (Emphysema Foundation for our Right to Survive) and a friend to many in the COPD community, passed away on April 30.  Gary was a COPD awareness pioneer and created one of the first websites dedicated to providing pulmonary information and support to COPD patients like himself.  The COPD Learn More Breathe Better® Campaign salutes Gary for his many contributions and unyielding dedication, and offers sincere condolences to Gary’s family, friends, and colleagues.  To learn more about EFFORTS and Gary’s legacy, visit

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