Country Conquers COPD™, a program of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, is traveling nationwide this summer to raise COPD awareness and bring important COPD information to people at risk and their loved ones. At each stop, we'll be joined by local lung health experts to provide information about the signs and symptoms of COPD, provide free screenings and encourage those at risk to talk to their health care provider.
Our first stop kicks off in Detroit, Michigan at the Downtown Hoedown (June 8-10). The Downtown Hoedown is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and features more than 50 stars, including Josh Gracin, Dierks Bentley, the Pistol Annies and Miranda Lambert!
From June 29-July 1 Country Conquers COPD will be at the San Diego County Fair in Del Mar, California. The theme of this year's fair is "Out of this World," combining science fiction and outer space themed educational activities with family fun right here on earth. Fairgoers will enjoy animal exhibits, carnival rides, their favorite foods and musical performances by KC & the Sunshine Band, Train and Julión Álvarez.
Attendees at each event will learn about the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of COPD, while also having a little fun. The Country Conquers team will be onsite providing access to local lung health experts and working with COPD Foundation and local partners to help provide free spirometry testing.
Country Conquers COPD will be adding more events over the summer. Make sure to visit us on the COPD Learn More Breathe Better® campaign's Country Conquers COPD website for updates about these events and to see videos from our past adventures. The Country Conquers team looks forward to seeing you on the road this summer!
Thanks to a partnership between the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) new information on COPD prevalence will soon be available. As a result of the two agencies' collaboration, CDC was able to include a core COPD-related question aimed at determining the prevalence of COPD in all states in its Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012. BRFSS is the world's largest, on-going telephone health survey system, tracking health conditions and risk behaviors in the United States yearly since 1984. This is the first time data on COPD has been collected by CDC's BRFSS across all 50 states.
The CDC is currently analyzing the 2010 BRFSS data with hopes to release this summer. Data for 2011 is also being collected and analyzed. This state-specific prevalence data on COPD will be extremely valuable to promote and monitor state-level prevention and intervention efforts nationwide.
To help the Breathe Better Network prepare, the COPD Learn More Breathe Better campaign is developing resources and materials to assist members in their outreach efforts and in leveraging the results of the survey with local media and other audiences. COPD prevalence information, such as the data provided through BRFSS, will be important to non-profit organizations, state health departments and others in raising awareness about COPD and in underscoring the benefits of early diagnosis and treatment. Stay tuned for more information regarding this initiative!
This year World Spirometry Day launches on June 27 to coincide with and lead into the 2012 Olympic Games! Spirometry is one of the best and most common lung function tests and can help detect COPD before symptoms become severe. It is a simple, non-invasive breathing test that measures the amount of air a person can blow out of the lungs (volume) and how fast he or she can blow it out (flow).
Do you have plans for World Spirometry Day? If so, let us know by sending an email to NHLBIinfo@nhlbi.nih.gov. You can also find more information on spirometry, as well as resources and tools to help you learn about COPD on the COPD Learn More Breathe Better campaign website.
Congratulations to the COPD Foundation, which was recently selected to take over leadership of DRIVE4COPD, one of the nation's largest COPD awareness campaigns. Launched in February 2010 by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., DRIVE4COPD's mission is to help individuals recognize the signs and symptoms of COPD and take action to see if they are at risk.
"DRIVE4COPD has already made an enormous impact in generating large-scale awareness for COPD and screening individuals; the COPD Foundation plans to build upon this momentum," said COPD Foundation president and co-founder John W. Walsh.
The COPD Foundation is one of the original partnering organizations of DRIVE4COPD and has been instrumental in the success of the campaign. Through campaign efforts, more than 2 million individuals have taken the five-question COPD Population Screener™ to see if they may be at risk for developing COPD.
Michael Ezzie, M.D., Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University
For the past seven years, Michael Ezzie, M.D., an Assistant Professor of Clinical, Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at the Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University, has been dedicated to helping people who suffer from COPD and related lung diseases. His interest in caring for those at risk for COPD began with direct patient care and continued to flourish through research work, including contributions to NHLBI's Long-term Oxygen Treatment Trial and studying a COPD specific protein under grant funding from the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute.
Building on his research background, Dr. Ezzie is influencing how COPD is addressed at the Wexner Medical Center. His staff recently completed COPD guidelines that will help the health system enhance performance improvement projects focused on COPD treatment. But his passion for helping COPD patients extends beyond those that walk through the doors of the Center. In February, Dr. Ezzie led a sold-out and highly attended pulmonary rehabilitation continuing education summit, hosted by the Center, for practitioners in Central Ohio — with hopes to hold a patient focused conference in the coming year. He is also currently working with pulmonary fellows to examine care delivered to COPD patients in and out of the hospital, and identifying opportunities for improvement.
Dr. Ezzie actively engages in a number of professional groups including serving on a joint American Thoracic Society and American College of Chest Physicians taskforce to recommend measure gaps in COPD and other pulmonary diseases. In addition to leading the Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University to join the COPD Learn More Breathe Better campaign's Breathe Better Network, his reputation and knowledge in the COPD space have made him a great resource and partner in Ohio, and an active member of the Midwest COPD Network, a regional COPD network funded by a subcontract from the COPD Learn More Breathe Better campaign.