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Volume 9, Issue 1
Quarter 2 2015

Providing Support to Local Organizations:
NHLBI'S COPD Learn More Breathe Better® Program Awards New Subcontracts

For the third time, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's (NHLBI) COPD Learn More Breathe Better program is excited to award nine subcontracts to organizations nationwide to conduct initiatives in their communities. This year, the 2015 subcontracts have been awarded in two categories: developing a COPD state action plan or executing an event to raise the volume on COPD.

Local, regional, public health and academic organizations from Alaska to Virginia submitted proposals. The selected organizations have a variety of capabilities and will target areas in need of COPD intervention and with a high prevalence of COPDimage of external icon.

Five organizations were selected to develop COPD state action plans, including:

  • the American Lung Association in Virginia;
  • Breathe New Hampshire;
  • the COPD Foundation, who will focus on Tennessee;
  • the North Carolina COPD Taskforce, who put forth a plan to target both North and South Carolina; and
  • the American Lung Association in Nevada.

The four organizations selected to plan and execute a COPD event include:

  • the American Lung Association in Georgia;
  • the American Lung Association in Missouri;
  • the American Lung Association in Mississippi; and
  • FirstHealth of the Carolinas, who will reach audiences in North Carolina.

Together these organizations will make strides in increasing COPD education, inspiring action among patients and health care providers, discussing signs and symptoms of the disease, and highlighting the benefits of early detection and treatment. They have already begun planning and we are very excited about their implementations.

Join us in congratulating the recipients! We will follow along on their process and look forward to seeing the impact in their communities.


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Courtesy of the American Thoracic Society:

Pulmonologists And Intensivists Around The World To Gather For ATS 2015

American Thoracic Society

From May 15-20, the American Thoracic Society (ATS) is holding the ATS 2015 International Conferenceimage of external icon in Denver. The Conference offers an unparalleled opportunity to learn about the latest scientific and clinical advances in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine from experts in these fields. Denver has world-renowned medical institutions and a long history of caring for people with respiratory diseases, making it the perfect host city for this year's conference.

This year, the American Thoracic Society is also celebrating its 110th anniversary. To mark this special occasion, ATS is presenting the Discoveries Series — eight lectures by internationally recognized clinician scientists who have contributed to major discoveries in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine.

"With input from our members, these special lectures will highlight major scientific and clinical breakthroughs in our fields and celebrate how these advances have improved patient lives," says ATS President Thomas Ferkol, MD. "The lectures will not only look back but also forward to the opportunities these discoveries hold."

Visit the ATS 2015 International Conferenceimage of external icon website to learn more! Also be sure to attend The Genomic Research in Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency and Sarcoidosis (GRADS) NHLBI-funded Program session, on Monday, May 18th from 12:15 PM - 01:15 PM, Room 405-407 (Street Level).

Lastly, the NHLBI will be exhibiting at booth #1424. Be sure to drop by for an opportunity to engage with NHLBI's Division of Lung Disease experts, obtain a list of NHLBI presentations at ATS, and receive a wealth of resources.


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Spotlight On... ALA Of The Mid-Atlantic In Pennsylvania And The Pennsylvania Copd Coalition

American Lung Association

While planning for her exhibition at the LUNG FORCE Expo, Annette Eyer of the Pennsylvania COPD Coalition was reminded of the resources the COPD Learn More Breathe Better program sent to her for National COPD Awareness Month, which is celebrated annually during the month of November. As a result, Annette requested additional materials to display during the event. The LUNG FORCE Expo is an event series hosted by the American Lung Association (ALA) across the country. Joy Meyer of the ALA of the Mid-Atlantic in Pennsylvania was part of the planning committee for this expo and others in Pennsylvania.

Below, Annette and Joy tell us more about the LUNG FORCE Expo and the Pennsylvania COPD Coalition's involvement with the event.

1. Tell us a little bit more about your organizations and the event.
Annette: The Pennsylvania COPD Coalition is part of the ALA in Pennsylvania, who created the first Pennsylvania COPD Strategic Action Plan. This Plan serves as a framework to move Pennsylvania forward in focusing public awareness on the lung disease that affects more than 15 million Americans. And as a direct result of the COPD Action Plan, the Pennsylvania COPD Coalition was formed to start implementation of the COPD Action Plan.

Joy: The Eastern PA LUNG FORCE Expo was a day-long event to be a vehicle to educate and support patients and community health care providers about screening, new treatments and innovations in detection of lung disease. The event featured local lung health experts and offered an opportunity for patients to gain valuable insight into their medical issues and network with others who face similar challenges. The event had dual tracks: one for patients/caregivers and one for primary health care providers. This year's event was held on February 10, 2015 and had a total attendance of more than 200.

2. What sort of patient programs do you have going?
Joy: We have a couple of initiatives for patients outside of the expos; one of them is our PA Better Breathers Clubs. These are partnerships with local hospitals and health organizations within the community to better serve patients in the area. We also have looked at developing additional COPD support groups within the community. We offer support to local organizations to make sure they have the most updated information and know about all our events.

3. What materials did you make available at the Expo and how did you use them? How did the audience respond to the event resources?
Annette: Resources for distribution were from the ALA, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the NHLBI. Materials from NHLBI for distribution included fact sheets, posters and laminated key ring cards with helpful tips on COPD for patients and providers, which were the most popular item. We distributed over 100 packets.

LUNG FORCE Expo exhibit

LUNG FORCE Expo exhibit

Joy: The overall event was comprised of plenary sessions and an exhibitor room with the materials from ALA and from the COPD Learn More Breathe Better program. Anecdotally, patients mentioned how they enjoyed being able to share their story and talk to the ALA about ways to get involved and get the help they needed.

The reactions from our patients were great. In the surveys we conducted after the event, 97.5 percent said the Expo better prepared them to address COPD, lung health and asthma. All of the respondents said they would share ideas and tools from the Expo with others.


If you are in the DC metro area, look out for Joy and the ALA as they conduct their fourth LUNG FORCE Expo in Alexandria at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center on June 8, 2015. For more information on this and other events, contact Joy Meyer at And for more information on how you can get involved in COPD efforts, visit the COPD Learn More Breathe Better events page.


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Breathe Better Network Update

COPD Learn More Breathe Better Network=

Since 2009, the COPD Learn More Breathe Better program has been working with partners on the ground to spread awareness and educate about COPD. The Breathe Better Network continues to grow and recently added two new organizations to its ranks:

Right2Breatheimage of external icon
The Right2Breathe® campaign was established in 2014 by two second-generation drag racers with a personal experience as caregivers for family members with pulmonary disease, including COPD. The drag racing fan base counts approximately 50 million people in the United States and Right2Breathe is focusing on increasing awareness, screenings and diagnosis among this passionate group.

Select Respiratory Servicesimage of external icon
Select Respiratory Services consists of professional respiratory patient advocates, COPD educators and smoking cessation counselors. The team works closely with hospitals and assisted living facilities to develop and manage pulmonary rehabilitation programs, provide better breathing education and help prevent complications during flu season.

Please join the COPD Learn More Breathe Better program in welcoming the new Breathe Better Network members! If you know of a group or organization that might be a strong addition to the Network, please let us know by sending an email to


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COPD Foundation

The COPD Foundation recently launched the COPD Patient-Powered Research Network (COPD PPRN)image of external icon to help transform research and make a difference in the lives of patients. The COPD PPRN brings together patients who want to share their experiences and be notified about future research opportunities. To learn more about how the COPD PPRN can help both patients and health care providers, visit www.copdpprn.orgimage of external icon or email for more on how to participate!

Strategic Visioning: Your Input is Requested

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has launched a Strategic Visioning process that invites the community to help determine the Institute's scientific priorities for the next decade.

As a member of the heart, lung, blood, and sleep community you are a vital part of this process; NHLBI wants and needs to hear from you. The collective brainpower of our community can help generate bold research ideas and identify any barriers that must be overcome.

To learn more about the NHLBI Strategic Visioning process visit To make sure your voice is heard, please participate and submit your ideas between now and May 15, 2015.

Thanks for your interest and please share with your colleagues, as we don't want to leave anyone out of the conversation.

We Want to Hear From You!

If there is an outstanding member of your team that you want to recognize, or if your organization is working on a project that you think should be included in the next COPD Learn More Breathe Better Update, we would love to include you in a feature story! Email us at and let us know what you're doing to raise COPD awareness.

And, if you weren't aware, the Program also has a Facebook pageimage of external icon where you can see new activity. Check it out and become a fan of the Program's page.

That's not all! You can also follow the Campaign @BreatheBetterimage of external icon on Twitter and join the conversation.