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COPD Enters the Spotlight this Month

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November 6, 2013

COPD Day Logo

November is National COPD Awareness Month, and that means it’s the perfect time for respiratory therapists to get out into their communities and educate people about the nation’s third leading cause of death. It’s also a great time to reflect on AARC programs aimed at improving care for COPD patients all year long.

Here are just some of the activities your Association has supported in 2013—

Respiratory Informational Session: The AARC will be sponsoring a patient education event at AARC Congress 2013 in Anaheim, as volunteers gather at the Anaheim Marriott to visit with patients and families about COPD and other respiratory conditions, offer instruction on inhaled medication delivery devices, and provide tips on living well with lung disease.

DRIVE4COPD: This national campaign has screened 2.7 million people for COPD so far, and much of that success is due to the active involvement of AARC members. This year hundreds of members in cities and towns all across the country rose to the challenge, hosting screenings in their local communities—many of them just last month during our National Respiratory Care Week—and answering the call to get involved when recruited to participate in large health fairs and other DRIVE events by the AARC.

AARP Life@50+: One of those events was the annual AARP Life@50+ conference. Members from the host city of Las Vegas rallied to the cause, sending clinicians and students alike to the meeting to screen participants for COPD, educate them on the disease, and explain how they can better manage the condition. (You can read more about their role in this event in your Nov. issue of AARC Times.)

COPD Educator Course: With COPD joining conditions subject to penalties for excessive readmissions through the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program in FY 2014, ensuring more RTs are up to the task of COPD disease management is paramount. Our online course provides everything a therapist needs to get started.

Alpha-1 Course: Our Alpha-1 course is educating therapists on the leading genetic cause of COPD as well. Also offered online, the course covers everything from pathobiology to optimal management to emerging therapies.

Alpha-1 Education Day: The Association will be reaching out to Alphas at this year’s AARC Congress in Anaheim too. A day-long event hosted by the Alpha-1 Foundation and featuring speakers in town for the Congress will help ensure more patients and families have the information they need to maximize their health.

Your turn!

What can you do to keep the momentum going this month? The best idea is to host a DRIVE4COPD screening event in your hospital or community. Email AARC DRIVE4COPD/COPD Coordinator Jason Moury, BS, RRT, to find out how.

But even if you can’t marshal the resources necessary for a full blown screening event, you can still help get the word out about COPD, and one great way everyone can get involved is through social media.

The COPD Foundation has shared some ready-made Tweets and Facebook posts with us that we can all use to make sure COPD is front and center in everyone’s mind throughout November. Since World COPD Day is Nov. 20, a deluge of posts on that day would be especially great.


  • We have screened 2.7 mil for COPD, but 12 mil Americans don't know they have the disease. Are you safe? Take the screener. #COPDAwareness
  • Imagine breathing through a straw. That’s what it is like having COPD. Learn how to protect yourself #COPDAwareness
  • RT if you or someone you know lives w/COPD. Let’s find a cure for a disease that claims a life every 4 mins. #COPDAwareness
  • Orange is the color of the movement to end COPD. RT if you or someone you know lives with this disease. @DRIVE4COPD #COPDAwareness
  • Women who smoke are 13x more likely to die from COPD. Early detection is key - answer 5 easy questions today at #COPDAwareness
  • COPD kills more women than breast cancer and diabetes combined. Have trouble breathing? Go to today. #COPDAwareness


  • Share this post if you or someone you know lives with COPD. Together we can we find a cure for a disease that claims a life every four minutes in America. #COPDAwareness
  • Are you able to do less now than you used to because of your breathing? If you are over the age of 35, take 30 seconds to answer 5 simple questions and see if you are at risk for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD. #COPDAwareness
  • We’re joining forces with @DRIVE4COPD to work towards finding a cure for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. See how you can show your support and join the COPD community. You may even win a chance to wave the green flag at the @NASCAR @DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona! Sign up today at #COPDAwareness