Posts in the News Category

The COPD Foundation Blog Has a NEW Home!

May 1st, 2015 | Author: Katelyn Turner

As you probably know, the COPD Foundation launched the COPD360social.org networking platform in November 2014. The site is an invaluable resource by serving as a one-stop-shop for COPD: access quality educational materials, participate in research, become an advocate, and connect with new friends. It allows us to meet, chat, collaborate and support one another- and now you can read the Faces of COPD blog posts on COPD360social.org! We want to hear from patients, caregivers, and professionals daily.  Your thoughts, concerns, fears, and inspiration- become a part of our interactive, collaborative community to friends, learn about events in your area,COPD360ourcommunityonline_AAcard chat with the experts, and learn how to take action- all on your time, at your pace. At COPD360social you can:

  • Create a personal profile describing yourself
  • Get to know others with COPD
  • Ask a question
  • Start a discussion
  • Share your story
  • Comment on a blog
  • Access educational materials
  • Find out about COPD events in your area and across the country
  • Find a pulmonary rehabilitation program near you
  • Find a breathing support group near you
  • Make a difference through research
  • Have a voice in policies and laws
  • Be inspired!

There is a lot of information on the internet. Sometimes it can be pretty overwhelming. It can be hard to know what’s true and what’s not, and which are proven treatments and those that don’t have scientific support. With COPD360social you can be confident you are getting quality information from a trusted source. Join COPD360social, because we are stronger when we work together. Visit www.COPD360social.org to create your profile and access future COPD Foundation blog entries.

AARC’s Capitol Hill Advocacy Day–A Firsthand Account

April 14th, 2014 | Author: Aimee Bulthuis

Earlier this month, the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) hosted its annual Capitol Hill Advocacy Day. Over 100 respiratory therapists and patient advocates hit the Hill asking their legislators to support HR 2619, The Medicare Respiratory Therapist Access Act.  These tenacious advocates arranged over 325 congressional meetings to discuss the importance of patient access to RTs and the necessity of education for disease management.

Tabatha Dragonberry, a respiratory therapist from Virginia, attended the event and provides her first-hand account below:

Tabatha Dragonberry, RT

Tabatha Dragonberry, RT

“This is the first year that I have gone and the state of Virginia had patients join us. This bill is about the patients and getting them access to respiratory therapists in doctors’ offices and clinics. These amazing patients spoke on why they feel it is important to have access to RTs. They discussed how RTs can assist them in learning more about self-management and taking control of their disease. It was great to have them join us because in the end this bill is all about them and getting them access to RTs.

I learned that one of the patients had used his inhaler improperly for five years because in his care he was never taught the correct use. It is amazing that this happens. If you go to an orthopedic surgeon, it is a given you will see a physical therapist, but for patients with pulmonary disease they do not have access to RTs on the outpatient side. I am sure that if this patient had seen a respiratory therapist at his doctor’s office, he would have learned the proper way to use his inhaler much sooner.

Another difference this year was that I felt was that there were more positive responses from the congressional offices.  They know that healthcare is a hot topic and placing a patch here and a patch there is not going to fix the system.”

We thank Tabatha and all of the patients and RTs who spoke out on HR 2619.  To lend your voice to increase patient access to respiratory therapist visit the AARC’s Capitol Connection page.

E-Cig Poisonings are on the Rise

April 7th, 2014 | Author: Fabiana Talbot

There is a lot of debate surrounding  the use of electronic cigarettes. In 2007, the electronic cigarette or “e-cig” was introduced and has since been celebrated by smokers as a safer alternative to conventional cigarettes. Unlike traditional tobacco, e-cigs vaporize liquid nicotine, which eliminates the inhalation of tar and other carcinogens.

p0403-e-cigarette-poison

(taken from cdc.gov)

Sound like a healthier option? Many say ‘yes,’ but health experts disagree. Officials believe e-cigarettes not only pose serious risks to smokers, but others in their homes as well – particularly children. This week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)  reported a dramatic increase in e-cig poisonings. According to the report, calls to poison control centers have sky-rocketed from one call in September 2010, to over 200 calls in February 2014.  Approximately half of the calls involved children under 5, and about 40 percent were in adults over 20 years of age.

calls for e-cigarettes have been steadily increasing – from one call in September 2010 to over 200 in February 2014. The study found that calls to poison control centers about e-cigarette exposures were more likely to result in “an adverse health effect” compared to cigarette exposure calls – highlighting the toxic potency of these e-liquids. – See more at: http://www.copdfoundation.org/About-Us/Press-Room/Press-Releases/ID/245/E-Cigarette-Poisoning-Cases-on-the-Rise.aspx#sthash.UnSzufbR.dpuf

Experts hold that these statistics indicate an emerging public health concern caused by a product that is not regulated by the FDA.

“The e-cigarette industry specifically targets children and teens with appealing flavors like cotton candy and gummy bear, and neither these products nor their liquid nicotine refills are currently regulated by the federal government,” American Academy of Pediatrics president James M. Perrin, MD.

Do you think electronic cigarettes should be regulated? Are they generally helpful or harmful? Share with us below.

Shaming and Blaming

March 7th, 2014 | Author: Fabiana Talbot

The dreaded question for individuals living with COPD is “Did you smoke?” So much is insinuated in three simple words, and so many in our community have to withstand the stigma associated with the disease.  All too often, people with COPD are afraid to reach out for help, let alone raise awareness for the disease, because they believe in the end they will be shamed and blamed for smoking.

Smoking does cause 75% of COPD – but did you know that 25% of COPD patients have never smoked? Environmental,

(taken from Pinterest.com)

(taken from Pinterest.com)

occupational, and genetic factors also cause respiratory diseases.  If you did or do smoke however, know that you are not alone. If you feel stigmatized for your condition, just reach out to our COPD community on Facebook or call the C.O.P.D. Information Line at 1 866 316 2673. What is important now is not to look at the past with regret and shame, but to the future with strength and hope. No one has the right to take that away from you.

This leads me to a piece of news that broke this week. Online news site, Mail Online, reported that late actress Shirley Temple Black was, “…a secret smoker who died from lung disease.” When she passed last month, her family did not disclose COPD as the cause of death, perhaps out of fear that she might be stigmatized for smoking.

This is just one example of an individual who had to live in silence about a disease that is the third leading cause of death in the United States. We hope those living with COPD today will come out of the shadows and help educate others about the nature of the disease. We believe the “shame and blame” culture will decline over time with greater awareness and education about the disease.

We are proud of all of our community members who speak out about COPD, and have the courage to stand up to those who may judge and marginalize us.

Have you been “shamed and blamed” for developing COPD? How did you deal with it? Please share in the comments section.

 

CVS Quits: Retailer Bans Cigarettes

February 5th, 2014 | Author: Fabiana Talbot

CVS/pharmacy announced today that it will remove cigarettes and all tobacco products from its shelves in all 76,000 stores nationwide starting October 1, 2014.  Executives believe the distribution of tobacco products is inconsistent with their mission to promote health.  CVS will be the first national pharmacy chain to ban cigarette sales.

“When we asked ourselves where we expect to be in the future as a healthcare company, it became clear that removing tobacco products from our stores was the right thing to do,” CVS President and CEO Larry Merlo said in the recorded statement below.

 

The response on social media has been astounding, making #CVSquits a trending topic today.  Many individuals online celebrate the policy change, while others argue it will not impact the rate of smoking, boosting sales at other outlets.

According to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 43.8 million people, or 19 percent of all adults, smoke cigarettes. Smoking remains the leading cause of COPD.  The COPD Foundation congratulates CVS for its commitment to health care and putting people before profits.

What do you think of the ban?  Do you think it will discourage smokers from lighting up, or prevent others from starting the habit?  Share with us below.

50th Anniversary Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking

January 17th, 2014 | Author: Fabiana Talbot

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health.  A press conference was held at the White House this morning to commemorate decades of anti-smoking efforts with the release of the 50th Anniversary Surgeon General’s Report: The Health Consequences of Smoking. Keynote speakers included Dept. of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, HHS Assistant Secretary Dr. Howard Koh, and the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Boris Lushniak.

Past successes, current challenges, and alarming statistics were presented during this morning’s conference. Sec. Sebelius reflected on past campaigns, namely Tips from Former Smokers, and congratulated advocates for their achievements in shifting societal norms and enlightening Americans about the dangers of smoking. Since 1964, the anti-tobacco community has succeeded in driving smoking out of airplanes, many restaurants, colleges, etc., and the Tips campaign alone reported helping over 100,000 individuals quit smoking. Despite these accomplishments, Sec. Sebelius acknowledged that the U.S. is still very much addicted to tobacco.

In his speech, Dr. Lushniak repeated the phrase, “Enough is enough!” and stated that since the first Surgeon General’s report in1964:

  • Over 20 million premature deaths could be attributed to cigarette smoking.
  • Smoking has been linked to diseases of nearly all organs, to diminished health status, &  harm to the fetus.
  • Smoking risks for women have risen sharply & women are now as likely to die from smoking as men.
  • Compared to men, women are as likely to die from smoking & more die from chronic lung disease.
  • Smoking is now known to cause 13 different types of cancer. In 1964 officials could only be sure about lung cancer in men.
  • The smoking rate is down to 18%, from 42%.
  • Smokers have a greater risk of developing lung cancer, even though they smoke fewer cigarettes.
  • The annual costs to the nation from smoking are approaching $300 billion.

So much has been done over the past 50 years, but there is still much work to do to make the next generation tobacco-free. Please visit the Surgeon General’s website for more information.

This video features Tips ad participants Terrie Hall, Brandon Carmichael and Roosevelt Smith, discussing their experiences during and after the Tips campaign.

Phil Everly Memorial

January 7th, 2014 | Author: Katelyn Turner

 The COPD Foundation would like to express our heartfelt condolences to Patti Everly and her family on the loss of her husband, Phil Everly. We are grateful to them for extending his legacy by making a commitment to support our efforts to eradicate this disease. We are motivated by their support to continue to make progress through research to ultimately find a cure for COPD, so individuals such as Phil will not have to suffer.

Phil passed away Friday, January 3, 2014 in Burbank, Calif. at the age of 74 due to complications from COPD. The Everly family would like contributions to be made in memory of Phil to the COPD Foundation, to help us fight this terrible disease.

Photo courtesy of Patti Everly

Photo courtesy of Patti Everly

According to the LATimes.com, Phil Everly and his brother Don made up the most revered vocal duo of the rock-music era, their exquisite harmonies profoundly influencing the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Byrds and countless younger-generation rock, folk and country singers.

Phil Everly was born in Chicago, IL on January 19, 1939, but grew up in Iowa. He began singing country music with his brother in 1945 on his family’s radio show in Shenandoah, Iowa. Notable songs of the Everly Brothers was “Cathy’s Clown”, “Wake up Little Susie”, “Bye Bye Love”, “When Will I Be Loved”, and “All I Have to Do is Dream”. The Everly Brothers were inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, and were known for mixing rock ‘n’ roll music with country music. Phil Everly last performed in public in 2011, but his son Jason said he had been actively writing songs, living part of the year in Burbank and the rest in Nashville. He said his father had been in the hospital for about two weeks when he passed away. Though the COPD caused by smoking affected his health, Jason Everly said it never affected his voice. Everly married his third wife Patti (current wife) in 1999. His 2 children are from previous marriages.

The Everly family thanks you for your support in memory of their angel.

Source Links:

Medicare Open Enrollment and You

October 25th, 2013 | Author: Fabiana Talbot

This past week marked the beginning of open enrollment for Medicare, the health insurance program available to seniors starting on their 65th birthday and certain people with disabilities.  Each year, Medicare recipients have the opportunity to make changes to their Medicare Advantage or Medicare prescription drug coverage for the following year.  During this open enrollment period, individuals with Medicare plans may reassess their needs and budget.  The open enrollment period started on October 15 and ends on December 7.

What can you do?

  • Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan.
  • Change from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare.

    (seniorcarecorner.com)

    (seniorcarecorner.com)

  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another Medicare Advantage Plan.
  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage.
  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage.
  • Join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
  • Switch from one Medicare drug plan to another Medicare drug plan.
  • Drop your Medicare prescription drug coverage completely.

When?

October 15–December 7

The Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment period (October 1, 2013–March 31, 2014) overlaps with the Medicare Open Enrollment period (October 15–December 7, 2013).

You don’t need to do anything with the Marketplace during Open Enrollment.

You don’t need to sign up for Medicare each year.  However, each year you’ll have a chance to review your coverage and change plans.

Tips for Medicare’s Open Enrollment:

Medicare.gov

Marketwatch

Forbes

NextAvenue.gov

AARC Respiratory Care Week 2013

October 21st, 2013 | Author: Katelyn Turner

This week marks the American Association for Respiratory (AARC)’s Respiratory Care Week.

The AARC and its members ask you to join them for this annual event that recognizes the respiratory care profession and promotes awareness of lung health issues and practices.

(www.trinitytwincity.org)

(www.trinitytwincity.org)

This week, the AARC is asking you to:

  • Host activities to honor and reward respiratory therapists for their contributions
  • Encourage patients and their families in their battles against lung disease
  • Spread awareness of lung diseases such as COPD to the broader community
  • Build the desire in others to enter the respiratory care profession
  • Maximize personal and professional skills with new resources

We also remind you to take the time this week and thank your respiratory therapist for all the work they do to help the COPD community. 

For more information about Respiratory Care Week, click here.

What Does the Affordable Care Act Mean For You?

September 25th, 2013 | Author: Aimee Bulthuis

Read more…