On Tuesday March 6th, the American Association for Respiratory Care, Alpha-1 Association, Alpha-1 Foundation, the Pulmonary Hypertension Association and the COPD Foundation participated in an annual “Advocacy Day” on Capitol Hill. With over 400 meetings scheduled, the day was a great success.
Respiratory therapist, individuals with COPD, and caregivers held joint meetings with members of Congress and their staff to discuss passing HR 941, increasing access to respiratory therapists and increasing National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for COPD research. Both increasing access to RTs and increasing research funding would improve disease management programs and improve the quality of care individuals with COPD receive.
Additionally, advocates asked their members to show their support by joining the Congressional COPD Caucus. Current COPD Caucus members were presented with awards celebrating their contribution to the fight against COPD. Last year the Caucus successfully passed a Senate Resolution recognizing November as COPD Awareness Month. As a result of advocates, we are pleased to announce that Representative Steve Israel (NY) and Representative Dennis Ross (R-FL) as the newest Congressional COPD Caucus members. To see if your members of Congress are members of the COPD Caucus visit the U.S. COPD Coalition website and visit the COPD Action Center to ask your members of congress to join the COPD Caucus.
The U.S. COPD Coalition would like to thank all of the advocates, both online and on the Hill, for their hard work and dedication. We would also like to thank the dedicated respiratory therapists who scheduled the meetings in an effort to improve the lives of people affected by lung disease everywhere.
Thank you for standing up and making your voice heard!
Your 2012 COPD and Alpha-1 voices on the Hill!