US COPD Coalition

COPD in Rural America Topic of Congressional Briefing


Members of Congress and their key staff members have the opportunity to learn about the severe challenges that people with COPD who live in rural America face. The Congressional briefing, “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: The Burden in Rural America”, will be held on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 from 1:00 – 2:30 pm eastern in Room 385 of the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill.

COPD is the fourth leading cause of death and 15.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with millions more still undiagnosed. New information is shining a light on the outsized impact of the disease in rural America. The prevalence of COPD is nearly double in rural areas and rural areas experience more Medicare hospitalizations and deaths. COPD is often diagnosed only after large losses in lung function occur. COPD patients face numerous hurdles in accessing quality care and management, challenges which are worsened in rural parts of the country.

Members of Congress will learn about this emerging rural health story and how the COPD National Action Plan is laying the groundwork for public and private collaborations to improve the health and productivity of the millions of Americans affected by COPD. The discussion will be moderated by Dr. James Kiley of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and Tom Morris from Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (invited). Featured speakers will be Dr. Janet Croft (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), Dr. Akshay Sood (University of New Mexico), and John Linnell (COPD Patient Advocate).

The public is invited to attend this briefing. Coffee and dessert will be provided. Please RSVP Jamie Sullivan at if you are interested in attending.

This Congressional briefing is being held in partnership with the American Thoracic Society, the American Lung Association, The American Association for Respiratory Care, the COPD Foundation, and the U.S. COPD Coalition.