TWO NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS JOIN DRIVE4COPD MOVEMENT TO RAISE AWARENESS OF NATION’S FOURTH LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH
U.S. COPD Coalition and COPD Alliance Bring Policy Focus and Expertise Of More Than 320,000 Healthcare Professionals to Campaign
Ridgefield, CT, March 11, 2011 – Health initiative DRIVE4COPD today announced that two of the most powerful COPD organizations in America – the U.S. COPD Coalition and the COPD Alliance – have joined the mission to raise awareness of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). With these additions, the country’s leading COPD groups are part of DRIVE4COPD and are working together to amplify the campaign’s effort to draw attention to this common and debilitating disease.
To date, 40 associations and corporations have joined DRIVE4COPD to generate fundamental change in the way that COPD is viewed and addressed in this country. Together with these organizations, DRIVE4COPD is encouraging millions of Americans who may be at risk for the disease to take steps to improve their lung health.
The addition of the U.S. COPD Coalition will bring another 38 organizations on board to strengthen the efforts of DRIVE4COPD by raising awareness of COPD and reinforcing the importance of early screening. In collaboration with the Coalition, the DRIVE4COPD campaign will push for legislation at both the national and state levels to address the needs of COPD patients.
“It is incredible what DRIVE4COPD has been able to accomplish in its first year,” remarked John Walsh, vice chair, U.S. COPD Coalition. “By working together as a unified COPD community with a singular voice, we can effectively mobilize shared resources to find those who may be at risk for this disease and don’t know it.”
The COPD Alliance, comprised of five professional societies that represent more than 320,000 healthcare professionals, will work to improve early detection of COPD into primary care settings nationwide. The members of the Alliance will lend their medical expertise to the development and implementation of DRIVE4COPD programs that aim to identify symptoms of COPD earlier, which can lead to better management of the disease for patients.
“Our mission is very in line with that of DRIVE4COPD,” said Brian Carlin, MD, FCCP, Chair, COPD Alliance. “We are all dedicated to improving the health of patients by providing knowledge and resources to healthcare professionals who are on the front lines diagnosing COPD.”
COPD, also known as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or both, is a serious lung disease that robs people of their ability to breathe. It’s the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and kills more people each year than breast cancer and diabetes combined. Currently, half of the estimated 24 million Americans who may have COPD remain undiagnosed.
DRIVE4COPD encourages all Americans aged 35 or older to log onto DRIVE4COPD.COM to take a brief, five-question screener to see if they might be at risk for COPD. If the screener indicates risk, patients should speak to their healthcare professional. Because COPD is a progressive disease that causes irreversible lung damage, early diagnosis and disease management are critical to helping patients breathe better in the future.