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Alpha-1 Foundation President to Give Keynote Address at 53rd Annual Respiratory Congress of the AARC Foundation and Activities

MIAMI, Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- John W. Walsh, president of the COPD Foundation, will give the keynote address at the 53rd International Respiratory Congress of the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) Dec. 1 in Orlando, FL. AARC is a 43,000-member association representing respiratory therapists involved in the treatment and care of individuals of all ages who suffer a range of respiratory illness, including asthma, cystic fibrosis, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), the fourth largest cause of death in the United States.

Walsh and the COPD Foundation have been involved as key partners with the AARC and other organizations in the NIH, National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute (NHLBI) "Learn More, Breathe Better" campaign, the first-ever national COPD awareness and education campaign.

As part of that NHLBI campaign, the COPD Foundation and AARC send Mobile Spirometry Units (MSU) all over the United States, to health fairs, fitness expositions and other events, offering free spirometry to encourage early diagnosis of those at risk for COPD and to inform them about Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. The AARC has collaborated and ensures that respiratory therapists meet the MSU at each location to perform spirometries and answer questions.

Walsh recently lobbied Congress with Grace Anne Dorney Koppel, a patient advocate for the "Learn More, Breathe Better" campaign, and AARC Executive Director Sam Giordano, urging that pulmonary rehabilitation be established as a Medicare benefit.

Well-known as an inspirational and motivational patient speaker, Walsh has COPD related to Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, the most common known genetic risk factor for COPD. Diagnosed with Alpha-1 in 1989, he is also the co- founder, President and CEO of the Alpha-1 Foundation in Miami, FL. He regularly testifies before Congress and advisory groups as a patient advocate.

In 2002, he was recognized by the FDA with the Commissioner's Special Citation for his work in pioneering collaborations in orphan drug development. He is the Chair of the International COPD Coalition and a member of the US COPD Coalition Executive Committee; Immediate Past Chair and member of the American Thoracic Society's Public Advisory Roundtable; 2005-2006 Chair of the National Health Council's Board of Directors; a member of the American Lung Association's National Action Panel on Lung Disease; and was the 2004-2005 Presidential Appointee of the American Thoracic Society's Board of Directors.

Some 3,000 respiratory therapists are expected to attend the 53rd International Congress in Orlando.

About the COPD Foundation:

The COPD Foundation is dedicated to developing and supporting programs which improve the quality of life through research, education, early diagnosis, and enhanced therapy for persons whose lives are impacted by Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

For more information, please visit

About the Alpha-1 Foundation: The mission of the Alpha-1 Foundation is to provide the leadership and resources that will result in increased research, improved health, worldwide detection, and a cure for Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. For more information, please visit: Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link. Mark Brantly Charlie Strange Holly Miller Michael Campos Adam Wanner Robert Sandhaus John Walsh

SOURCE Alpha-1 Foundation
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