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NHLBI funds 9 organizations to improve awareness of COPD

Nine state and local organizations will receive a total of $383,000 for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) education initiatives, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, announced today. The awards are part of the NHLBI's COPD Learn More Breathe Better campaign and will be granted under the campaign's communications contract with Porter Novelli. The contract supports community-based public health efforts to improve awareness and understanding of COPD, the nation's third leading cause of death.

"The number of people who have COPD is on the rise in the United States. More than 12 million currently are diagnosed with COPD and another 12 million may have undiagnosed COPD. To date, our community network has achieved remarkable success in educating those who are at risk about COPD detection and treatment," said James P. Kiley, Ph.D., director of the NHLBI's Division of Lung Diseases. "We're pleased to support even more organizations as they build awareness and understanding of COPD in their communities."

The NHLBI is funding two types of activities over the one-year project period. Four organizations will receive funding to coordinate COPD regional centers dedicated to increasing awareness of COPD among at-risk populations, convening stakeholders, and enhancing leadership for the prevention and treatment of COPD. Five additional organizations will receive funds supporting public education and outreach and provider education.

Regional center recipients include:

  • Breathe LA, Los Angeles, serving Hawaii, Arizona, Nevada, and Northern and Southern California
  • The Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago, serving Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio
  • The COPD Foundation, District of Columbia, serving the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania
  • The NC COPD Coalition, Raleigh, serving North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina

Public education recipients include:

  • Breathe New Hampshire, Bedford
  • American Lung Association in New Mexico, Albuquerque
  • American Lung Association of West Virginia, Charleston
  • American Lung Association National Office, Washington, D.C.
  • St. Mary's Hospital, Decatur, Illinois

This is the second year that the NHLBI has funded community awards to extend and broaden the reach of the national campaign effort. Through the community-based network and COPD Learn More Breathe Better campaign resources, the NHLBI expects to build capacity to confront the disease at the local level and enable COPD coalitions and task forces in several states to increase their outreach efforts.

Since the campaign began in 2007, the NHLBI has been fortunate to have a variety of partners. In just over four years since the campaign launch, more than 50 organizations in 30 states have initiated local COPD education programs or convened state and regional coalitions.

The NHLBI COPD Learn More Breathe Better campaign provides education materials, a website (, and additional communications tools for community partners. The campaign targets the needs of the public, including those at risk for COPD, people with COPD who are undiagnosed, and those already diagnosed with the disease. The campaign also focuses on reaching health care professionals, specifically primary care providers, to promote early detection, proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.


Contact: NHLBI Communications Office
NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

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