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Battling COPD: The First-Ever National Blueprint to Fight Chronic Lung Disease

Written by: Vester Gravley on Friday, June 9, 2017 Posted in:

The May 25 AARC News Now newsletter spotlights the final version of the National COPD Action Plan released during the ATS conference in Washington DC.  The nationwide plan, a collaborative effort of the National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute (NHLBI) and a wide range of stakeholders, including the AARC and the COPD Foundation, seeks to “provide a coordinated national approach to COPD that…will change the national trajectory” of COPD.  The plan’s 5 goals as listed by both the NHLBI and the AARC, though different in specific wording, when read side-by-side illustrate the strategic intention:

Goal 1 (NHLBI): Empower people with COPD, their families, and caregivers to recognize and reduce the burden of COPD.

Goal 1 (AARC) calls for promoting more public awareness and understanding of COPD, especially among patients and their caregivers.

Goal 2 (NHLBI): Improve the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and management of COPD by improving the quality of care delivered across the health care continuum.

Goal 2 (AARC) focuses on increasing the skills and education of health care providers so they will be better equipped to provide comprehensive care to people with COPD.

Goal 3 (NHLBI): Collect, analyze, report, and disseminate COPD-related public health data that drive change and track progress.

Goal 3 (AARC) encourages increased data collection, analysis, and sharing to create a better understanding of disease patterns.

Goal 4 (NHLBI): Increase and sustain research to better understand the prevention, pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment, and management of COPD.

Goal 4 (AARC) aims to increase and sustain COPD research to improve understanding of the disease and its diagnosis and treatment.

Goal 5 (NHLBI): Translate national policy, educational, and program recommendations into research and public health care actions.

Goal 5 (AARC) calls for federal and nonfederal partners to collaborate to meet the objectives of the Action Plan and translate its recommendations into research and public health care actions.

The COPD National Action Plan is being bulleted as “the first-ever blueprint for a multi-faceted, unified fight against the disease” and has been put forth with the sanction of Congress. With as many as sixteen million Americans having been diagnosed with COPD and many more having the condition unawares, as noted by AARC CBO Timothy Myers, the struggle will prove to be more than a skirmish over funding and words.  The American success and self-help author Napoleon Hill once asserted; “Action is the real measure of intelligence” To be a National COPD Action Plan, everyone must do their part.  See the website for ways to get involved.

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