A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky DPH 52 Weeks of Public Health Campaign Spotlight: Reducing the Burden of COPD

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As part of the 52 Weeks of Public Health campaign, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) within the Cabinet of Health and Family Services (CHFS) is raising awareness of the impact of Cardio Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a term used to describe lung diseases such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and asthma.

Kentucky has the second highest incidence of COPD in the U.S. To better address the high prevalence of COPD and raise awareness in the Commonwealth, DPH, along with other healthcare and policy leaders, have formed a COPD Advisory Board to direct activities and policy to reduce the burden of COPD in Kentucky.

“The first step in dealing with COPD is acknowledging that the problem exists,” said Dr. David M. Mannino, chairman of the COPD Advisory Board.  “Some of our achievable goals include targeting COPD’s risk factors, detecting disease earlier, and making sure people with the condition are receiving optimal treatment.”

COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States, affecting 16 million Americans and millions more who do not know they have it. COPD can stifle a person’s ability to breathe, lead to long-term disability, and dramatically affect his or her quality of life.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently released its first National COPD Action plan, which can be viewed on the DPH website here. Broken into five goals, the plan seeks to:

  • Empower patients, their families, and caregivers to recognize and reduce the burden of COPD.
  • Equip healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive care to people with COPD.
  • Collect, analyze, report, and disseminate COPD data.
  • Increase and sustain COPD research.
  • Turn COPD recommendations into research and public health care actions. “Readers are encouraged to share the information and help raise awareness of COPD in their respective communities,” said CHFS Sec. Vickie Yates Brown Glisson. “Many individuals are currently living with COPD, have not been diagnosed, and are not receiving healthcare to properly manage COPD. We can make a significance difference simply by raising awareness.”

Throughout the planned 52 Weeks of Public Health promotion, DPH will spotlight a specific public health issue. Additional information about the campaign is available on the DPH website  and will be posted on the CHFS Facebook page where Kentuckians are encouraged to like and share posts among their networks of friends.

Additional information is available here.

Kentucky Department for Public Health

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