Posted May 06, 2013

Washington, DC – May 6, 2013 - The American Thoracic Society has joined forces with the DRIVE4COPD campaign to host COPD Awareness Night during the Philadelphia Soul’s game on Saturday, May 18. The game will be televised nationally by the CBS Sports Network and available to over 100 million households.

“Raising awareness of the third-leading killer of Americans during this Arena Football League game is just the latest collaboration between the American Thoracic Society and the COPD Foundation,” said John Walsh, president and co-founder of the Foundation, which leads the DRIVE4COPD Campaign. “While first and foremost a medical organization dedicated to research and the latest scientific knowledge, the ATS has integrated the patient perspective into its programs in ways that are unique among associations of health care professionals.”

The COPD Foundation is a member of the ATS Public Advisory Roundtable, a highly effective partner in the Society’s efforts to raise awareness of lung disease and to help patients and their though research, education, and advocacy. Mr. Walsh was the first chair of the ATS Public Advisory Roundtable.

The Foundation’s DRIVE4COPD campaign raises awareness of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a serious, progressive disease, which includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both, that robs people of their ability to breathe. While not reversible, COPD can be treated and its destructive impact on health slowed.

“It is estimated that 12 million people have been given the diagnosis of COPD, but that there are another 12 million who have the disease but don’t know it," said ATS Executive Director Stephen C. Crane, PhD, MPH. “The COPD Foundation’s DRIVE4COPD campaign is designed to change that fact, which stands in the way of helping patients breathe better and enjoy a higher quality of life.”

The campaign raises awareness through a five-question screening device. To date, 2.7 million people have completed the questionnaire, making the DRIVE4COPD campaign the largest public health initiative dedicated to increasing knowledge of the disease.

During the Soul’s game, a public service announcement by ESPN commentator and Philadelphia Soul co-owner, Ron “Jaws” Jaworski and other educational activities will encourage fans and viewers to get screened. Fans will be able to answer the questions at screening sites located in the arena. Viewers can go online and complete the questionnaire and then share their answers with their doctor.

For more information about Drive4COPD or to take the screening questionnaire, go to www.drive4copd.org.

About the COPD Foundation

The mission of the COPD Foundation is to develop and support 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. The C.O.P.D. Information Line, 866-316-COPD (2673), is a toll-free number for information and referrals on the disease, staffed by COPD patients and caregivers who have been trained to help.

Learn more about the COPD Foundation at www.copdfoundation.org

About the American Thoracic Society

The American Thoracic Society’s mission is to improve health worldwide by advancing research, clinical care, and public health in respiratory disease, critical illness, and sleep disorders. Founded in 1905 to combat tuberculosis, the ATS is the world’s oldest respiratory society. While the scope of the Society’s activities have expanded greatly, its founding philosophy—that disease is vanquished faster when knowledge is shared—remains a touchstone for its programs and people, including 15,000 members.

For more information, please visit www.thoracic.org.

About the Philadelphia Soul

The Philadelphia Soul are presented by Parx Casino. They capped their seventh Arena Football League season by capturing the 2012 American Conference championship. The Soul (2-3) travel to Chicago (4-2) to face off against the Rush for their Week 7 matchup on Saturday, May 4 at 8 p.m. The Soul return home on Saturday, May 11 vs. Pittsburgh for Scout Night presented by Walgreens. For 2013 game tickets, contact the Soul sales department at (215) 253-4900 ext. 3, or go to www.philadelphiasoul.com for more information. Follow the Soul on Facebook at facebook.com/soul and Twitter at twitter.com/soulfootball.

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