Posted September 14, 2011

Two-Ton Pinwheel Monument Raises Awareness
Of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Ridgefield, CT, September 14, 2011 – Landmark public health campaign DRIVE4COPD today announced the unveiling of 24M: The DRIVE4COPD Monument, a visual representation of the impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the United States. Reaching 14 feet at its highest peak and spanning half a football field, this first-of-its-kind monument comprised of 24 large-scale pinwheels to represent the 24 million Americans who may be living with COPD, was designed by internationally renowned artist and sculptor Michael Kalish.

As Kalish is famous for, the monument uses license plates as its medium. A total of 2,400 license plates were used to construct the 24 large-scale pinwheels, each standing between eight to 14 feet tall with a six-foot span. The number of license plates from each of the 50 states reflects the percentage of that state’s population affected by COPD. Each of the 24 pinwheels is secured to a base formed into the shape of one or more states that together form the map of the contiguous United States.

“I was shocked to learn that as many as half of the people who may be living with COPD don’t know it and that most people are not diagnosed until they’ve already lost half their lung function,” said Kalish, whose artwork is on display in galleries worldwide and is collected by musicians, world leaders, actors and professional athletes. “It’s my hope that people will come see this monument, think about whether they or a loved one might be at risk, and do something about it.”

In creating 24M, Kalish was inspired by the pinwheel that symbolizes DRIVE4COPD since it speaks to a person’s ability to breathe. COPD is a serious and progressive lung disease that is often referred to as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both. It kills one person every four minutes, each year taking more lives than breast cancer and diabetes combined.

The monument also includes licenses plates donated by DRIVE4COPD Celebrity Ambassadors Go Daddy and NASCAR Nationwide Series™ Driver Danica Patrick and Grammy Award-winning country music star Patty Loveless who have both lost loved ones to COPD.

When visiting 24M, people can walk through the monument following a self-guided tour to learn about its creation, the impact of COPD, and the DRIVE4COPD campaign. The exhibit includes “QR,” or Quick Response codes, that will link to DRIVE4COPD.COM for information on tour dates and locations, exclusive video of Kalish creating 24M, a downloadable walking tour script and an audio tour.

Additionally, on DRIVE4COPD.COM, visitors can take the brief, five-question screener to know their risk for COPD, and can share information with friends and family.

*DRIVE4COPD Celebrity Ambassadors are paid spokespeople of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

“For many, taking this online screener may be the first time they have considered if they are at risk for the disease,” said Byron Thomashow, M.D., medical director of the Center for Chest Disease at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, clinical professor of medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and co-chair of the New York State COPD Coalition. “It’s important to know your risk because COPD is a silent and progressive disease and once you lose lung function you can’t get it back.” Those who take the screener are encouraged to discuss their results with their healthcare professional.

On September 14, The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, just north of 24M’s location on Hudson River Park’s Pier 84, will light up orange in honor of the monument, DRIVE4COPD and COPD awareness.

Following the unveiling in New York, 24M will travel to states that have the highest prevalence and population of COPD in the U.S. – including Texas, Florida and California – to increase disease awareness and motivate people to recognize their risk.

Launched in February 2010, DRIVE4COPD is a landmark public health movement embraced by leading health, business, entertainment and sports organizations that are aimed at driving fundamental change in COPD awareness in this country. This initiative aims to help millions of people affected by COPD by focusing national attention on this common and debilitating disease. In its first year, DRIVE4COPD helped more than 1 million people get screened and of those, 20 percent discovered that they are at risk.

The unified efforts of the DRIVE4COPD network of organizations help people identify symptoms of COPD, take action to see if they may be at risk for the disease, and talk to their healthcare provider. The campaign is driven by a powerful coalition of organizations including the American Association for Respiratory Care, Country Music Association, COPD Alliance, COPD Foundation, NASCAR®, U.S. COPD Coalition, and founding sponsor Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Joining this movement are DRIVE4COPD Celebrity Ambassadors including multi-platinum recording artist and television star Billy Ray Cyrus, Grammy Award-winning country music star Patty Loveless, and Go Daddy and NASCAR Nationwide Series™ Driver Danica Patrick. Each has lost a loved one to COPD and has seen first-hand the impact of the disease. The Celebrity Ambassadors are paid spokespeople of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

About COPD
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is also known as chronic bronchitis, emphysema or both. This disease makes it harder to breathe because less air is able to flow in and out of the lungs. As many as 24 million Americans may have COPD – even those who haven’t smoked in years – and half of them remain undiagnosed. It kills one person every four minutes and more people each year than breast cancer and diabetes combined.

Common symptoms of COPD include coughing, with or without mucus, or shortness of breath. These symptoms are often confused with normal signs of aging. As COPD progresses, symptoms tend to get worse and more damage occurs in the lungs. Breathing gradually becomes more difficult until people with COPD feel like they are inhaling and exhaling through a small straw.

DRIVE4COPD Partnering Organizations
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the founding sponsor of the campaign, has joined forces with a cross-section of organizations to raise the profile of COPD in America:

American Association for Respiratory Care
The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) is the leading national and international professional association for respiratory care. The AARC encourages and promotes professional excellence, advances the science and practice of respiratory care, and serves as an advocate for patients and their families, the public, the profession and the respiratory therapist. To learn more about the AARC visit the website at or visit our consumer website

Country Music Association
More than 6,000 music industry professionals and companies around the globe are members of the Country Music Association. Formed in 1958 as the first trade association for a single genre of music, the organization's objectives are to serve as an educational and professional resource for the industry while advancing the growth of Country Music around the world. This is accomplished through CMA's strategic imperatives - CMA Music Festival and the CMA Awards. For information about CMA visit

COPD Alliance
The COPD Alliance was formed to provide primary care clinicians with timely information, tools and support to facilitate the recognition, diagnosis and treatment of COPD. The Alliance is composed of multidisciplinary societies whose commitment is to help primary care clinicians improve their patients’ quality of life through early diagnosis and management of COPD. For additional information and resources for the clinician and patient, visit

COPD Foundation
The COPD Foundation is a not-for-profit organization created in 2004, and has become the COPD community’s forefront organization, driven by the individuals affected by COPD, that has addressed educational, research and advocacy issues that concern the community in order to improve the quality of life for the 24 million Americans affected by COPD. For more information about the COPD Foundation and its programs, call the C.O.P.D. Information Line at 1-866-316-COPD (2673) or visit the website at

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for one of North America's premier sports. NASCAR sanctioned races are broadcast in more than 150 countries and 20 languages. NASCAR® fans are the most brand-loyal in all of sports, and as a result more Fortune 500 companies participate in NASCAR than any other sport. DRIVE4COPD is the Official Health Initiative of NASCAR®.

U.S. COPD Coalition
Since 2001, the U.S. COPD Coalition has connected major professional, government, academic and patient organizations, all with the objective to improve the lives of people with COPD. The U.S. COPD Coalition’s programs help to promote COPD awareness and education, enhance the effectiveness of member organization/partners’ COPD efforts and ensure lawmakers hear the collective voice of the COPD Community.

About Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Ridgefield, CT, is the largest U.S. subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation (Ridgefield, CT) and a member of the Boehringer Ingelheim group of companies.

The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 145 affiliates and more than 42,000 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

As a central element of its culture, Boehringer Ingelheim pledges to act socially responsible. Involvement in social projects, caring for employees and their families, and providing equal opportunities for all employees form the foundation of the global operations. Mutual cooperation and respect, as well as environmental protection and sustainability are intrinsic factors in all of Boehringer Ingelheim’s endeavors.

In 2010, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of approximately $16.7 billion (about 12.6 billion euro) while spending almost 24% of net sales in its largest business segment, Prescription Medicines, on research and development.

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Media Contacts
Emily E. Baier
Associate Director, Public Relations
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Public Affairs & Communications
Tel: 203-791-5997
Mobile: 203-297-1464

COPD Population Screener is a trademark of QualityMetric Incorporated.
NASCAR® is a registered trademark of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. The NASCAR Nationwide Series™ word mark use used under license by NASCAR, Inc., and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.
©2011 Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. All rights reserved.
DRIVE4COPD is a trademark of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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