COPD Advocacy – Why Becoming a Certified Advocate is So Important

The COPD Foundation is putting the word out and raising awareness for the dangers and the subtle and often overlooked early signs of this disease. A staggering amount of people are being diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) each year, but yet there is still so little awareness among the general public. The COPD foundation is on a mission to change that through the COPD Advocacy program, and is even going so far as to certify advocates with a special license.

At first glance from someone who is only beginning to understand COPD, this might seem silly. They might be asking, why is it so important to become an advocate, in the first place, let alone become certified and carry around a license? Who has time for that? Who is eligible?

To answer those questions: if someone chooses to become a COPD advocate, they are taking on the responsibility of being a voice for the millions of people diagnosed with COPD each year. By becoming a certified advocate, they are showing their commitment to the cause of raising public and political awareness for health care and clinical changes in how the disease is treated and viewed. An advocate has been educated in the disease, the statistics, and will communicate their knowledge to politicians and civilians alike.

Anyone can become a COPD advocate – caregivers, physicians, nurses, patients, or loved ones of patients who would like to try to prevent future cases of COPD.

The whole idea behind the certification, is to make sure the message being communicated by all the advocates is the same, with the same objectives. Sometimes, when an organization is trying to raise awareness about cause and project information, facts can get scrambled, or some people might have a different view completely and communicate only their opinions and not the facts. A certification license will show the government and the average citizen that the message is official and factual across the board. When you say that you are a “certified advocate”, it assures the listener that you know what you are talking about, and you are committed to your cause.

This isn't just a way for the COPD Foundation to raise money, since the certification process and licensing are completely free. All you need to do is go to the COPD foundation's advocacy page, watch a video and complete a short pertaining to the information in the video. The video covers basic information on the political process. To be an advocate, you will need to know these things so you can tell other people. If you answer all or most of the questions in the quiz correctly, you will be able to print your license directly from the website.

Statistics you should be able to relay to others:

There are 24 million people in the United States are living with the symptoms of COPD, but only half of them have been diagnosed. It is the third leading cause of death in the United States and is to blame for the deaths of 120,000 Americans each year. With numbers like these, it seems that awareness definitely needs to be raised among the general public.

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