Strategic Action Plan to Address COPD in West Virginia
The Strategic Plan to Address Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in West Virginia is the result of collaboration between the American Lung Association in West Virginia and a group of over 90 stakeholders who serve on the West Virginia COPD Coalition. In an effort to raise awareness and address this public health priority, the West Virginia Stakeholders group was convened for the first time in March 2014 and was tasked with developing a framework to address COPD in West Virginia. Through discussions in March of 2014 with the Secretary of DHHR and the Commissioner of Health, it was agreed that a State Plan for COPD may be warranted and that next steps would include an assessment of vested stakeholders and then, to move forward with the development of a State Plan if there was consensus as to the need.
Over the course of the next 12 months, conversations were conducted with, but not limited to, the US COPD Coalition, the WV Office for Tobacco Prevention, WVU, the WV Hospital Association, MedExpress, CAMC, HIMG, the WV Society for Respiratory Care, the WV Wellness Council, and other stakeholders to which there was agreement as to the need for a State Plan for COPD. Subsequently, a small group of stakeholders met to complete a statewide needs assessment of COPD programs and policies in West Virginia to help formulate the COPD State Plan. This small group was also tasked with identifying additional stakeholders within the state. In March of 2015 an expanded group of more than 100 stakeholders met at Stonewall Jackson Resort to begin the work of drafting a state plan for COPD. The group was tasked with identifying goals and objectives that would work towards meeting the needs of those living with and caring for those with COPD. A follow-up COPD Symposium was held in December of 2015 in order for stakeholders to put the finishing touches on the plan by defining the activities and strategies for the goals and objectives as well as listing current and prospective stakeholders and partners with a similar mission.
Data from the 2011 COPD Burden Report published by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease an Overview of the Problem in West Virginia” was taken into consideration and incorporated into the Strategic Plan to Address COPD in West Virginia. The Strategic Plan to Address COPD in West Virginia will be used as a roadmap to help address the COPD burden in West Virginia and to maximize local, state, and national resources to help raise awareness and affect change for the over 91,000 West Virginians who are struggling with COPD.
The ultimate goals of The Strategic Plan to Address COPD in West Virginia are to reduce the morbidity and mortality, as well as improve the quality of life for those living with COPD, create opportunities to leverage statewide resources to raise awareness, and to improve health equity for COPD patients. The plan will serve as a framework to move West Virginia forward in focusing public awareness on this important lung disease that affects 8.9% of West Virginia residents.