Bridging the Gap
In rural areas, COPD mortality rates are higher in large part due to lack of education and increased smoking rates. There is a need for more widespread treatment, including pulmonary rehabilitation, oxygen therapy and education efforts to assist patients with self-management.
The American Lung Association is a proud recipient of the NHLBI’s Learn More, Breathe Better 2021-2022 Community Subcontractor Program. To boost education efforts in rural communities, the American Lung Association offers resources for rural healthcare providers facing the challenge of treating COPD through the Reaching Rural Providers Initiative. The initiative aims to increase early diagnosis of COPD in rural communities by educating healthcare professionals about the disease. From smoking cessation to COPD Action Plans, this resource center can help providers find the best care for their patients. For rural providers in Indiana, West Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee, the initiative also offers a COPD Overview Course and personalized support with printed materials.
In addition, the NHLBI’s Learn More, Breathe Better program helps increase awareness of the signs and symptoms of lung diseases such as COPD as well as how to prevent and treat the disease. The program supports evidence-based care from healthcare providers and offers a downloadable COPD Healthcare Provider Toolkit. The resources through this program are available for patients and providers alike.
While bringing quality treatment to COPD patients can be tough given the restraints of rural America, the American Lung Association is here to help.
Blog last updated: August 21, 2023