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First Nation Group’s Wellness Program observes National COPD Awareness Month

This November, First Nation Group’s Wellness Program is observing National Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Awareness Month. This month is dedicated to raising awareness for COPD and recognizing those who care for people with the disease, whether family members, caregivers, or healthcare professionals.

In honor of this month, First Nation Group hosted an informational webinar to educate our employees on the importance of COPD awareness and lung health. Our very own Glenn Munroe, Senior Vice President, Business Development, Tiffany Mueller-Childs, RRT, Patient Solutions Clinical Specialist, and Patti Sawyer, RRT, ACCS, Patient Solutions Clinical Specialist, shared their knowledge of COPD, including risk factors, symptoms, treatments, and more!

Check out the FAQs below to learn more about how you can live a lung-healthy life!

What is COPD?
COPD is a preventable and treatable disease that limits airflow due to chronic inflammation in the airways and lungs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the disease affects more than 15 million Americans and is a leading cause of death in the United States with one American dying every four minutes.

What is Emphysema?
Emphysema results in damage to tiny air sacs in the lungs where oxygen transfers into the bloodstream. Air may also become trapped in the lungs and hard to breathe out.

What is Chronic bronchitis?
Chronic bronchitis causes the bronchial tubes to become irritated or swollen. This causes excess mucus and coughing that can last up to three months. The bronchial tubes may lose their cilia. Cilia are tiny hairs that move mucus, so it can be coughed out.

Who develops COPD?
Most COPD patients develop the condition after the age of 40, following years of exposure to something that irritates the lung such as cigarette smoking, vaping, exposure to air pollution, or workplace fumes.

What is Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency?
Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency is a genetic condition in which the body does not make enough AAT, a protein that protects the lungs and liver from damage. This condition can lead to COPD and liver disease.

What are the symptoms and the treatment for COPD?


  • Increased shortness of breath
  • Frequent coughing/wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Frequent colds
  • Nose or throat infections
  • Fatigue


  • Bronchodilator
  • Inhaled corticosteroids
  • Nebulizers
  • Oral corticosteroids
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Pulmonary rehab

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1. Allergy & Asthma Network. (n.d.). Advancing Nationwide Efforts to Engage, Educate & Empower. Allergy & Asthma Network. Retrieved November 22, 2022, from
2. Patient & Caregiver Resource Center. NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders). (n.d.). Retrieved November 22, 2022, from