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Format: 04/20/2014
Format: 04/20/2014

News

AGH Pulmonologist and Football Great Michael Strahan Lead COPD Screening Effort

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Media Advisory

What: The DRIVE4COPD is a new effort spearheaded by NASCAR, the American Lung Association and the COPD Foundation to increase awareness of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and screen 1 million people for this condition in 2010.

The campaign’s celebrity ambassadors Danica Patrick, Patty Loveless, Bruce Jenner, Michael Strahan and Jim Belushi kicked off the effort February 13 at Daytona International Speedway taking four laps at the beginning of the NASCAR Nationwide Series—which as been renamed the DRIVE4COPD 300. The celebrity drivers then hit the road to cover nearly 6,000 miles and make "Pit Stops" in 14 U.S. cities to screen as many at-risk Americans as possible.

Participants at the Pittsburgh pit stop will hear the story of how COPD impacted Michael Strahan’s family and be invited to participate in a free screening.

Who: Michael Strahan is widely regarded as one of the best professional football players of all time. Since retiring in 2007, Michael has been hard at work as a football analyst and sitcom star on television. Now, Michael's latest effort is to spread the word about COPD in memory of his Uncle Bud, who struggled to breathe and wore an oxygen mask in the last years of his life due to complications of emphysema, a form of COPD.

Allegheny General Hospital pulmonologist Brian Carlin will provide a clinical overview of the risk factors and symptoms of COPD at the event at Ross Park Mall. Dr. Carlin served as a medical advisor for the DRIVE4COPD campaign, speaking at its launch at the ESPN Zone in New York City and at the kick-off of the national screening race at the Daytona International Speedway.

When: Monday, February 15 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Where: Ross Park Mall

Why: “COPD is the only one of the top 10 diseases that has increased in mortality over the past 20 years – rising by almost by 30 percent,” Dr. Carlin said.

“COPD has a very subtle presentation and there is a long period where you have the illness but don’t know it,” Dr. Carlin said. “We wanted to create one health education program for the public and also for primary care physicians to encourage them to do pulmonary function testing and teach them what to do for COPD patients when they pick it up. If you catch COPD early, there are so many good treatments now. It’s not a death sentence.”

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