FCB Health New York & Broadcast Journalist Ted Koppel Team Up to Find the Millions Living with Undiagnosed COPD

FCB Health New York & Broadcast Journalist Ted Koppel Team Up to Find the Millions Living with Undiagnosed COPD

Before COVID-19, 150,000 Americans were dying of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) every year, and the pandemic has only worsened this crisis. An estimated 30 million Americans have COPD, and almost half — 12–15 million — don’t know they have it. As the nation focuses on getting as many Americans as possible vaccinated against COVID-19, those with COPD are particularly vulnerable, as the disease doubles the risk of COVID-related hospitalization and death.

Focused on finding these “missing millions,” FCB Health New York has partnered with the Dorney-Koppel Foundation, the COPD Foundation and the American Respiratory Care Foundation to create “COPD SOS” — a public service campaign that will air on major broadcast and cable networks including ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN throughout Summer 2021.

For broadcast journalist Ted Koppel and his wife, COPD activist Grace Anne Dorney Koppel, the campaign and its mission are personal. “My wife, Grace Anne, was diagnosed with very severe COPD in 2001. At the time, she was told that her life expectancy was 3–5 years. As Grace Anne puts it, she’s lived well beyond her ‘use by’ date. We want to give others with COPD the same hope and opportunity,” said Koppel. “And this mission is more urgent than ever in the face of this pandemic. We partnered around this campaign to accelerate awareness, find those unknowingly living with COPD, and get them vaccinated against COVID-19.”

Working with FCB Health New York, Koppel interviewed more than 30 COPD patients in New York, Louisiana and West Virginia. Their stories are at the heart of this campaign, underscoring the heightened vulnerability of living with COPD in the age of COVID-19.

COPD is a chronic lung condition that worsens over time and is often associated with smoking, but more than 25% of COPD patients have never smoked a day in their life.

“We’re honored to work with Ted and Grace Anne to drive awareness for this urgent yet overlooked condition and to help find the missing millions of undiagnosed COPD patients,” said Mike Devlin, FCB Health New York Executive Creative Director. 

To learn more about COPD and to take the self-assessment survey, please visit  COPD SOS.