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For Immediate Release      

Respiratory Therapists Meet in Tampa for International Meeting

Respiratory therapists from across the country and around the world will be meeting with the American Association for Respiratory Care as they convene their annual International Convention and Exhibition on Nov. 5-8 at the Tampa Convention Center.

Keynote Address 

The AARC Congress, the largest meeting for respiratory therapists in the world, begins with a Keynote Address given by Grace Anne Dorney Koppel, who is a COPD patient and spokesperson for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's Learn More Breathe Better campaign. COPD is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, now the 3 rd leading cause of death in the U.S.

Koppel will share her own journey with COPD from her diagnosis in 2001 when doctors told her she might have only a few more years to live, through her determination to learn more about the condition and how pulmonary rehabilitation gave her a second lease on life.

In addition to her work with the Learn More Breathe Better campaign, Koppel funded the Grace Ann Dorney Pulmonary &Cardiac Rehabilitation Center at St. Mary's Hospital in Leonardtown, MD, in early 2010. The center is the first of what she and her husband, former ABC Nightline anchor Ted Koppel, hope will be several around the country aimed at bringing pulmonary rehabilitation to an underserved community.

Public Education on COPD 

While most of the convention is devoted to programming for respiratory therapists, the attendees at the meeting will reach out to the local public on the day before with a lung screening and educational program on Friday, Nov. 4 at the Tampa MarriottWaterside. Members of the public are invited to get a free screening for COPD, and also to hear presentations to help them learn more about the disease and their lung health.

The free screening is open from noon to 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4. Complimentary valet parking has been arranged at the Tampa Marriott.


The American Association for Respiratory Care is a 52,000 member professional association of respiratory therapists. The organization is dedicated to raising awareness of lung health issues and providing information about lung disease. The AARC is holding its 57 th AARC Congress in Tampa, Nov. 6-10.

Contact:   Sherry Milligan
cell (817-939-3996)