- Project Title: Teaching and Outreach in Underserved Communities and Health Improvement (TOUCH COPD)
- Program Representative Interviewed: Stephanie Williams, Director of Community Programs and Volunteer Management, COPD Foundation
- Location: Tennessee
- Program Overview: Through the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's COPD Learn More Breathe Better® 2018-2019 Community Subcontractor Program, the COPD Foundation developed and implemented a pilot program that trained rural healthcare providers to deliver more effective COPD care. The COPD Foundation provided webinars and workshops focused on COPD diagnosis and treatment to healthcare professionals in rural Tennessee who did not specialize in respiratory therapy. This program particularly focused on training sub-acute care providers, such as those in skilled nursing facilities or long-term facilities, since COPD patients who transition from acute care to sub-acute care settings may receive less support than those who are discharged home. By the end of the pilot program, 67% of participating providers felt that the training materials helped improve the care they provided to COPD patients and approximately 83% of participants thought it helped improve the care provided across their facility.