Faces of COPD: Jane Martin is ‘…inspired by patients, some of whom became like family to me’

Posted on November 27, 2017   |   

Whether you’re an individual living with COPD, a caregiver or healthcare professional, education is key. Having the right educational materials is essential and that’s a responsibility Jane truly takes to heart. Read on to learn more.

As the Assistant Director of Education for the COPD Foundation (COPDF), Jane’s role covers all things education – whether it’s for patients, caregivers or healthcare professionals. Having the right materials and making sure these materials get in the right hands is no easy feat, but Jane approaches her role with determination, creativity and honesty.

Jane Martin COPD Foundation Education One of Jane’s key responsibilities is to update existing educational materials as well as coordinate the creation of new ones. Most recently, Jane updated the “1s, 2s and 3s of COPD” resource and created the new “1s, 2s and 3s” resources for bronchiectasis and nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung disease.”

Additionally, she works with “my colleagues on the Care Delivery and Harmonicas for Health teams to offer materials and programs to help improve the lives of all people affected by COPD. Our team is currently working to develop a more robust training program for Harmonicas for Health leaders. I also write some of the blog posts for PRAXIS and articles for the COPD Digest.”

All of these materials can be found in the COPDF online educational catalogue which features a variety of easy-to-read, up-to-date COPD patient education materials, information for healthcare professionals and Harmonicas for Health materials.

But that’s not all. As Jane explains, “I assist pulmonary rehab coordinators in finding educational materials and programs to further their patients’ education as well as their own professional development. I track inventory and work with our fulfillment center to make sure these materials are available to everyone who needs them.”

Jane first learned about COPD “when I began working as a respiratory therapy trainee in 1980.” While she doesn’t have family members with COPD, she was “inspired by patients, some of whom became like family to me.”

Protecting one’s family is a natural instinct for many of us, so it’s disheartening when one encounters severe misconceptions about COPD, especially for Jane. In particular she often hears, “You get it from smoking and what did you expect? You did this to yourself.”

“What a horrible thing to say!” says Jane. “COPD has many causes—airborne hazards at home or in the workplace, second-hand smoke, genetically inheriting alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and yes, 20% of people who currently smoke or smoked in the past develop COPD.”

Jane wants everyone to know that the “COPDF team is a small, hard-working group of great people who are fiercely dedicated to finding a cure for COPD and making life better every day for those who are impacted by COPD.”

Asked to give one piece of advice to someone living with COPD or who has a loved one affected by this horrible disease, Jane says “learn all you can from solid sources and stay connected with others impacted by COPD. I know that’s two pieces of advice, but it illustrates that there’s a LOT you can do to live a fuller life with COPD!”


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