Click on a faculty member’s name to view their biography.

Courtney Crim, MD

Courtney Crim, MD, is currently Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Previously he served as Group Director in Clinical Development in Respiratory Clinical Sciences at GlaxoSmithKline. He had approximately 22 years of experience designing Phase II-IV clinical trials that encompassed developing new medical entities. Earlier in his academic career, he was a member of the US FDA Pulmonary and Allergy Drug Advisory Committee, and has also presented submissions for drug approval at US, European and other country regulatory agencies.

Dr. Crim holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Michigan and a Doctorate in Medicine from the University of Michigan Medical School. He completed post-graduate training in Internal Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, with sub-specialty training in Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine at the University of Michigan. He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Diseases and Critical Care Medicine. He has lectured and given presentations at national and international meetings on several aspects of respiratory disorders, such as pneumonia, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Dr. Crim has written several book chapters and authored or co-authored over 100 manuscripts that are published in peer-reviewed medical journals. He has also served as a reviewer for the journals Chest, the European Respiratory Journal and the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Dr. Crim is a member of several professional organizations, including the American College of Chest Physicians and the American Thoracic Society. Regarding the former, he sat on the Patient Education Committee. As to the latter, he currently serves on the Drug/Device Discovery and Development Committee and assumed the role of Chair in 2021. He has also served on the board of the American Lung Association of Eastern Missouri and was Co-Chair of the St. Louis Regional Clean Air Partnership.

Gerard Criner, MD

Gerard Criner, MD, is an internationally renowned pulmonologist and Temple’s clinical investigator in advanced lung diseases, COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, respiratory failure, and COVID-19. Dr. Criner is a board member for the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD), a co-author of the GOLD strategy, and is a prolific researcher. For the last five years, Dr. Criner has been recognized by Philadelphia magazine as a Top Doctor for Pulmonary Disease and a peer selected The Best Doctors in America®, Pulmonary Medicine & Critical Care Medicine for three years.

Phyliss DiLorenzo

Phyliss DiLorenzo is a retired Social Worker with over 25 years in the Mental Health field. She has been a patient advocate with the COPD Foundation for four years. She was diagnosed with COPD back in 2015. Although the first years of her diagnosis were a bit rocky, she has been mostly stable now. She believes maintaining a pulmonary rehab exercise routine and becoming better educated about how to better manage her COPD is what has helped her remained stable. Developing a good relationship with her healthcare team and engaging with other patients, clinicians, and advocates also keeps her energized and motivated.

Phyliss has currently begun writing a monthly blog for a health magazine, Bezzy, that will be featuring COPD and will be online in August, 2023. Her focus is to bring awareness of COPD through storytelling and advocacy. She recently spoke at the ATS 2023 Conference on co-morbidities of COPD.

Caroline Gainer

Caroline Gainer is a retired teacher who taught for 38 years in the public school system in WV. This tenure included time in the high school setting as well as the community college setting. At the time of her retirement, she had become aware of issues that prohibited her from retaining the challenging schedule that she had maintained for those 38 years. Mrs. Gainer was the “go-to” person to chaperone events, sponsor clubs, coach cheering, and organize events for her sorority. In 2007, she retired from her high school position but remained active with the community college setting. At that time, she also took on a new position as Jewelry Coordinator for a large store.

In 2013, she found herself unable to breathe as she topped the stairs in her home and was rushed to the hospital by ambulance with a collapsed lung. She would suffer 2 more events of pneumothorax with chest tubes. During this time, her physician suggested that she investigate the workings of the COPD Foundation. She was hooked and has since been involved in numerous projects related to COPD.

Caroline received her BA in health, physical education, and biology from Glenville State College and her MA in math from Marshall University.

Mike Hess, MPH, RRT, RPFT

Michael W. Hess, MPH, RRT, RPFT, is the Senior Director of Public Outreach and Education, and he leads the Oxygen360 project for the COPD Foundation. The goals of the project are to facilitate oxygen equipment innovation and research, promote policy improvements surrounding oxygen reimbursement, and enhance clinician education on the appropriate use of this critical therapy. The Foundation aims to redesign the oxygen infrastructure into a robust, resilient system that works for all stakeholders, from manufacturers to equipment distributors to the patients at the heart of our mission. Oxygen360 also established the World Oxygen Day initiative, designating October 2 of every year as an occasion to highlight the importance of supplemental oxygen and draw attention to improving access to this critical therapy. 

Prior to joining the Foundation, Mike served in a unique position at WMed Health in Kalamazoo, Michigan. As Chronic Lung Disease Coordinator, he provided patient education, diagnostic testing, care coordination, and other respiratory care services as part of a primary care clinic while also designing and implementing community outreach programs to enhance respiratory health. 

Mike is a registered respiratory therapist and has a Master of Public Health degree from Western Michigan University. In 2019, he received the Ambulatory and Post-Acute Care Specialty Practitioner of the Year from the American Association for Respiratory Care. 

John Linnell

Barry Make, MD

Barry Make, MD, is Co-Director of the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Program; Director, Pulmonary Rehabilitation; and Chair of the Faculty Appointment, Promotion and Periodic Evaluation Committee at National Jewish Health. He is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at National Jewish Health (NJH) and the University of Colorado School of Medicine. 

Dr. Make’s primary interest is in clinical research on the management and outcomes of COPD. He has been recognized as one of the Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors in the US for the past 14 years, and has been recognized as a Top Doctor in 5280. 

Dr. Make received the Sreedhar Nair Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Thoracic Society and presented the Thomas Petty Memorial Lecture. He also received the Thomas Petty Home Respiratory Care Award from the American Association for Respiratory Care. In addition, he has received a Thomas L. Petty Distinguished Pulmonary Scholar Award from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Dr. Make has been invited to give the 2023 Thomas L. Petty Honor Lecture.  

Dr. Make’s publications include 400+ articles, book chapters, and other materials. He has created audiovisual and educational materials for both the professional community and patients. He regularly lectures internationally on COPD.

Dr. Make is an active member of the professional community. He is a Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians, American College of Physicians, and the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. He is also a member of the American Thoracic Society. Dr. Make is currently an Investigator on several grants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the American Lung Association, including Genetic Epidemiology of COPD, Lung Health Cohort, and Validating A Unique COPD Screening Tool in Primary Care. Dr. Make is also an Editor of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases: Journal of the COPD Foundation.  

Most recently, Dr. Make was appointed to the National Institute of Health (NIH) Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER) Clinical Trials Steering Committee and is Co-Chair of the Exercise Intolerance Master Protocol Working Group.  

Dr. Make received his Bachelor of Science (cum laude) from Pennsylvania State University and his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College. He was an Intern in Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, and a Resident in Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center. Dr. Make completed fellowships in Pulmonary Medicine at Boston University and University of West Virginia Medical Centers. 

David Mannino, MD

David Mannino, MD, is currently the Medical Director at the COPD Foundation. He has a long history of research and engagement in respiratory health. 

He graduated from Jefferson Medical College (now Sidney Kimmel College of Medicine) in Philadelphia in 1981 and went on to complete his internship and residency at Lankenau Hospital in Philadelphia. He completed his fellowship in Pulmonary Medicine at West Virginia University School of Medicine/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Morgantown, West Virginia. He joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch in 1991 until his retirement from the US Public Health Service in 2004. While at CDC, he helped to develop the National Asthma Program and led efforts on the Surveillance Reports that described the US burden of Asthma (1998) and COPD (2002). 

 After his retirement from the CDC in 2004, Dr. Mannino joined the faculty at the University of Kentucky where he was involved both clinically in the College of Medicine and as a teacher, researcher, and administrator in the College of Public Health.  He served as Professor and Chair in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health from 2012 to 2017, with a joint appointment in the Department of Epidemiology.

In 2004, Dr. Mannino helped to launch the COPD Foundation, where he served as a board member from 2004 through 2015, Chairman of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee from 2010 through 2015, and Chief Scientific Officer from 2015 to 2017. 

Dr. Mannino has over 350 publications and serves as an Associate Editor or Editorial Board member for the following journals: American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Chest, Thorax, European Respiratory Journal, and the Journal of the COPD Foundation. He was also a coauthor of the Surgeon General’s Report on Tobacco in 2008 and 2014. 

Ronny Neal

Carly Rochester, MD

Carly Rochester, MD, received her M.D. from Columbia University and completed an internship and residency in internal medicine and a pulmonary fellowship at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. She furthered her fellowship training at Yale University, and joined the faculty there in 1991, where she is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Yale COPD Program. She is Director of the Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) Program at VA Connecticut Healthcare System, and Chair of the Yale-New Haven Health System COPD Consensus Group in the YNHHS Care Signature Team. Together with the YNHHS COPD Consensus working group members and Dr. Nancy Kim, she developed the inpatient COPD care pathway that was implemented in May 2021. In 2020, the Yale COPD Program was recognized as an official Clinical Resource Center for the Alpha-1-Foundation. She was nominated for the 2020-2021 Bohmfalk Teaching award, and received the 2021 Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine Postgraduate Fellows’ teaching award.

Dr. Rochester conducts clinical research in the fields of PR and COPD. Areas of interest include the role of transcutaneous electrical muscle stimulation as a muscle training technique in PR for patients with COPD, impact of comorbidities on PR outcomes, benefits of PR for patients with other disorders, impact of PR on home-based patient activity, and varying clinical phenotypes of COPD. She has participated in several multi-center clinical trials in COPD, including ECLIPSE and IMPACT (sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline), UPLIFT (sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim), GALATHEA (sponsored by AstraZeneca), and others. She is a member of the Northeast Pulmonary Rehabilitation Consortium.

Dr. Rochester is a member of ATS and ERS and has served in multiple leadership roles in ATS, including Chair of the Assembly of PR and invited member of the Board of Directors (2015-2017), and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Assembly of PR. She has served on task forces and writing committees of numerous Official Society Statements and Guidelines on PR (ATS, ERS, CHEST and ACCVPR). Most recently, she was ATS Co-Chair of the Task Force that developed the ATS/ERS Official Policy Statement: Enhancing Implementation, Use and Delivery of PR (Am J Res Crit Care Med, 2015; 192(11)1373-86). She is a member of the COPD Foundation CBQC Working Group on Physical Activity. She serves on the Planning and Evaluation and Quality Improvement and Implementation Committees of the ATS.

Bernice Shah

Karolyn Smith

Karolyn Smith was born and raised in San Diego, California. Her early years were spent honing her skills as a professional Velodrome sprinter. She competed in her first Olympic trials at the tender age of 19 and went on to represent Australia at the international level. However, the events of 9/11 changed the course of her life. 

In response to the attacks, Karolyn enlisted in the US Army as a Military Police Officer at the age of 29. She was deployed to Baghdad, Iraq with her unit, the 127th military police company out of Germany. Karolyn was the machine gunner affixed to the top of the HUMMVV, completing more than 200 combat patrols in the second deadliest sector in Iraq. During her time there, she faced a daily barrage of improvised explosive devices, car bombs, complex ambushes, and sniper fire. 

Karolyn’s experiences in Iraq were not without consequences. Sniper fire ultimately killed her team mate and leader while she was dismounted alongside him. She was also exposed to toxic burn pits, which included items that produced dangerous toxic smoke when burned, such as plastics, rubber, chemical mixtures, and medical waste. 

Despite these challenges, Karolyn survived and returned to civilian life. She recently graduated with her Doctor of Management with a concentration in Homeland Security. However, her war experiences continued to impact her health. In addition to being a recent cancer survivor, having been diagnosed with a rare form of atypical fibrohistiocytoma cancer, she was also diagnosed with COPD in 2022 as a result of her burn pit exposure. 

Karolyn is a Veteran advocate, pushing for innovative ways to heal the complex seen and unseen injuries resulting from the Global War on Terrorism campaign. She is also an advocate for the proper treatment and care of Veterans affected by toxic exposure. 

In her spare time, Karolyn enjoys sailing, gardening, and international travel. Despite her hardships, she remains an inspiration to many, showing that resilience and strength can overcome even the most challenging of circumstances. 

Wisia Wedzicha, MD

Wisia Wedzicha, MD, is Professor of Respiratory Medicine, Head of the Respiratory Division at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College and Honorary Consultant at Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals. She qualified from Somerville College, Oxford University and St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College. She was elected as Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci) and is a fellow both of the American Thoracic Society (ATSF) and European Respiratory Society (FERS). She received the Helmholtz International Fellow Award in 2014. Professor Wedzicha has a major interest in the causes, mechanisms, impact and prevention of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations, and in the role of bacterial and viral infection in COPD exacerbations. She directs an active research group specialising in COPD exacerbations, and has published extensively on this topic. She also directs the British Lung Foundation Early COPD Cohort. Professor Wedzicha was Editor-in-Chief of Thorax from 2002 to 2010 and until March 2022 the Editor in Chief for the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. She was the Lancet Ombudsman until 2014, Publications Director for the European Respiratory Society (ERS) and has also previously been ERS Guidelines Director. She is a member of the GOLD Scientific Committee.

Stephanie Williams, BS, RRT

Stephanie Williams, BS, RRT, is the Vice President of Public & Professional Education for the COPD Foundation. In this role she works to make the COPD Foundation programs accessible to those in the COPD community. This includes managing the COPD Readmissions Institutes for health care professionals, designing programs such as virtual Harmonicas for Health, and engaging the COPD community through educational webinars, social media events, blog posts, and more.

Over the course of her career, Stephanie has designed and implemented pulmonary rehabilitation and respiratory programs in a variety of patient care settings. Prior to joining the COPD Foundation, Stephanie was the Director of Clinical Education and Clinical Effectiveness at Alana HealthCare in Nashville, Tennessee where she ensured staff respiratory therapists’ education was current while also developing educational programs for patients enrolled in both the home and facility-based non-invasive ventilation program. Stephanie was also the Director of Cardiopulmonary for White County Community Hospital where she started a pulmonary rehabilitation program, a support group for COPD patients in the community, and a smoking cessation program.

She is a registered respiratory therapist and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Tennessee Technological University.



2023 GOLD International COPD Conference
Patient Education Session
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