What the heck s COPD?

​Did you know that Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death in the nation?  COPD is an umbrella term that includes chronic lung diseases such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis and, in some cases, asthma.  In Ventura County, there are 28,000 people that suffer from COPDbut the number may actually be higher since 50% of people with compromised lung function are not even aware of it.  Identifying and treating COPD in its early stages can drastically change/slow the progression of the disease.  A simple test called a Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) can be performed to determine if someone has COPD.

The COPD Access to Community Health (CATCH) Program is funded by a Health Care Innovations Award (HCIA) grant from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS).  Ventura County is honored to be one of 39 HCIA grant recipients nationwide.  With the HCIA grant funding, the Ventura County Health Care Agency (HCA) is implementing new treatment guidelines for preventing, diagnosing and treating COPD throughout our health care system.  To date, CATCH has purchased spirometers for our Ambulatory Care Medical Offices and the Respiratory Department at Ventura County Medical Center (VCMC).  Additionally, providers have been trained to diagnose and stage patients using the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) guidelines in order to improve patient care.

CATCH grant staff will be working with Ambulatory Care Medical Offices, VCMC and Santa Paula hospitals to develop a new approach to managing COPD in Ventura County.

The CATCH team can travel county-wide and includes a Project Director, two Registered Nurses, two Respiratory Therapists, a two Community Health Workers, a Medical Office Assistant and contracts with numerous specialists throughout the community.  CATCH can be reached at  677-5162 or catchgrant@ventura.org.

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