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Hopkins’ Annual Women’s Health Symposium to Highlight Lung Disease and the Health of Women in Our Nation’s Military - 10/03/2012

Hopkins’ Annual Women’s Health Symposium to Highlight Lung Disease and the Health of Women in Our Nation’s Military

Release Date: October 3, 2012

A former Johns Hopkins patient and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) survivor will open Johns Hopkins’ 18th annual A Woman’s Journey symposium by sharing her poignant story of living well with one of the most common and disabling lung diseases. 

Grace Anne Dorney Koppel, wife of Edward James “Ted” Koppel, former host of ABC News’ Nightline, and spokesperson for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's Learn More, Breathe Better campaign, will discuss her story of living with lung disease since her diagnosis in 2001. At that time, doctors told her she might have only a few more years to live. Determined to beat the odds, Koppel learned as much as she could about her illness while pushing herself through intensive pulmonary rehabilitation. 

Koppel will also describe her advocacy efforts within the COPD community and why she’s passionate about raising awareness of the condition and garnering funds for research and treatment.

COPD is a group of lung diseases, including emphysema, refractory asthma, chronic bronchitis and bronchiectasis affecting some 24 million Americans. Of these, 12 million are undiagnosed and untreated.  The set of ailments has edged out stroke as the third leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States, after heart disease and cancer.

Nearly 1,000 women from more than a dozen states will attend the annual conference. They will also hear Johns Hopkins specialists present dozens of hour-long seminars covering new medical treatments and information on diseases and health issues that affect women. Symposium topics include bone health, heart disease, stress and more.

This year’s AWJ is the first under the leadership of Paul B. Rothman, M.D.,

dean of the medical faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Rothman, a rheumatologist, says he’s looking forward to attending his first symposium and leading a session on women’s battle against arthritis.

A Woman’s Journey,” says Rothman, “offers a wide range of timely health information for women while supporting the tripartite mission of Johns Hopkins Medicine: research, education and patient care.”

Laura Herrera, M.D., M.P.H., current chief medical officer at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, is this year’s lunch speaker. During her talk, From the Frontlines, Herrera will discuss her journey from Baltimore to Iraq, while underscoring the medical and emotional needs of women serving in our nation’s armed forces abroad and at home.

A Woman’s Journey is the creation of two women from Baltimore, Harriet Legum and Mollye Block, who together realized the need to provide women with a forum to gain knowledge about their health concerns.

This year’s symposium will be held on Saturday, Nov. 17, from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at the Hilton Baltimore, located on 401 West Pratt St. For more information, please visit or call 410-955-8660.