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Assembly on Pulmonary Rehabilitation Lifetime Achievement Award

Meet the 2023 Winner: Grace Anne Dorney Koppel, Esq., MA, JD


Mike Morgan

Grace Anne was diagnosed with very severe COPD in 2001 which led her on the path to COPD patient advocacy and activism.  Since 2006, she has devoted her training as an attorney, teacher and behavioral scientist to achieving better outcomes and quality of life for the 30 million Americans (only 16 million diagnosed) and the 250 million worldwide who have COPD.

She has been President of the Dorney-Koppel Foundation since 1999.  One of its missions is, together with its partners, to provide start-up funding and strategic guidance for pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) clinics in areas of high COPD prevalence, primarily in rural America.  The Foundation has co-founded 11 Grace Anne Dorney Pulmonary Rehabilitation Clinic in 5 states and will open its 12th PR Clinic at Georgetown Medstar Hospital in Washington, DC in late summer of 2023.   The Foundation has also been a founding partner of a recent COPD Awareness Campaign-- copdsos.org.

Grace Anne is presently a Director Amerita of the COPD Foundation and had served on its Board of Directors for twelve years.  She is a Past President of the COPD Foundation and a past member of its Board of Governors of its Patient Powered Research Network. She has served as a Council Member on the National Institute of Health’s NHLBI (National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute) Advisory Council; has also served on Georgetown University’s Board of Regents and the Board of the Intercommunity Telecommunications Project.

She has been featured in numerous national print/ radio/ television/ /cable programs:  Newsweek, Woman’s Day, Johns Hopkins Magazine, New York Times, publications of the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), NIH’s Medline Plus Magazine and the Digest of the COPD Foundation. Grace Anne has also advocated for COPD on CBS Sunday Morning, CBS Morning Show, ABC Good Morning America, PBS Evening News, PBS Second Opinion, the Aspen Institute’s Spotlight on Health, as well as numerous local television and national and local radio interviews. 

Grace Anne was NHLBI’s National Patient Advocate for its Learn More Breath Better Campaign; has keynoted at major annual conferences for the American Thoracic Society (ATS President’s Lecture), the National Rural Health Association (NRHA), the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR), the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), the  AARC’s Respiratory  Patient Advocacy Summit, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), NHLBI’s COPD National Action Plan Workshop Conference, as well as for Johns Hopkins Woman’s Journey and Stanford’s MedX Conference-Grand Challenge CHANGE COPD.

 She is a graduate of Fordham University (BA)), Stanford University (MA,), studied for and completed course requirements for her PhD at Stanford University but did not complete orals and dissertation. She is a graduate of Georgetown University School of Law and holds a Juris Doctor degree.  She has been honored with a Ph D Honoris Causa in Humane Letters from her alma mater, Fordham University.  She is an ATS member and active in the Pulmonary Rehabilitation PR Assembly of ATS and in its working group on pulmonary rehabilitation reimbursement.

Grace Anne has received awards from many organizations—COPD Foundation - First Annual Award: Commitment to Awareness and Health Policy COPD; AARC- Honorary Life Member for Outstanding Service to the Organization; National Rural Health Association (NRHA)- Outstanding Advocate Award; AACVPR- Presidential Recognition Award, to name several.

Grace Anne is most happily married to the journalist Ted Koppel; is the mother of four and the grandmother of seven grandchildren.


This award is to recognise a clinician and/or researcher who is considered to have made a lifetime contribution to the advancement of Pulmonary Rehabilitation. The award could be posthumous or post-retirement.


  • Recognized for making an outstanding life-time contribution to the science or practice of pulmonary rehabilitation.
  • Recognized by his/her peers as an outstanding pulmonary rehabilitation clinician, and/or researcher, and/or teacher, and/or mentor, and/or advocate.
  • May have previously received the PR Assembly Recognition Award (or similar previous PR Assembly Award).
  • This award is open to all health disciplines.
  • Nominations for this award should be by a letter from a Pulmonary Rehabilitation Assembly member describing why the award is appropriate. The cover letter should be limited 2 pages and up to 1000 words.
  • Nominee's curriculum vitae should be included, if available.


Applications will be scored on the basis of the details provided in the submitted nomination.

Awards will only be given where suitable candidates are nominated.


Nominate Here


View Previous Award Recipients

2022 - Michael D.L. Morgan, MD and Richard ZuWallack, MD
2021 – Richard Casaburi, PhD, MD, ATSF
2020 – Brian Tiep MD
2019 - Alvan L. Barach, MD
2018 - John E. Hodkin, MD
2017 - John W. Walsh
2016 - Karlman Wasserman, MD
2015 - Jose Jardim, MD, PhD
2014 - Timothy Griffiths, MD
2013 - Claudia Cote, MD
2012 - Thomas Petty, MD