Living Better Together COPD Conference



Thank you to all who attended the 2017 Annual Living Better Together COPD Conference. View photos from this year’s event on our Flickr.

RHA’s annual Living Better Together COPD Conference brings together individuals living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), their caregivers, and health care providers for a one-day learning event. Educational sessions provide health information and strategies that empower people living with COPD to more effectively manage their disease.

The conference is held at the Meridian Banquets & Conference Center in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. It is an intimate space that makes it easy for those with mobility challenges to participate in all of the conference offerings.

2017 Conference Sponsors




Boehringer Ingelheim


Health Care Solutions Group, Inc.


Gift of Hope



BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois




The 2017 keynote panel discussion was titled COPD Flare-Ups: What to Do.

COPD flare-ups can be scary for both the person living with COPD and his or her caregiver. Knowing what to look for, the next steps and any follow-up guidance can help prevent or manage a COPD flare-up.

An expert panel of health care providers offerred recommendations and guidance for managing a flare-up if one occurs and provide insight on how to better prevent flare-ups in the future.

Education Sessions

In addition to the keynote, participants attended a morning and afternoon education session. Choices included:

2017 Morning Education Sessions

1. Understanding Medication Coverage

Learn how to navigate medication coverage for people living with COPD.

2. I Can’t Cough It Up: Airway Clearance Therapy (Technique and Devices)

Learn the importance of proper bronchial hygiene when living with COPD along with available devices to assist with airway clearance. 

3. Patient Empowerment: Advance Care and Future Planning

Learn more about the importance of building a care team when managing COPD and how to plan for the future.

2017 Afternoon Education Sessions

4. What’s Next: Treatment Options in COPD

Learn about various treatment options in COPD beyond pharmacological, oxygen and rehabilitation therapy.

5. Mindfulness-Centering and COPD

Mindfulness practice may help reduce symptoms of COPD, minimize anxiety and lead to improved disease management and improved wellness for people living with COPD.

6. Understanding Medication Coverage (repeat of morning session)

Learn how to navigate medication coverage for people living with COPD.

Review presentation materials from the 2016 Living Better Together COPD Conference education sessions.

Event Exhibit Hall

Another feature of the Living Better Together COPD Conference is the opportunity for one-on-one time with a variety of exhibitors. Between breakout sessions, guests are able to visit our convenient event exhibit hall.

Our 2016 expo participants included Boehringer Ingelheim, Health Care Solutions Group, Inc., Shire, Aetna Better Health of Illinois, Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network, RespirTech, Alpha-1 Foundation, Illinois Society for Respiratory Care, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Illinois Physical Therapy Association. These and other organizations will be invited to join to participate in 2017.

If you are interested in exhibiting at the 2017 Living Better Together COPD Conference, please contact Jennifer Kustwin, Senior Program Coordinator, via email at

Oxygen Available

Managing oxygen supplies can make participation difficult for those living with COPD. Through the generous support of Health Care Solutions Group, Inc., oxygen is available – at no additional charge – throughout the day. Volunteers are also on hand to provide support with oxygen devices, so that all participants can enjoy the conference without interruption.

Schedule, Meals and Cost

The Living Better Together COPD Conference schedule is typically:

9:30 AM Registration and continental breakfast offered
10:30 AM Conference begins
3:00 PM Conference concludes

A luncheon is served around noon and a vegetarian option is available.

Visit the Living Better Together COPD Conference registration page for information about this year’s cost.

Out of courtesy to people living with COPD, please refrain from wearing cologne or perfume to the event; it can exacerbate breathing difficulties.

Transportation from Selected Sites

Bus transportation is made available to groups of 15 or more registrants traveling from the same site to the Living Better Together COPD Conference. Transportation cannot be guaranteed until event registration has closed. Confirmation letters with transportation information are mailed in early November.

If you have questions about transportation to the Living Better Together COPD Conference, please contact Jennifer Kustwin, Senior Program Coordinator, via email at

2018 Planning Committee

You can help shape next year’s Living Better Together COPD Conference by joining the Planning Committee. The group meets by phone once a month from August to November for a total commitment of four hours, and provides ideas and input as RHA staff members plan the conference. Contact Jennifer Kustwin, Senior Program Coordinator, via email at to learn more.