Mission & Vision

Our Mission Is to increase awareness andeducation of emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by advocating for policies that will reduce pollution, promote research to improve lung health, and help patients with lung disease live longer and with a higher quality of life.

The Emphysema Foundation of America (EFA) is dedicated to fighting for every breath of those suffering with emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

OUR History

The Emphysema Foundation of America (EFA) was founded in 1979 in Los Angeles to “conduct and support activities for the prevention, treatment and curing of emphysema.”
The founders included John C. Cosgrove, a prominent Los Angeles insurance executive and philanthropist, who served as a Los Angeles Harbor Commissioner; philanthropist and socialite Lucy Toberman, who served on the Los Angeles Planning Commission; and retail executive Stephen C. Bilheimer, who served under two mayors as President of the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners.

Remarks from our President & CEO

"Emphysema Foundation of America provides tools and resources for every breath of those who have, are caring for a loved one with, or would just like to know more about emphysema and COPD. We are focused on lung health and providing initiatives and research that lead to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of these lung diseases."

EFA Today

EFA is working to increase awareness of emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as well as the causes, treatment and lack of research funding devoted to these chronic lung ailments.
COPD refers to a group of diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and in some cases, asthma.
COPD is the third leading cause of death in the world with 3 million lives lost to COPD in 2016, with 155,041 of those in the US. In the US, COPD is the fourth leading cause of death, after heart disease, cancer and accidents.

In conjunction with other organizations, such as BREATHE of Southern California (BREATHE SOCAL), EFA currently sponsors anti-tobacco programs targeted to youth, our COPD patient education and self-management program Strive, research into adult lung health, and our pacific annual COPD and Lung Health conference for medical professionals.


Emphysema Foundation of America provides care and support for patients with emphysema and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) through programs, research and awareness on lung diseases. Our organization focuses directly on patients and provides the tools and resources they need in order to better manage their lung health and everyday lives. EFA conducts educational campaigns, conferences, and research as well as health workshops and programs within the lung disease field to better provide care for patients.

Executive Team

Marc Carrel

President & CEO

Rich Whittington

Director of Operations

Gilmar Flores

Senior Manager of Programs & Research

Monique Carmona

Director of Communications

Carrie Maloney

Director of Development

Tigran Agdaian

Manager of Advocacy & Public Policy

Edward Wollman

Grant Writer