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Support Group Leaders PH Advisory Board

PHA Advisory Boards

PHA's Support Group Leader Advisory Board will help strategize, plan and implement programming for the support group leader network.

Evette Britton

Evette Britton

Evette was diagnosed with pulmonary arterial hypertension secondary to scleroderma on March 29, 2005. She became the leader of the Nashville, Tennessee support group during the second half of 2009. She joined the advisory board so that she could work with and learn from other support group leaders.

Nicole Creech

Nicole Creech

Nicole was diagnosed with PH at the age of 38. Like many PH patients, she had never heard of or known anyone with the disease. In January of 2016, she started a support group in Lexington, Kentucky, and has since immersed herself in PHA activities. She joined the advisory board for the opportunity to collaborate with other support group leaders and make sure that resources, education and advocacy for PH remain a top priority. 

Chooda Khanal

Chooda Khanal

Chooda was diagnosed with PH in May 2010 after being misdiagnosed and treated for Polycythemia Vera for two years. In addition to being the leader of the South Miami group for the past two years, Chooda also organizes the local PHun Walk and other events for PH awareness. He is also working on establishing a PH association in Nepal (phanepal.org) and helps leads the local Nepalese community in Florida. Chooda joined the advisory board so that he can continue advocating for the welfare of fellow PH patients.

Carmen Lozada-Bruno

Carmen Lozada-Bruno

Carmen was diagnosed with idiopathic PH (IPAH) in July 2007. In October 2011, she started leading the first Hispanic support group in New York City. Between 2013 to 2014, Carmen led the "Grupo de Apoyo para Pacientes de Hipertension Pulmonar de Puerto Rico." Recently, she started up the "Grupo de Apoyo Hispano NYC." In 2014, she won the Lantos Award for providing and distributing Spanish language resources to increase awareness throughout the Hispanic population at doctors and government offices, pharmacies, hospitals and laboratories. She joined the advisory board because she enjoys helping others. She feels grateful to be a part of this phabulous journey supporting and empowering the PH community.

Tina Stiyer

Tina Stiyer

Tina is the pulmonary hypertension coordinator at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin, a position she has held since November 2009. Tina has been leading the Southeast Wisconsin PH support group for the past four years. Recently, the Milwaukee Group (St. Luke's Medical Center) and the Southeast Wisconsin group, (Froedtert and the Medical College) have merged in order to combine their resources to try and reach even more patients. Her co-leader for this new group is Nancy Niebauer, R.N., PH coordinator at St. Luke's Medical Center. Tina joined the advisory board to help others who are struggling with their support groups by sharing ideas and resources.

Doug Taylor

Doug Taylor

Doug was diagnosed with IPAH in May 2003 about 2.5 years after he started experiencing noticeable symptoms. In June 2007, Doug took over his local PH support group and has been active in many of PHA's programs ever since. Currently, he serves on the PHA Board of Trustees. Doug views support groups as his "first love" with PHA because he has personally seen what a difference they can make in patients' lives.

Debra Watkins

Debra Watkins

Debra was diagnosed in 2002, but her PH story started when she began experiencing symptoms more than five years prior to getting diagnosed. Today, she is considered a long-term survivor and lives each day in a place of joy. In 2010, she started the PHA support group for Portland Metro-SW Washington and finds it a privilege to witness and walk with others on their PH journey. She is an active member of PHA because her biggest desire is to see a cure found in her lifetime. One of the ways she helps move us toward that goal is by organizing the largest PHA fundraiser in the Pacific Northwest, "Thirsting for a Cure."

Venita Welcome

Venita Welcome

Venita has been living with pulmonary hypertension for four years, serving as a support group leader for the past three years. She enjoys getting the opportunity to help navigate people through their PH journey as well witnessing the encouragement and support people provide each other. Venita currently leads the Somerset area support group as well as a support group for the American Chronic Pain Association. In 2015, she was awarded the Lantos grant to produce a documentary on the challenges faced by African Americans living with PH, "Pulmonary Hypertension: An African American story."

Joannie Yuille

Joannie Yuille

Joannie was diagnosed with IPAH in May 2009 and is currently the co-leader for the Greater Los Angeles PH support group -- a position that she has held for three years. Initially after diagnosis, Joannie did not seek out support to help her manage her PH. It took her two years to attend her first support group meeting. She found that getting involved with the support group gave her a new perspective about the illness: It gave her hope. One year later, after the  group's co-leader suddenly passed away, Joannie took over the position. She has joined the advisory board because she believes that support group leaders need support too.

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