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About PH Care Centers2020-10-19T21:41:43-04:00

The Pulmonary Hypertension Association’s Scientific Leadership Council, 28 global leaders in the field of pulmonary hypertension, have spearheaded the PHA-Accredited PH Care Centers (PHCC) initiative to establish a program for accreditation of centers with special expertise in pulmonary hypertension (PH), particularly pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), to raise the overall quality of care and outcomes in patients with this life-threatening disease.

Why Accreditation is Needed

Once considered rapidly fatal, PAH can now be treated with many medications, all developed in just the past two decades. Despite medical advances, the median time from onset of symptoms to PAH diagnosis is still 1.1 years, and many patients will see three or more different physicians over this period before they are properly diagnosed. Since early 2011, PHA’s Scientific Leadership Council has developed the PHCC initiative to assure outstanding care in pulmonary hypertension.

More Information

Doctor with patient

The PHA-Accredited PH Care Centers (PHCC) program is an initiative of PHA’s Scientific Leadership Council to accredit centers in the U.S. in order to raise the level of care for individuals with pulmonary hypertension (PH). Accreditation is based on a center’s overall commitment to PH patients, breadth of involved health care professionals and scope of services provided.

How to Find a PH Specialist In the PHCC Network

PHA has created a map to assist in locating a PHCC near you.

Map of accredited PH care centers

PH specialists in the PHCC network also can be found in our Doctors Who Treat PH directory. They will be designated as part of an accredited PH program in your search.

How PH Care Centers Are Expected to Improve Your Medical Care

  • Patients are better informed about comprehensive PH care
  • Patients have improved access to Centers with expertise in PH
  • Patients experience less time between symptom onset and diagnosis
  • A medical community better informed about standards of PH care
  • Therapies are appropriately used to improve long-term outcomes
  • Increased opportunities for collaboration between Centers for clinical care and PH research

The Two Types of Centers

Two types of centers are accredited: Centers of Comprehensive Care (CCC) and Regional Clinical Programs (RCP). Both accredited CCCs and RCPs will have demonstrated a commitment to providing expert-level care based on pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) consensus guidelines.

PHA Centers of Comprehensive Care

Centers of Comprehensive Care

A PHA-Accredited Center of Comprehensive Care is a highly organized, full-time PH Center that proficiently evaluates PH patients based on published evidence-based guidelines and also provides expert treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) patients with all of the FDA-approved therapies. CCCs also make important contributions to PH research and education.

PHA Regional Clinical Program

Regional Clinical Programs

A PHA-Accredited Regional Clinical Program is a regional PH Center that proficiently evaluates PH patients based on published evidence-based guidelines and also provides expert treatment of PAH patients with all non-parenteral therapies. An RCP must collaborate with its regional CCCs by referring patients that may benefit from opportunities unavailable at the RCP, including the initiation of advanced parenteral therapies and participation in clinical research protocols.

Developing and Implementing the PHCC Program

In September 2011, members of the PHA Board of Trustees, the PHA Scientific Leadership Council, and other key stakeholders in the PH community approved the PHCC initiative in concept. A steering committee and task forces were organized and staffed to address accreditation criteria, program implementation, registry development, communication to key stakeholders and financial sustainability. The members below provided valuable contributions, which include: researching, accumulating and documenting information, developing logic models, defining action steps, building financial projections and validating the program content.

Murali Chakinala, MD (PHCC Chair) Washington University in Saint Louis
Rino Aldrighetti PHA
Richard Channick, MD Harvard Medical School
C. Gregory Elliott, MD University of Utah
Serpil Erzurum, MD The Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Karen Fagan, MD University of South Alabama
Bob Gray PHA
Michael Patrick Gray, MPH PHA
Carl Hicks PHA
Wendy Hill, RN, MSN VA Greater LA Healthcare System
Steven Kawut, MD, MS (Patient Registry Task Force Chair) University of Pennsylvania
Vallerie McLaughlin, MD University of Michigan
Stephen Mathai, MD, MHS Johns Hopkins University
Olivia Onyeador, MHA PHA
Ron Oudiz, MD (Criteria Task Force Chair) Harbor UCLA Medical Center
Abby Poms, RRT, RCP (Implementation Task Force Co-Chair) Duke University
Jeffrey Sager, MD, MSCE Cottage Hospital
Robert Schilz, DO, PhD Case Western Reserve University
Traci Stewart, RN, MSN University of Iowa
Darren Taichman, MD University of Pennsylvania
Victor Tapson, MD Cedars-Sinai
Corey Ventetuolo, MD, MS Brown University
Joel Wirth, MD (Implementation Task Force Co-Chair) Maine Medical Center
Roham Zamanian, MD (Funding Task Force Chair) Stanford University

PHCC Initiative Mission Statement

The purpose of the PHA-Accredited Pulmonary Hypertension Care Centers (PHCC) initiative is to establish a program of accredited centers with expertise in pulmonary hypertension that aspires to improve overall quality of care and ultimately improve outcomes of patients with pulmonary hypertension, particularly pulmonary arterial hypertension, a rare and life-threatening group of diseases.

Why the Need for Accreditation?

Despite the availability and success of PAH-targeted therapeutic options over the past two decades, there are still shortcomings with the diagnosis and management of PAH. One recent study observed that expert recommended diagnostic algorithms were not being followed to completion in up to 94% of PAH patients, and nearly 60% of PAH referrals to expert centers already on therapy were on so contrary to published guidelines. In addition, despite the available medical therapies, long-term outcomes are still not optimal as many patients still die from PH, require transplantation or require hospitalization.

PH Care Centers: What You Need to Know

Two types of centers are be accredited: Centers of Comprehensive Care (CCC) and Regional Clinical Programs (RCP). Please note that applications for Pediatric Regional Clinical Programs are not currently being accepted. Learn more about the PH Care Centers initiative:

PHCC News and Research

My Miracle Baby: A Story of Surrogacy

Skye Ellison will never forget the day she found out she and her husband and I were going to have a baby. Their fertility clinic called to let them know their surrogate’s pregnancy test had come back positive. After almost a lifetime of hearing, “You won’t be able to have children,” Skye felt like she had achieved the impossible.

Find Resources for Copay Assistance

The new year can be challenging for finding financial assistance for pulmonary hypertension (PH) medications. Although charitable assistance foundations with PH funds currently are closed, other avenues for assistance are available. Visit the Pulmonary Hypertension Association’s financial assistance page for more information.

PHPN Symposium to Feature Lead Author of New PH Guidelines

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) health professionals can meet the primary author of recently released PH guidelines at the PH Professional Network Symposium. Dr. Marc Humbert will discuss the new PH guidelines during the Sept. 28-30 PHA event in Arlington, Virginia. The guidelines, developed by a taskforce from the European Society of Cardiology and European Respiratory Society, were published in August 2022.

Familial PAH Affects 4 Generations

Whitney Whited was 10 when her father died of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) complications. Recently, she learned about the BMPR2 gene and sought genetic testing for her 11-year-old daughter. Whitney, 34, who doesn’t have PAH, shared her family’s story in the winter 2022 issue of Pathlight, the Pulmonary Hypertension Association’s member magazine.

Apply for new PHA Research Grant

The Pulmonary Hypertension Association is accepting applications for a new grant to support junior pulmonary hypertension researchers. Apply now, or spread the word about PHA’s Early Career Mentored Scientist Award. The one-year grant covers up to $65,000 for PH-related research projects that have been favorably reviewed but not funded by the National Institutes of Health. Apply by March 20.

Fulfill a New Year’s Resolution: Become a PHA Support Volunteer

The Pulmonary Hypertension Association seeks empathetic volunteers eager to support their peers in the pulmonary hypertension community. As the year begins, we have several volunteer shifts for our in-person, phone and online support services. Tiffany Gunville of Minot, North Dakota, encourages others to get involved. “Others were there for me. Now it’s my turn to give back.”

Important Update for the PH Community Regarding CADD Infusion Systems

Specialty pharmacies that distribute pulmonary hypertension (PH) medications are currently reaching out to patients and health care professionals to provide an urgent update about specific lots of CADD infusion systems. If you receive a call or email from your specialty pharmacy about this issue, please respond as soon as possible. PHA is actively monitoring this situation and will provide additional information as it becomes available.

Join a PHA PHPN Committee

The Pulmonary Hypertension Association is seeking volunteers to participate in its PH Professional Network (PHPN) committees. Committee membership is a great way to give back to the pulmonary hypertension (PH) community and to connect with peers.

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