California Family Fights for Improved Diagnosis and Treatment Through PH Bill
Tracy Espinosa of Stockton, Calif., knows first-hand the need for better diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary hypertension (PH), especially when it comes to pediatric PH. Tracy lost her husband to PH and her two daughters, Lauren and TJ, now live with the disease. In late 2018, after the devastating loss of a friend’s young son, Tracy knew something had to be done. With the support and encouragement of Jeffery Fineman, M.D., her daughters’ PH physician, Tracy caught the interest of California state senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton), who agreed to propose PH legislation.
The resulting legislation, SB706, calls for the development of a state taskforce to improve research, public awareness, diagnosis and health care for individuals with pediatric and adult PH. The bill passed the California Senate’s Health Committee by unanimous, bipartisan consent. It now faces some additional steps in the Senate before moving to a vote in the California State Assembly. If signed into law, SB706 would become the second PH-specific bill in the country. The first was in Massachusetts in 2017. To follow the status of this bill, go to Trackbill.com/bill/california-senate-bill-706-public-health-pulmonary-hypertension-task-force/1701385.
Tracy Espinosa (l.) with daughters Lauren, Whitney and TJ.