Dear PHA Community,
Throughout the year, our community of volunteers is the driving force behind the Pulmonary Hypertension Association’s (PHA’s) mission-driven activities. Our success in serving the pulmonary hypertension (PH) community is due in large part to their time, efforts and passion.
One example is the Pulmonary Hypertension Professional Network (PHPN) Symposium, which opens today with Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. This event brings together hundreds of health care professionals who are committed to our mission from all over the U.S. They’ll learn about the latest in PH treatment and research, network and talk to their legislators about legislation that can make a difference to those affected by PH. The health care professionals who volunteer to serve as PHPN leaders and on the PHPN Symposium Committee have worked ambitiously for the past two years, lining up a program that educates and inspires all those who attend. It’s just one of the many ways in which PHA promotes quality patient care and advocates for the PH community.
The first week of September also kicks off a busy fall season for our special events, aided by our community of volunteers in cities and towns all over the U.S. Like many of PHA’s successes, our special events depend on the dedication and tireless volunteer work of individuals with PH, their families, caregivers and health care professionals. We are humbled by their energy and compassion as they come together throughout the year to ensure that PHA has the financial resources to achieve our mission.
By the end of 2019, PHA will have hosted, in partnership with local volunteers, 44 events across the country. The majority (27) take place between Labor Day and Thanksgiving, supported by thousands of volunteers in the PH community who raise money to support PHA’s mission. By participating in a 5K run, patient-friendly walk, trivia night or golf tournament, PH patients and their circle of friends and family raise awareness and fund the important work that PHA does in communities large and small.
Each year, I look forward to participating in as many events as possible — in cities and in rural towns — to thank local volunteers and participants for their commitment, understand the meaning of their stories, and share the impact of their support in the many ways that PHA serves the PH community. One event this fall that holds special meaning for me is the 16th Annual Georgia Fun Walk on Saturday, Oct. 12., that was established by the late Sally Maddox, a PHA Board of Trustees member and beloved member of the PHA community for more than 20 years, who died last December. Sally’s friends and family will continue to hold the event in her memory.
PHA’s largest walk, Philadelphia O2breathe, takes place on Saturday, Sept. 21. This provides us with wonderful opportunities to get out the word and raise awareness about PH. Local PH programs from Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Temple Health and Jefferson Health are generous sponsors of the event and have formed walk teams to encourage their patients to support PHA. We are thrilled to have the PH program from Lankenau Heart Group join the walk this year as a first-time team.
If you’ve ever wondered how to get more involved in PHA without traveling far from home, consider taking part in one of PHA’s many events all across the nation. There are opportunities to raise awareness, raise funds and meet others who share your challenges and can offer support. Write us at events@PHAssociation.org and we’ll be happy to help connect you with a current fundraiser or help you create a new event.
I’m planning to attend several of our events and would like to meet you if are in the area. Please introduce yourself if you see me at:
- Our Southern California O2breathe Walk, which takes place on Saturday, Sept. 14, in Orange County, just miles away Anaheim, the site of PHA 2020 International PH Conference and Scientific Sessions.
- The Nashville PHun Walk in Franklin, Tenn., led by local support group leader Evette Britton on Saturday, Sept. 28.
- The Rochester, N.Y., PHight for Life event led by Jen Garigen on Sunday, Nov. 10.
You can also write me at BradWongPHA@PHAssociation.org to share your thoughts and ideas. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you for all that you do,
Brad A. Wong
PHA President & CEO