In fulfilling our mission at the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) to extend and improve the lives of those affected by pulmonary hypertension (PH), awareness is key. Although most of us did not know much, if anything, about PH until we were affected personally as a patient, family member or friend, we know now that symptoms are often associated with more common conditions and PH may be overlooked or misdiagnosed, leading to poorer patient outcomes. That’s why raising awareness of PH is a critical way to help encourage earlier diagnoses, spur interest in research, prompt increases in funding and create better laws and regulations to support our patient community.
This week PHA launched our annual awareness campaign, Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month, to increase knowledge of PH among the general public, people at risk for PH and those who unknowingly live with it, health care providers, the media and elected officials. We hope you’ll join us in our efforts.
We appreciate the things so many of you whose lives are affected by PH already do to fight PH all year through advocacy, volunteering and philanthropy. November provides an opportunity for us to raise our collective voices and together help more people understand the symptoms and risks of PH. Perhaps a social media post or an email you send will spur someone to ask, “Could it be PH?” Because we want others to know that PH can put an unbearable strain on the heart, PHA is using #TheRightHeart to identify our 2018 awareness campaign. Visit PHA at www.phassociation.org/TheRightHeart to find Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month materials that you can use and share, including:
- Social media profile frames and cover photos
- Sample social media posts
- A customizable press release
- The Right Heart blog and a new Share Your Story form
- Three downloadable fliers about PH and PHA you can print or email
- A customizable proclamation for local elected officials
- An easy way to create an online fundraiser for awareness month
- Sample emails to send your legislators on National PH Day of Action
- Free wallet cards with PH facts to order online
- An email footer you can add below your signature
Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month activities include PH National Day of Action on Nov. 8 and CTEPH Awareness Day on Nov. 14. We’ve already started to get out the word – in addition to a national press and advertising campaign to promote PH, PHA sent PH Awareness Month posters – targeting new audiences who may experience PH symptoms – to support group leaders and PHA PHriends across the country to distribute to doctors’ offices, waiting rooms and other public spaces. We also sent PH Awareness Month fliers to specialty pharmacies, PHA fundraisers and other patient-support events. We are grateful for the generous sponsorships we received from Actelion Pharmaceuticals that helps support PH Awareness Month efforts and from Bayer Healthcare that supports CTEPH Awareness Day.
You can be a powerful part of Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month activities simply by sharing your story. Our customizable press release online can be sent to your local newspaper or you can contribute to our blog, The Right Heart, by filling out a new online form with questions on topics of your choice. These will help you create a post to share your story of living or working with PH and remind others they are not alone. To Share Your Story, visit www.PHAssociation.org/ShareYourStory.
Thank you for all you do every day to raise awareness of PH and bring us closer to our vision of a world without PH. I’m looking forward to learning more about how you’ve participated in PH Awareness Month at BradWongPHA@PHAssociation.org.
Brad A. Wong
PHA President & CEO