It’s no exaggeration to say that all of us in the pulmonary hypertension (PH) Community begin a Conference year with a great sense of anticipation and excitement. Held every other year, Conference brings together adults and children with PH, families, caregivers, PH-treating health care professionals, and researchers for three days of inspiration, education and community.
This year’s PHA 2020 International PH Conference and Scientific Sessions, June 12-14, in Anaheim, California, offers unique opportunities for everyone who lives with and works in PH to learn from, connect with and support each other. PHA 2020’s theme, “Vision for a Cure,” encourages us to look forward with hope and 20/20 vision at where we are, how far we’ve come and the possibilities that lie ahead.
Registration for PHA 2020 opens Wednesday, Jan. 22 at PHAssociation.org/PHA2020. Check back next week to read about the activities and programs organized by PHA and our many volunteers.
For those of you who live with PH, now is the time to make your travel plans to the Anaheim Marriot (just a mile away from Southern California’s Disneyland Resort), where you’ll be able to connect with old friends, meet new ones and learn how to live your best lives with PH. To offset costs for those in need of assistance, PHA once again is offering a limited number of scholarships to qualifying individuals – first-time attendees, children under the age of 18, our international community and volunteers. Scholarship applications also open Jan. 22 at PHAssociation.org/PHA2020. We encourage you to review the criteria and apply right away.
For those of you who have never been to our Conference, we hope you can come and experience this year’s event with us. Both the patient and the scientific communities volunteer to bring you three days of incredible programming. PHA 2020 offers patients and families the unique opportunity to dine with clinicians and researchers at our general sessions, participate in current research in the Research Room and meet others who share similar experiences in breakout sessions and support group meetings. Health care professionals who attend PHA 2020 will learn the latest about PH, earn CME/CE credits, share research in the Poster Hall and connect with one another and the patient community. We offer activities and child care for children and teens, volunteers who can help with logistics and perennial favorites such as chair yoga, the Fashion Show and a Poster Hall featuring PH research.
For me, PHA’s biennial Conference truly exemplifies the mission of PHA – to extend and improve the lives of all those affected by PH – offering programs that align with all the strategic focus areas that our PHA community has defined as mission-critical. As we launch into a new decade of work and the new year, we are excited about this year’s wide-ranging organizational goals and objectives that advance the PHA mission. I’d like to share a few highlights with you:
Our advocacy efforts in 2020 will focus on treatment access for patients by protecting and expanding copay and premium assistance eligibility and working to ensure that assistance is applied to patients’ deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. We will continue our campaign to protect patients from surprise medical billing and improve service levels by oxygen providers for all modalities including liquid oxygen.
We aim to strengthen our quality patient care initiatives by adding more classes to PHA Online University and increasing the number of PHA-accredited PH Centers nationwide, as well as shepherding the growth of our patient registry. To empower patients and caregivers, in addition to our Conference, we will present more online educational resources in PHA Classroom, expand resources for post-pulmonary embolism patients and those with CTEPH, and increase the number of support groups nationwide, especially in underserved areas and for children with PH and their families. Finally, we are working to catalyze research for a cure through our support of PVDOMICS to better understand the types of PH, disease progression, and aid risk assessment and diagnosis. All of these programs and activities, like Conference, are centered on – and supported by all of you – in our PH community.
We look forward to seeing you in Anaheim in June – as always, I welcome your thoughts and feedback at BradWongPHA@PHAssociation.org.
Brad A. Wong
President and CEO