As we navigate continuing pandemic fluctuations, it’s important to hold on to elements of life that remind us of normalcy. Now that we feel more comfortable connecting face-to-face, we welcome opportunities to attend family gatherings, travel and make in-person health appointments.
The Pulmonary Hypertension Association recognizes the importance of in-person connections to health, wellbeing and care management. Next month, we will present our first PHA On The Road patient and caregiver workshop since late 2019. The free, Sept. 17 event in Louisville, Kentucky, will provide information about pulmonary hypertension (PH), care management, emotional support and more.
PHA also has resumed in-person support group meetings, depending on interest from members and support group leaders. Some groups will continue to meet virtually or are starting hybrid options, which allow members to participate in person or online. In-person fundraising events, such our O2breathe walks, resumed in spring and continue this fall. Our events have resumed with strong health and safety measures in place to reduce the risk of transmission and keep our community and attendees healthy.
Earlier this summer, we welcomed nearly 900 people with PH, families and health care professionals to Atlanta for one of our most significant opportunities to connect. PHA 2022 International PH Conference and Scientific Sessions brought the community together for the first time in four years, reenergizing patients and professionals alike.
As part of the conference, we experienced a longstanding PHA tradition: the passing of the gavel from the outgoing Board of Trustees chair to the incoming chair.
The ceremony was a reminder that the 2020-2022 officers served their entire terms in the pandemic. We thank Colleen Brunetti, who remains on the board as immediate past chair, for her leadership in managing challenges never seen before in PHA’s history. Thanks also to outgoing board members Cheri Abbott, Karen Fagan, Ron Oudiz, Melisa Wilson and Joel Wirth. We appreciate their years of service and everything they have done to keep the community safe and informed and help patients continue their treatments.
PHA welcomes new leadership, including Chair Tony Lahnston, who spoke so movingly at PHA 2022 about how his late niece’s PH inspired him to become involved in PHA. We also welcome Chair Elect Traci Stewart, R.N., MSN, CHFN; Treasurer Matt Wall, whose son has PH; and Secretary Nicole Creech, a support group leader and advocate with PH.
Taking on new leadership roles within the board are Anna Hemnes, M.D., chair of PHA’s Scientific Leadership Committee; Kimberly Jackson, R.N., B.S.N., chair of our PH Professional Network; and Delphine Yung, M.D., chair of PHA’s PH Care Centers Board of Trustees.
PHA’s new leadership begins as we move toward more in-person gatherings while keeping an eye on new COVID variations. I look forward to working with the new officers and entire board to fulfill PHA’s mission to extend and improve the lives of those with PH.
As always, please feel free to share your own experiences and suggestions. I look forward to hearing from you.
With gratitude and respect,