PHA News periodically runs Q&A style profiles of pulmonary hypertension (PH) health care professionals and programs that are participating in PHA’s 2018 International PH Conference and Scientific Sessions.
By Susie McDevitt, NP
Tell us your program’s name and a little about your staff.
University of Michigan (UM) Pulmonary Hypertension Program
The University of Michigan pulmonary hypertension (PH) team includes three physicians (director and associate director of the program, cardiology fellow), two nurse practitioners, three registered nurses, two research coordinators, one patient services coordinator, one authorization coordinator, two clinical pharmacists, one social worker, and one discharge planner. We also are fortunate to work closely with our world-renowned Scleroderma Program, Lung Transplantation Program and CTEPH Program.
What is your affiliation with PHA and the PH community?
The University of Michigan PH team is committed to our involvement with PHA. Members of our team have served, and in some cases held leadership roles on, the PHA Board of Trustees, Scientific Leadership Council (SLC), Pulmonary Hypertension Clinicians and Researchers (PHCR) and Pulmonary Hypertension Professionals Network (PHPN), as well as local support group involvement. The University of Michigan Pulmonary Hypertension Program also is an accredited Pulmonary Hypertension Care Center (PHCC).
How many times has the UM Pulmonary Hypertension Program participated in PHA International PH Conference and Scientific Sessions?
Our program sends several team members to each Conference and Scientific Sessions and has never missed a meeting. This year, our attendees include:
Vallerie McLaughlin, M.D., director, PH program
Cathy Knight, NP
Susie McDevitt, NP
Tom Cascino, M.D., cardiology fellow (Please visit him in this year’s Research Room!)
Jennifer Alford, RN
Cindy Alsamarraie, research coordinator
Why is it important that health care professionals attend PHA’s International PH Conference and the Scientific Sessions?
We believe it is imperative that our program attend and support the Conference for numerous reasons, including: 1) The overall celebration of the progress we have made as a scientific community every two years in diagnosing and treating this extremely complex conditions, 2) Sharing time and stories and expertise with patients and their loved ones, 3) Networking with our “PH family” of other health care professionals and sharing best practices to raise the standard of care for all of our centers collectively, 4) Honoring and participating in the only meeting that brings all facets of PH together in one setting (patients, families, loved ones, researchers, health care professionals, pharmaceutical industry) to remind us of why we each work tirelessly every single day to improve the lives and outcomes of our patients. PHA International Conference brings us together to honor and reflect on those we have lost way too soon, celebrate the progress and advances and success stories, share best practices with other PH centers in terms of both the “art” and “science” of caring for our patients and renew our united commitment to beat this relentless disease.
What is your team most looking forward to at Conference and Scientific Sessions?
We always anxiously await the next “Scientific Sessions” where we learn from and network with the world’s experts and scholars on the latest developments in PH. We also cherish the “Journey’s Lunch” where patient stories are celebrated. We share as a true community the successes and the excellence in care our fellow PH centers provide and we are inspired and renewed in our drive to provide this level of care and work to improve lives and outcomes of our own patients. In addition, we honor the opportunity to share meals and sessions with both our own patients from our own program outside of a usual “clinic check-up,” as well as networking with other patients from around the world, of all ages and backgrounds. We learn, we celebrate, we reflect and we improve!