support line volunteer

Share your strength and empathy with other members of the pulmonary hypertension (PH) community. The Pulmonary Hypertension Association needs compassionate volunteers to take calls on its support line.

The support line is an invaluable service PHA has provided since its early days. In 1995, PHA established a toll-free help line as part of its founding principles to support people with PH. The number, 800-748-7274, is still used today.

That first year, Suzie Richardson, stepmother of a teen with PH, answered the line on her home telephone. Soon, people with PH answered the calls. The volunteers provided information about the illness, related resources and encouragement through calls routed to their homes.

PHA founder Dorothy Olson was among the early volunteers and frequently shared one of her memorable experiences: A young woman called from her father’s cellphone while they were in the doctor’s parking lot. Her doctor, who told her she had PH and six months to live, also gave her a PHA brochure with the help line number. “I told her I had been living with PH for 15 years,” Dorothy said. “She cried. This time, it was with relief.”

Today, PHA has support lines in English and Spanish. Each volunteer takes a weeklong shift; calls are directed to their personal phones. Multiple volunteers work each shift to provide faster service to callers. Volunteers fielded nearly 1,000 calls in 2020.

No experience is necessary, and the only skills you’ll need are compassion and a desire to help other people with PH, their families and caregivers.

How to volunteer:

  • Sign up for weeklong shifts each quarter.
  • Answer the support line (800-748-7274) during your shift. Calls generally last 10 minutes to an hour.
  • Listen to callers, answer questions, share your experiences, and connect callers with PHA resources. PHA provides written guidance to help answer questions.

The payoff: You’ll help other patients and caregivers and participate in a community of support from PHA staff and fellow volunteers.

Apply today to volunteer for the PHA Support Line.