Silver Spring, Md. (July 7, 2016) – The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) is pleased to announce the addition of three more centers that have completed a rigorous review process as part of a national accreditation program. As the Pulmonary Hypertension Care Centers (PHCC) program continues to grow, more people living with pulmonary hypertension (PH) will receive care from accredited centers that have demonstrated an ability to properly diagnose the disease and have the capability to manage patients in need of complex care.

PH is increased pressure in the blood vessels of the lungs that can lead to death from right heart failure. It is a chronic and life-changing disease that can lead to right heart failure. Once considered rapidly fatal, pulmonary arterial hypertension, one type of PH, can now be treated with many medications. The PHCC program advances PHA’s mission of extending and improving the lives of people living with PH.

Since the launch of the PHA-accredited PH Care Center (PHCC) program two years ago, a total of 39 Center of Comprehensive Care (CCC) programs have now been accredited, including 34 adult programs and five pediatric programs. The three newly accredited PHCCs are:

  • University of Minnesota Health—Minneapolis, Minn.
  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Comprehensive Pulmonary Hypertension Program—Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • University of Wisconsin Pulmonary Hypertension Program—Madison, Wis.

Common symptoms of PH can include shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pain. The disease is often misdiagnosed and treated as another illness, such as asthma or COPD. Delays in diagnosis and treatment cost patients valuable time. However, the good news is that with early and accurate diagnosis, PH treatments extend and improve the quality of life for many patients.

As centers are accredited, they also agree to contribute to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association Registry (PHAR). This new patient registry differs from past PH registries that were privately funded to answer specific questions. The new patient registry will collect and track diagnostic and treatment patterns at a national level and help researchers learn more about the rare disease and possibly lead to new breakthroughs in treatment and quality of care. PHA designed its PHCC and PHAR initiatives to raise the level of care for patients living with PH.

Accreditation criteria are based on key measures of care for PH patients, including the program’s overall commitment to PH patients, scope of services provided and expertise of care team. Anticipated outcomes of the PHCC initiative include better informed patients and medical professionals, improved access to Centers with expertise in PH, and increased opportunities for research collaboration between Centers.

PHA’s Scientific Leadership Council (SLC) and the PHCC Oversight Committee set the criteria for PHCC accreditation. The SLC is composed of global leaders in the field of pulmonary hypertension including healthcare professionals and research scientists in medical centers recognized for excellence in care for patients with PH. For more information on PHCC, go to www.PHCareCenters.org or email PHCC@PHAssociation.org. For more information on the PHAR initiative, visit www.PHAssociation.org/PHAR.

About the Pulmonary Hypertension Association 

Headquartered in Silver Spring, Md., with a growing list of chapters across the country, the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) is the country’s leading pulmonary hypertension organization. Its mission is to extend and improve the lives of those affected by PH; its vision is a world without PH, empowered by hope. PHA achieves this by connecting and working together with the entire PH community of patients, families and medical professionals. Among its programs, PHA facilitates more than 245 support groups around the country and delivers continuing education for medical professionals through PHA Online University. For more information, please go to www.PHAssociation.org,  @PHAssociation on Twitter and www.facebook.com/PulmonaryHypertensionAssociation on Facebook.

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