Silver Spring, Md. (April 20, 2017) – The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) is excited to announce that the significant contributions in advancing pulmonary hypertension (PH) care and research of C. Gregory Elliott, M.D., M.A.C.P., have earned him the 2017 American Thoracic Society Public Advisory Roundtable (PAR) William J. Martin, II Distinguished Achievement Award. Dr. Elliott, one of PHA’s Periwinkle Pioneers (contributors to the organization’s first 25 years of achievements), has played an integral role in furthering PH scientific education and research and fostering positive precedents for patient-physician partnerships.
Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure in the lungs. When a person has PH, the arteries in the lungs become abnormal, narrow or stiff, putting pressure on the right side of the heart as it works extra hard to push blood through. If left untreated, PH can lead to right heart failure and death. Common symptoms of PH include shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pain. Because these symptoms can mirror common, less-threatening illnesses, patients often go years without being diagnosed, or are misdiagnosed as having other illnesses such as asthma or COPD. With early and accurate diagnosis, proper treatment can extend and improve PH patients’ quality of life. People who think they might have PH should seek diagnosis and treatment from a PH specialist.
“The PHA community values Dr. Elliott’s considerable contributions to PH clinical care and research,” said PHA President and CEO Brad A. Wong. “In 1994, Dr. Elliott had the idea of opening a research room to patients attending the first PHA International PH Conference and Scientific Sessions. He told us it allowed him the opportunity to draw more blood from PH patients than he would have been able to collect in 10 years — providing data that ultimately contributed to the discovery of the first gene related to PH.”
PHA established Dr. Elliott’s work as The Research Room, a regular part of PHA’s International Conference, held every other year. At PHA’s 2016 Conference, nearly 300 patients and their family members participated in 10 research projects.
Dr. Elliott was the first elected chair of PHA’s Scientific Advisory Board, which later became its Scientific Leadership Council (SLC), and has served on the association’s Board of Trustees. He spearheaded PHA’s medical journal, Advances in Pulmonary Hypertension. Dr. Elliott has presented many PHA Online University webinars on topics ranging from the history of PH care and research to improving patient outcomes and the importance of early diagnosis.
Dr. Elliott is chair of the Department of Medicine and attending physician-in-chief at the Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah. He is professor of medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine, where he began working with rare disease patients during his fellowship work more than two decades ago. Discovering that vasodilators were ineffective in treating acute respiratory distress syndrome, Dr. Elliott began looking for patients the drugs would help, leading him to people living with PH.
Over the years, Dr. Elliott’s PH research contributions have included work with and support of the Registry to Evaluate Early and Long-term PAH Disease Management (REVEAL Registry™). Dr. Elliott is principal investigator at the National Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) Biobank, which houses genetic and clinical data. He was the senior investigator of the study that discovered genetic mutations associated with pulmonary capillary hemangiomatosis, a rare cause of PH, and he has guided the innovation of several observational studies, beginning with the first large-scale registry for patients with PH through the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Elliott has been a principal investigator for many studies examining the effects of various drug treatments.
About the Pulmonary Hypertension Association
Headquartered in Silver Spring, Md., the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) is the country’s leading pulmonary hypertension organization. PHA’s 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; health care professionals and researchers. For more information and to learn how you can support PH patients, visit www.PHAssociation.org and connect with PHA on Twitter and Instagram @PHAssociation and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PulmonaryHypertensionAssociation.