Silver Spring, Md. (April 27, 2016) – Brad A. Wong of San Rafael, California has been named president and CEO of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA), the nation’s oldest and world’s largest organization supporting patients, caregivers, medical professionals and scientists to combat pulmonary hypertension (PH), or high blood pressure of the lungs.  He will assume his duties on June 19, 2016.

Wong, whose appointment by PHA’s Board of Trustees coincides with the association’s 25th anniversary, is only the second CEO in PHA’s history.  He comes to PHA from the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (FAAO), where he served as executive director.  His accomplishments included creating innovative programs, raising the foundation’s visibility, establishing strategic partnerships, and increasing and diversifying funding.  Wong also brings broad knowledge of academic medicine and biomedical research environments, having served as assistant vice president of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Foundation.

“I greatly admire PHA’s unique strength as the heart of the PH community,” Wong said. “With deep appreciation for PHA’s considerable achievements over the past 25 years, I’m honored to have the opportunity to join the cause and lead efforts that further the mission to extend and improve the lives of those affected by PH.”

PH is a rare progressive disease that puts pressure on the right side of the heart and can cause death from right heart failure.  With symptoms that include shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pain, PH too often looks like asthma or other less-threatening illnesses.  Because patients go months — sometimes years — believing they have something other than PH, the average length of survival without treatment can be only 2.8 years after diagnosis.

“Brad Wong joins PHA as we celebrate our accomplishments and an important milestone in our history, acknowledging our need for focused, dedicated, experienced, and visionary leadership in the continued fight to prevent and cure PH,” said PHA Board Chair Dr. Stephen White. “Brad is a seasoned results-oriented healthcare association executive who comes to PHA at a pivotal time as we begin to build the next phase of our strategic plan. This will include broadening our services through the new and steadily growing PH Care Center (PHCC) accreditation and patient registry program, leveraging our early diagnosis and public awareness campaign, building upon our medical education programs and expanding and diversifying our funding base.”

Three PH patients and a caregiver founded PHA 25 years ago with the mission of ending isolation for and extending the lives of PH patients. Since then, the number of FDA-approved treatments has grown from zero to 14 and PHA has provided more than $17 million in research commitments. In addition, since 2014, PHA has completed the accreditation process for more than 30 PHCCs across the U.S. and established the Pulmonary Hypertension Association Registry, which will play a key role in developing new and better treatments, methods of care, and, eventually, a cure.

“This announcement completes a thoughtful, year-long process that started with information gathering from the PH community, including patients, caregivers, industry leaders, medical professionals and fellow Board members,” said Board of Trustees Chair-Elect PHA Roger Towle, who also chaired the search committee. “We have been fortunate to work with Pamela Kaul and Lisa Fisher at Association Strategies Inc., who guided us through this intensive search and section process. We are confident that Brad embodies the special qualities needed to lead the PH community in achieving our vision of a world without PH, empowered by hope.”

Wong will succeed Rino Aldrighetti, PHA’s first president and CEO, who will retire in June after 17 years of service, which began when he became the organization’s first employee. The national nonprofit has grown to include more than 50 staff members with four chapters around the country and has provided support for more than 70 international centers across the globe. The leadership transition will coincide with the association’s International PH Conference and Scientific Sessions, June 17-19 in Dallas, Tex., an event held every other year, which during PHA’s 25th anniversary year is expected to draw nearly 2,000 families, medical professionals, scientists and PH-related industry professionals.

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 12 consecutive years, PHA has received the highest rating — four stars — for fiscal accountability and transparency from Charity Navigator, placing it in the top half of one percent of all rated charities. For more information, please go to, @PHAssociation on Twitter and on Facebook.




PH Bill