The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) hosted a PHA on the Road: PH Patients and Families Education Forum Saturday, Oct. 27, in Milwaukee. Individuals with pulmonary hypertension (PH), PHA support group leaders, caregivers, families and friends joined health care professionals who treat PH to network and learn at this popular free program of the PHA Medical Education Fund.
Michael Cuttica, M.D., of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, opened the day-long event by covering the basics of PH and the journey through diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Cuttica and Amy Kimber, RN, APNP, Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, co-chairs of the PHA On the Road – Milwaukee planning committee, led a popular question and answer session that continued at lunch with an expanded panel of experts. The panelists answered many questions of the attendees. Participants attended a variety of morning breakout sessions including, “Managing side effects of PH medications,” “Oxygen access and management in PH,” “Exercise and pulmonary rehabilitation in PH,” and “Follow-up visits: How clinicians make decisions for your care.”
PHA support group leader and adult with PH, Deborah Webster of Huntley, Ill., presented the lunchtime keynote address, describing her journey from healthy and active wife and mother to a surprise diagnosis of PH at age 54. “I thought it meant I needed to set my affairs in order and I was going to die,” Webster said. But five years later Webster leads a support group in her community, continues to do yoga and Pilates, travels to national parks, plays golf and enjoys paddle boarding. “PH may slow me down, but it’s not going to stop me,” she told attendees. “PH is a part of me…but it doesn’t define me.”
After lunch participants attended support group sessions for caregivers, newly diagnosed people with PH, people living with PH for more than three years, and persons living with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH). To learn more about PHA on the Road in 2019, check back this spring for more information at www.phassociation.org/OnTheRoad.