The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA)’s Advocacy August campaign took place this year in a hybrid format, connecting pulmonary hypertension (PH) advocates with legislators by computer and in-person.

Advocates from 10 states met with more than 20 congressional offices to ask for support of the Safe Step Act (S. 464, H.R. 2163) and the HELP Copays Act (H.R. 5801). Advocates also educated legislative staff about oxygen-access challenges many PH patients face.

“It was an honor to inform legislators about PH, our community and the struggles we live with every day,” says Nancy Zeppa, a co-leader of the PHA South Jersey Support Group who has PH. “It feels like I actually made a difference.”

Nancy was among the first-time advocates who participated in PHA’s Advocacy August campaign. She met with staff from the offices of Democratic Sens. Bob Menendez and Corey Booker, and Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.).

The day after Nancy’s visit, Rep. Kim’s legislative director Hilary Caron told Nancy that the congressman had agreed to co-sponsor the HELP Copays Act.

Another first-time advocate who joined in the campaign, Kelly Dickson, is a respiratory therapist and the PH program coordinator at AnMed Health in South Carolina. She advocated on behalf of her patients, bringing their stories to her legislators to highlight the importance of these bills. She met with legislative staff from the offices of Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) and Republican Sens. Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham.

Interested in joining PHA’s legislative advocacy efforts? Sign up for our monthly Advocacy Action Alert.