Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) support groups came together for holiday cheer, many for the first time since the pandemic. Here’s a glimpse of some of their celebrations:
El Paso, Texas
Attendees discussed holiday plans and how they felt during the season. PHA support group leaders Estella Medina and Adriana Mares planned lots of fun activities for the group. They decorated cookies, ornament and stockings as they listened to Christmas carols and enjoyed delicious Italian food.
Washington, D.C., pediatric group
After three years of not meeting, the group got back together on a rainy day. The group included caregivers, patients, siblings and a patient who is now a mom. All the kids got a snowy hat or a pair of seasonal socks. The group, led by Michelle Liu, a doctor and parent of a child with PH, hopes to resume meeting at least three times this year.
Ohio State University
Leaders Debbie Kittel and Tiffani Brown rented a space with a full kitchen and café area for the group’s low-sodium Thanksgiving dinner. Debbie and Tiffani researched low-sodium recipes, cooked and gave each participant a copy of the recipes. In addition to food and networking, the meeting featured a presentation by a registered dietitian. The dietitian shared tips for changing dietary habits, minimizing sodium intake, reading nutrition labels and finding sodium substitutes.
Mount Sinai, New York
Leader Rachel Potter organized holiday games, discussed diagnosis and adjustment to living with PH, and welcomed a new patient to the group.
CSRA Augusta, Georgia
Leader Marcie McGregor organized a holiday party where the group honored members they’ve lost in the past and exchanged “secret PHriends” gifts. The group also discussed the 2023 meeting schedule and potential speakers.