The Pulmonary Hypertension Association brought together more than 1,000 people for its biennial conference. PHA 2022 International PH Conference and Scientific Sessions took place June 9-12 in Atlanta.
PHA 2022 provided information about pulmonary hypertension (PH) research, treatment and disease-management, as well as networking events, support group meetings and celebrations. Some sessions were livestreamed for those who couldn’t attend in person.
The PHA 2022 theme was “PHacing the Future Together.” The event was the first PHA conference since 2018 because of the pandemic. Watch the highlights to experience the fun.
The conference opened with welcome video featuring Beth and Tony DeCristofaro, Shavini Fernando, Betsie Miklos and Denise Lewis, R.N. (pictured in video screenshot).
Keynote speaker Marcie McGregor welcomed attendees by sharing her PH diagnosis story. She discussed her initial misdiagnosis, her continued efforts to advocate for herself and how she became involved in the PH community. Marcie, a member of PHA’s Support Group Leader Advisory Board, leads the Augusta, Georgia, support group.
Medical Update Dinner
During the medical update dinner, Todd Bull, M.D., and Stephen Mathai, M.D., M.H.S., discussed “Redefining Pulmonary Hypertension through Pulmonary Vascular Disease Phenomics.” The multi-center study, which aims to identify biomarkers to improve PH diagnosis and treatment, is funded by PHA and the National Institutes for Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
In the June 11 Journeys lunch, patients and care team member pairs shared their stories. Michelle Liu, M.D., M.P.H., FAAOH, and Stephen Walker, M.S., CRNP discussed Michelle’s daughter Esther’s diagnosis and how they navigated her care journey as Esther grew up.
Allison Dsouza, B.S.N., R.N., and Elizabeth Colglazier, M.S., N.P. recounted Allison’s journey from PH diagnosis to registered nurse, including job shadowing under Elizabeth. Kimberly Jackson, R.N., and Evelyn Mitchell relayed Evelyn’s diagnosis story and described how their partnership inspired Kimberly to continue treating people with PH.
Patient and caregiver education
On Friday and Saturday, attendees heard from medical professionals, patients and caregivers in breakout sessions. Topics included new therapies, exercise and pulmonary rehab, CTEPH, self-care, intimacy, finding your voice, getting involved in PHA and finding your voice.
As patients attended breakout sessions related to life with PH, health care professionals attended sessions with a scientific focus. Themed, “Vision for the Phuture: The Evolving Science and Management of PH,” the scientific sessions focused on PH research, as did lightning-round presentations of research topics selected for the Poster Hall. At industry-sponsored sessions, patients and health professionals learned about state-of-the-art technology and other PH advancements.
The Outstanding Member Award dinner celebrated people who go above and beyond to support and advocate for the PH community. Read about the winners here, and watch the video.
Fashion Show and closing party
The Saturday Night Party and Fashion Show celebrated how people with PH conceal or highlight their oxygen cannulas, mobility devices and medication pumps. Emceed by Doug Taylor and Nicole Creech, participants modeled outfits in four categories: formal wear, PH pride (zebra print and periwinkle), sports and superheroes. After the fashion show, attendees celebrated with dancing, games and photo booths.
During the June 12 closing brunch, performer and PH advocate Stephen Carter-Hicks treated attendees to two special performances. After performing “You’ll Never Be Alone” by Gerry and the Pacemakers, Stephen recounted stories from his Broadway career, PH diagnosis and how he copes today. He then performed “Keep Hope Alive,” a song composed for him to sing at PHA 2020 before it was canceled because of the pandemic. See his PHA 2022 performance.
PHA 2022 ended with the passing of the gavel to new PHA Board of Trustees chair Tony Lahnston.