Support Group Leader Advisory Board

The Advisory Board helps strategize, plan and implement programming for the support group leader network.

Evette BrittonEvette Britton

Evette has pulmonary arterial hypertension (2005) secondary to scleroderma (1997) and started leading the Nashville, TN support group in 2009. The group meets each month, March through November, at the Vanderbilt Clinic. There are usually 15 – 20 patients and caregivers in attendance. Evette creates an agenda before each meeting. She is the chair of the Mid-Central Regional Networking Group. The conference calls always end with a joke!

Debra Hines

Debra has been leading the Dallas PH Support Group in Dallas, TX since early 2017. She normally uses an agenda to keep them meetings on track, however, she is very flexible if they veer off. The group is very close knit and family oriented. They have monthly meetings. Debra is chair of the Southwest Regional Networking Group. Debra is also on the ZebraPhest planning committee.

Nikole Nichols

Nikole was officially diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension in 2011. She became a support group co-leader in 2019 for the Northern Nevada area. Meeting on a quarterly basis, the group has thrived under the virtual meeting format. The members of this group are spread out over hundreds of miles. Many group members live in areas where there are no other patients. Nikole enjoys bringing the PH community together. As the group grows, she hopes to expand activities and gatherings.

Pat Ofori

Pat was diagnosed in 2011 with PH and scleroderma. She leads the Lower Westchester County PH support group and is chair of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Networking Group. From April to December each year, her support group meets at local restaurants in Westchester County. Pat always uses an agenda to stay organized and focused and list PHA information and resources. Her biggest strengths as a leader include problem solving, sharing resources and being attentive to group members.

Monica Penaranda

Monica was diagnosed with pulmonary arterial hypertension in 1997. She started her pulmonary (PH) journey when she was 16. Along the way she started advocating and holding fundraising events in her hometown. She is the support group leader for the Greater Los Angeles group. Monica loves to bring patients together to help inspire each other.

Diane Ramirez

Diane was diagnosed with pulmonary arterial hypertension in 1987. She is the PHA support group leader for the Piedmont Area Support Group in North Carolina. Her group normally meets four times a year. Diane stays in contact with her group members and enjoys spending time with everyone.

Mike Robinson

Mike was officially diagnosed with IPAH in 2010 and started leading the Jacksonville Area support group in 2011. Mike’s group meets monthly and he provides an agenda at each meeting. Mike is chair of the Northeast Regional Networking Group. I always respect the members and make sure they have time to share and express what is on their mind. At PHA’s 2018 International PH Conference, Mike served on a planning committee, spoke on a panel about living with PH as a man and led a support group for men with PH.

Tina StiyerTina Stiyer

Tina is the pulmonary hypertension coordinator at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin, a position she has held since November 2009. Tina has been leading the Southeast Wisconsin PH support group for the past four years. Recently, the Milwaukee Group (St. Luke’s Medical Center) and the Southeast Wisconsin group, (Froedtert and the Medical College) have merged in order to combine their resources to try and reach even more patients. Her co-leader for this new group is Nancy Niebauer, R.N., PH coordinator at St. Luke’s Medical Center. Tina joined the advisory board to help others who are struggling with their support groups by sharing ideas and resources.

Submit a question or comment if you’ve experienced an issue at a PHA support group meeting or as a PHA support group leader