Monday, February 27, 2012

So Excited That They Registered First

Posted by:
Diane Greenhalgh
Conference blogger
a.k.a. PHA Director of Web Services

Pam and Eric Olayos (pictured below) were the first people to register for Conference when registration opened up in January. Read below about Pam's Journey with pulmonary hypertension and what she's looking forward to at Conference.

How long has PH been in your life?
I was diagnosed just over two years ago. For approximately three years prior to that, like so many others, I had a series of misdiagnoses: asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia etc. My PAH was confirmed at the University of Chicago in mid-December 2009. By mid January, I started Flolan therapy.

Have you attended a PHA Conference before?
I attended my first conference in 2010 - just six months after my diagnosis. I was so impressed with absolutely everything about it. Having been recently diagnosed, I wanted to take it all in and learn as much as I could. My husband and I decided to each attend separate sessions and then compare notes afterwards. I was particularly impressed with the work being done in the research room. It was encouraging to see so much effort being put forth to try and find a cure for PH. I was honored to be a part of it.

What are you most looking forward to at the Conference coming up in Orlando in June?
Now that I have been living with PAH and Flolan for two years, I feel like I have a better understanding of which sessions to select and what questions to ask. I also look forward to connecting with others that I have "met" on the Discussion Boards. Once again, I plan to participate in the Research Room.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Nominate the Outstanding Patient, Caregiver or Medical Professional in Your Life

Posted by:
Sally Maddox
PH patient, Greater Atlanta Georgia Support Group Leader, PHA Board of Trustees member, 2012 PHA Conference Committee Awards Chair

Here is your opportunity to show some love to those that work hard in the PH community by nominating them for an Outstanding Member Award.

I have been to all PHA Conferences since they started in Stone Mountain, Ga., in 1994, and the Outstanding Member Awards have been a part of them for the majority of them. I first became involved with the awards when I was asked to present an award to Barbara Smith and her family many, many years ago. Barbara was a dear friend of mine that did so many things for the pulmonary hypertension community. In the early years, her entire family did registration at Conference. which is a huge undertaking from making sure that all the name tags were correct to registering people that just showed up to Conference the day it started.

Of course, there are many other stories about an outstanding Physician or Nurse. The list of those that have been presented the Outstanding Patient Award and Support Group Leader award reads like a Who's Who list in PHA history. Let's not forget our caregivers that fight this PH battle with us daily.

You can view the different categories and nominate someone through our online form in the Awards section.

The deadline to nominate is March 15, 2012 (Feb 29, 2012 for Outstanding Physician). Don't wait to nominate!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Rita Goes to Conference ... For 7th Time!

Posted by:
Diane Greenhalgh
Conference blogger
a.k.a. PHA Director of Web Services

This afternoon I interviewed Rita Orth, a pulmonary hypertension patient in California who has attended six PHA Conferences and is planning on attending her 7th in June. Rita is heavily involved with the PH community. She is:
  • a support group leader in San Jose, Calif.,
  • a PHA Patient-to-Patient Support Line volunteer,
  • a member of PH Professional Network,
  • a member of PHA's Board of Trustees,
  • and a member of the Conference Committee working on organizing the Support Group Meetings.
Listen to the interview below about what Rita had to say about what Conference is like. In sum, "It's amazing!"

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Affirming the Human Spirit

Posted by:
Rino Aldrighetti
PHA President

“Thank you for reminding me why I became a doctor.”

The first time I heard those words were in 2002 at PHA’s Fifth International Conference in Irvine, California. It was a striking statement from a globally recognized PH physician.

Read more on Rino's blog