Pulmonary Hypertension Association Receives Grants, Gives Recognition

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The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) was awarded during its 12th International Conference and Scientific Sessions, in Dallas, two new grants to support its work in pulmonary hypertension (PH).

To mark the organization’s 25th anniversary also, PHA also awarded several individuals for advocacy, awareness, volunteerism and fundraising service, at the June 17 – 19 conference.

According to a press release, Bill Fairey, President of Actelion Pharmaceuticals, announced the Aldrighetti Research Award for Young Investigators, a newly established six-year grant named to honor Rino Aldrighetti, PHA’s first president and CEO. The grant will support young researchers conducting promising studies in PH. The first awardees will be announced next year.

The Rino Aldrighetti Leadership Award, designated for an investigator with outstanding leadership skills to advance PHA’s vision, was presented by Dr. Bruce Brundage who represented the organization’s founders, PHA’s Scientific Leadership Council, the PH Professional Network, and PHA’s Board of Trustees.

Bayer Healthcare also presented a distinctive award to Aldrighetti for his 17 years of service to PHA.

“This is an exciting time for PHA, as is evidenced by the establishment of these significant new grants and the record attendance at our conference,” said PHA President and CEO Brad A. Wong. “The conference was a perfect time to acknowledge how far PHA has come while recognizing that it will take continued efforts by the patient, medical and scientific community – working together – to find a PH cure.”

According to the release, other awards went to:

  • Awards for awareness, advocacy and service to the PH community: the Outstanding Physician Award (Dr. Richard Channick, Massachusetts GH and Harvard Medical School); the Outstanding Caregiver (Martha Gonzalez, an advocate for Bill H.R. 3520); the Outstanding Young Citizen (Eliana Elderete, 12 year-old activist raising awareness for PH); the Outstanding Allied Health Professional (Glenna Traiger, UCLA); the Outstanding Citizen (Nicole Stafford, host of Nicole Phriends gold outing fundraiser); and the Outstanding Support Group Leader (Diane Dewaulder, a support group leader in Texas).
  • Julie Hendry Memorial Scholarship for non-patient volunteers: Jack Nino, who lost his girlfriend to PH in 2002 and continues to volunteer at every PHA conference; and Don Stevenson, who walked across the U.S. for six months to raise awareness and funds for PHA in 2015 and 2016.
  • Impact Awards for grassroot fundraising: Amy Lovercamp and family (PHA’s Midwest Chapter – the inaugural 2015 events Higginsville Denim and DiamondsKansas City O2 breathe 5K); Debra Watkins (Thirsting for a Cure in Portland); Melinda Grubich (DeWitt Take a Breath for PH Race); Mike & Shari Caffrey (Taylor’s Wish); Steve & Debra Abraham Family (JFK Tower Golf Scramble); Mike and Bonnie McGoon (Rochester PHA Gala); Matt & Jayna Wall (Driving Fore a Cure Golf Tournament); and Alma O2 breathe 5K, and the 2016 Kansas City Denim and Diamonds).


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