The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) has granted 13 awards to projects led by committed community activists for their work in raising awareness for pulmonary hypertension (PH). Tom Lantos Innovation in Community Service Awards are granted by the association in order to create opportunities within the PH community as well as to discover new ways to support the progress of research and awareness for the disease.
“At PHA, we believe those whose lives are touched by this terrible disease deserve a chance to fight back. That belief has helped to create a community of strong and passionate advocates to advance the cause of finding a cure for pulmonary hypertension,” said the President and CEO of the PHA, Rino Aldrighetti.
The awards given this year will grant up to $5,000 for each project, based on the project applications that were reviewed by an independent committee of PHA community members and community leaders. The program is supported by an unrestricted grant from biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences.
“This award was named after one of the heroes of the PH community and it is only fitting that his legacy creates more heroes on behalf of this cause,” Aldrighetti said, speaking about Rep. Tom Lantos, a former 25-year Democratic member of the House of Representatives from California, who served in Congress, advocating for diseases and causes such as PH, until his death from esophageal cancer. Latos was known for being the only Holocaust survivor to be a part of the national Congress, but also for writing a law about pulmonary hypertension that also bore his name, the Tom Lantos PH Research and Education Act, which made him widely recognized among the PH community.
Pulmonary hypertension is a rare and debilitating disease of the lungs with no known cure. There are currently FDA-approved treatments, which are crucial to giving PH patients a chance at outliving the mean survival time of 2.8 years without treatment. The disease affects the function of the heart and can cause organ failure.
The list of all of the winner projects can be found here.