The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) announced that three more centers recently received Pulmonary Hypertension Care Center (PHCC) accreditation, raising the total number of PHA-accredited clinics to 32 across the U.S. In addition to acknowledging a high level of patient care, accreditation allows these centers to contribute to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association Registry (PHAR), tracking disease diagnostic and treatment patterns nationwide to advance research and care.
According to a press release, the new PHCC-accredited centers are:
- Herma Heart Center at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin,
- Orlando Health Heart Institute Pulmonary Vascular Disease Program, Orlando, Florida,
- Yale Pulmonary Vascular Disease Program, New Haven, Connecticut.
Accreditation is based on key assessments of care, including a ranking of overall commitment, scope of services provided, and breadth of healthcare professionals. Criteria for the recognition is set by the association’s Scientific Leadership Council and the PHCC Oversight Committee — composed of leaders in the field — and reflects input from patients, PHA leadership, allied healthcare professionals, and physicians. There are two types of accreditation: Regional Clinical Programs (RCP) and Centers of Comprehensive Care (CCC).
More information about PHCC is available through this link.
The PHA is a leading pulmonary hypertension (PH) organization, and its work has contributed to the availability of 14 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved treatments and to the development of a national Heart2CurePH (#Heart2CurePH) awareness campaign, the release states.
PH, or ‘the other high blood pressure,’ puts stress on lung blood vessels in ways that can lead to heart failure. Patients frequently report chest pain, fatigue or shortness of breath, and misdiagnosis is common, with people often being treated for asthma.
There are five classes of PH:
- Thromboembolic PH. If chronic, TPH causes severe pulmonary hypertension. This form of PH can be misdiagnosed and lesions can involve clots (thrombi) within the lumen of the blood vessels and fibrous stenosis (blood vessel constriction). Damage to the pulmonary arteries can result in an increase in pulmonary vascular resistance, generating pulmonary hypertension and progressive right heart — right ventricle — failure.
- Hypoxic PH. This condition involves high blood pressure and low oxygen (hypoxic) levels, resulting in constricted pulmonary arteries in certain areas of the lungs.
- Venous PH. Here, high blood pressure occurs when the heart can’t efficiently carry blood away from the lungs, leading to blood collecting in lung tissue.
- Arterial PH. This form of the disease leads to abnormally high blood pressure in the pulmonary artery, which carries blood from the right side of the heart to the lungs.
- Miscellaneous PH. This new PH classification includes blood diseases, such as myeloproliferative disorders; systemic disorders, like vasculitis or blood vessel inflammation and neurofibromatosis; and metabolic disorders, such as glycogen storage disease, thyroid disorders, and Gaucher disease.
PHA also facilitates over 245 support groups nationwide and delivers continuing education for medical professionals through PHA Online University. According to Charity Navigator, PHA ranks in the top half of 1 percent of all rated charities regarding accountability and transparency.