PH International Conference Hopes to Raise Education Among Patients, Families and Physicians

Patrícia Silva, PhD avatar

by Patrícia Silva, PhD |

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Conference2014BannerThe Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) is hosting the 2014 International PH Conference and Scientific Sessions, in what is expected to be the largest gathering of the pulmonary hypertension community in the world. Leaders of PH associations from around the globe will join patients, caregivers, families, nurses, and other allied health professionals, physicians, and researchers for three days of intensive education, networking, and support.

The main purpose of the conference, which will be held between June 20th and 22nd in Indianapolis, IN, is to bring the community together to report on and discuss progress in the development of new research and treatments for PH, as well as to increase awareness, education, and support to patients and their families. This year’s theme for the conference, “Racing Toward a Cure,” pairs perfectly with the conference location in Indianapolis, known as the “racing capital of the world.”

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The conference will open with a presentation entitled “Going All Out in the Race Toward a Cure,” which will demonstrate to attendees how the race to find a cure for Pulmonary Hypertension is moving faster than ever — and not only in the lab. The conference will highlight Dr. Patty George and the Team PHenomenal Hope, a four-women cycling team that is participating in the Race Across America to raise awareness and funds for PHA. “We open this year’s Conference celebrating the challenges and rewards of the journeys we take together as a community − in clinics, on bikes and at home, school and work − in one of our lives’ toughest races, the race to conquer PH,” according to the PHA website.

Patients and their families will have the opportunity to engage in one of fifteen thematic support group sessions and share their personal history, as well as in Skill-Building Workshops, staff- and volunteer-led informational seminars designed to help attendees enhance and learn new skills to manage the disease. Panels of expert medical professionals will present concurrent educational sessions, known as the Medically Led Sessions, in which patients and family members will have the opportunity to engage in open interaction and discussion. The Patient/Family Led Sessions, on the other hand, are designed to provide pulmonary hypertension patients and their family members the opportunity to share tips for managing the disease and improving quality of life.

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Medical professionals are invited to enroll in a series of lectures during the conference, directed for experts “interested in learning more about the basics of PH.” Continuing the tradition started in 2010, this year’s theme for the lecture series is “The Fundamentals of PH: Continuing Education Sessions for Medical Professionals.” The lectures will approach diverse topics, such as classification, screening, and diagnosis of PH, PH associated with connective tissue disease, challenges in diagnosis and management, and management of PH in critically ill patients.

All attendees are invited to participate in the plenary sessions, mostly taking place during meal times, such as the “Power Breakfast: Network with a Medical Professional,” where patients, caregivers and medical professionals will have a unique opportunity to interact in a non-clinical setting, or the “Founders’ Dinner & Awards,” in which the PHA will further demonstrate the importance of morale, support and determination, along with medical progress, through patients’ testimonies. The conference will end with the “Breakfast of Champions: Taking Empowerment Home.”

One of the sponsors of the 2014 International PH Conference and Scientific Sessions is Reata Pharmaceuticals, which hopes to advance the discussion on how to effectively treat PH and not only extend patients’ life expectancy, but also their quality of life. The company is currently developing an experimental therapy to improve the exercise capacity of PAH patients, relieving vasoconstriction.

Further information about the conference can be found here.

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