PHA Celebrates PH Awareness Month with Major Campaign

Patrícia Silva, PhD avatar

by Patrícia Silva, PhD |

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PH Awareness Month

November is Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month and the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) is planning to launch a new public service campaign called Heart2CurePH that promises to increase understanding of pulmonary hypertension (PH). The worldwide educational campaign will include TV, radio, and place-based and print materials, while anyone on social media can share promotional messages and materials using the #Heart2CurePH hashtag.

Pulmonary hypertension is a life-threatening disease that is sometimes misdiagnosed as asthma, which is why the association is working in partnership with The CauseWay Agency, a leading national cause communications firm, to raise awareness. The public service ads will be transmitted in donated media, such as on buses in Los Angeles and New York and transit shelters in Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco. In addition, Heart2CurePH has also received donated time and space throughout November on one of the big screens in Times Square.

PHA will also collaborate with other PH organizations in 40 different countries to transmit campaign ads globally. The idea for Heart2CurePH drew its inspiration from the heart and how it is affected by pulmonary hypertension. The disease is characterized by high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries, which become narrowed and blocked. As a result of PH, the right heart ventricle has difficulties in pumping blood to the lungs, which can cause it to become enlarged and weak.

Pulmonary hypertension patients are particularly at risk of suffering right heart failure and, without treatment, the average survival rate is 2.8 years following diagnosis. Therefore, the campaign will feature the heart in many forms — a food lover’s heart, a music lover’s heart, a yoga lover’s heart, and a lover’s heart. All of them will be depicted as a healthy, happy heart and compared to an echocardiogram image of the heart of a PH patient.

“We learned through consumer research and concept testing that contrasting the joy conjured by life’s happy hearts with the failing heart of an untreated PH patient — would be a simple, yet powerful attention grabber,” stated Robert Schultz of The CauseWay Agency in a press release. “People wanted to learn about this disease and how they can rule it out for themselves and loved ones and be motivated to support PHA’s work to find a cure.”

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The PHA, which was founded by patients in 1991 to become the country’s first — and largest — comprehensive nonprofit PH association, provides support to programs for patients and caregivers, medical education and research. This is the first PHA campaign produced by an agency, a move the organization made to strengthen its focus on using the Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month to increase awareness and aid patient and caregiver communities worldwide.

“As we approach our 25th anniversary year, we recognize that we must do more to make sure people who have PH know if before it’s too late,” said PHA President and CEO Rino Aldrighetti. “Heart2CurePH is focusing on early and accurate diagnosis and inviting people around the world to join our cause. The campaign will show and tell people that at PHA, we’re putting our hearts into finding a cure.”

Last year, the PHA established a partnership with Bayer HealthCare to launch a photography contest and celebrate the Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month. While the organization and the company aimed to raise awareness and support for PH, the contestants in the Breathless Moments campaign displayed inspirational moments, sights, and events that can “take someone’s breath away.”