PHA hits Houston April 6-7 to heighten pulmonary awareness

2nd annual O2breathe Walk seeks to raise $50K toward services, programming

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by Mary Chapman |

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The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) will host a free workshop and fundraiser April 6-7 in Houston to raise awareness for pulmonary hypertension (PH) and support the greater PH community.

The highlight of the weekend’s activities, which are aimed at educating, empowering, and supporting patients and caregivers, will be PHA Connects: PH Community Workshop on April 6. The following day, the Washington, D.C.-based organization will present the 2024 Houston O2breathe Walk.

The workshop, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (CDT) at The Westin Houston Medical Center, is for PH patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals. It will offer insights on the latest research as well as a chance to connect with area PH community members. Registration can be completed online or by calling 301-565-3004. There is no charge, but donations are welcome.

Along with learning about the disease and ways to cope, attendees will be able to meet with PH experts to ask questions about the disorder, meet exhibitors, and learn how to advocate for themselves or a patient.

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About the PHA workshop

The workshop will be co-chaired by Sandeep Sahay, MD, co-director of the pulmonary hypertension comprehensive care program at Houston Methodist Hospital, and Nidhy Varghese, MD, medical director for pulmonary hypertension at Texas Children’s Hospital. It will include presentations from patients and caregivers along with healthcare professionals.

Topics will include an overview of PH and its types, managing childhood-onset PH, navigating diagnosis and treatment, and advances in research. Other topics will include nutrition, exercise, and living with a disorder that’s characterized by high blood pressure in the blood vessels that supply the lungs. All the sessions will be offered in English and Spanish to kick off PHA’s efforts to provide information to the Spanish-speaking community. Support group sessions for patients, parents, and caregivers will be held concurrently.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided and the workshop will include a supervised kids room, where games and activities will be available for children, ages 3 to 17.

“[PH education] is long awaited in Houston. The workshop provides an excellent opportunity for patients and their families to speak freely [about living with PH] and discuss day to day concerns with experts beyond the four walls of clinics and time-bound appointments,” Sahay said in a press release. “It is also an excellent opportunity for trainees, fellows, and other clinicians to become acquainted with pulmonary hypertension.”

The second annual Houston O2breathe Walk is set for April 7 with the goal of raising $50,000 to support PHA services and programming while boosting PH awareness and uniting local PH communities. Participants in the family-friendly event may join a team, form one, or walk as an individual. Registration is open.

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