Team PH Reopens Fund March 1 to Help Patients Cover Living Expenses

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by Somi Igbene, PhD |

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Team PHenomenal is inviting individuals with pulmonary hypertension to apply for $500 grants starting March 1 to help cover living expenses for those whose incomes have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Unmet Needs Patient Impact Fund can be used to pay for utility bills, home repairs, groceries, and travel costs to attend medical appointments. However, it cannot be used to cover the costs of medication, medical bills, family member or pet expenses, vacations, and legal fees.

The fund reopens on March 1 at noon CT, and after that, on the first working day of every month. Since available funds are limited, applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Eligible applicants can receive only one grant per calendar year, so new applicants will be evaluated first.

“This fund was a godsend during the time I was not able to work,” Kevin Green, an Unmet Needs Fund recipient, said on the program’s webpage. “With help from the fund, I was able to pay my utility bills.”

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In addition to individuals and families whose incomes have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Team PH is also accepting applications from families of children with the condition who need support with virtual learning. They may use the grant to cover school supplies, tutoring, or education equipment.

To receive a grant, all applicants must have pulmonary hypertension and use the funds immediately to cover non-medical expenses. They must also have a PayPal account and be willing to provide receipts for all payments within one month of receiving the funds. Grant recipients must agree to share their name, photo, and hometown, and consent to Team PH sharing their stories to promote the fund.

Eligibility requirements are available on the fund’s website. A link to apply will be provided there when the fund reopens.

The Unmet Needs Patient Impact Fund was started in September 2017 to support those affected by hurricanes Harvey and Maria. In partnership with Blue Lips Foundation, Gilead, phaware, and Reata Pharmaceuticals, the program provided $40,000 to 80 people living with pulmonary hypertension in areas affected by the hurricanes, which included Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico.

“We had a successful start because of the unique coalition of PH advocacy groups, individual donors, and PH support group leaders who stepped in to volunteer,” the organization stated.

The program has continued to support patients, granting funds to 60 patients in 2018, and 90 in 2019.