PHAware: How the Global Network for PH Awareness Started

Patrícia Silva, PhD avatar

by Patrícia Silva, PhD |

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PHAware is a project for pulmonary hypertension (PH) patients, loved ones, caregivers, medical professionals and other advocates which has gained great attention from the general public. The initiative was started by the hands of the Van Wormer family and has already become a worldwide network and it is determined to continue working until there is a global understanding of pulmonary hypertension and a cure for the disease is found. But who are Steve Van Wormer and Lucas Van Wormer? You might want to read their story here.

Lucas Van Wormer is the son of Steve Van Wormer and he was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension about a decade ago when he was just four years old. Ever since, Steve Van Wormer, who is in the entertainment industry, wanted more than to just improve the life of his son. Van Wormer started to notice the lack of awareness about the disease, a field that he was familiar with. Therefore, he started to work with the UCLA and the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA).

In 2014, Steve Van Wormer joined efforts with other pulmonary hypertension awareness activists and started the project PHAware (#phaware). The group is focused on engaging a global community to help spread understanding about pulmonary hypertension, change the history of PH, as well as finding a cure for the chronic condition that causes high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs.

“phaware is devoted to elevating our mission by making the public, news media, donors, and investors #phaware of pulmonary hypertension,” explains the website of PHAware. “phaware ignites the global conversation and heightens PH awareness in unprecedented ways. Our prime directive is to capture, engage and enable diagnosed and undiagnosed PH patients, caregivers, and medical professionals by providing them with digital content focused on education, resources and knowledge.”

Find out who is more at risk of developing pulmonary hypertension in this article.

To do so, the network works on the forefront of technology, by leveraging state of the art tools and creative content. Since its foundation, PHAware has launched national numerous TV and radio PSA, gained the endorsement of numerous celebrities such as Michael Bublé, Courteney Cox, Laura Dern, and Florence Henderson, launched a mobile app in more than 20 countries, helped adopt the “Sometimes It’s PH” Early Diagnosis PSA across the world in 50 languages for World PH Day, placed information on pediatric PH research in thousands of taxi cab TVs in NYC and Philadelphia, and has been broadcasted on NASDAQ Times Square tower.

“phaware unites the global community. Our international exposure allows for a multitude of funding and research opportunities to reach an activated worldwide audience. Our focus is to inform and educate the masses using impactful and innovative methods. Harnessing the power of social and mass media marketing, phaware leads the PH awareness effort and continues to take pulmonary hypertension from ‘rare to everywhere!'”

Pulmonary Hypertension News has been following the project #PHAware since its beginning. Read more about its start here: and watch a video about the fight of Lucas Van Wormer with pulmonary hypertension here:


Learn more about pulmonary hypertension definition and subtypes here.

Pulmonary Hypertension News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.