Marking the 25th anniversary of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA), good news was delivered at the organization’s 12th International Conference and Scientific Sessions in Dallas, via new grants for pulmonary hypertension (PH) research and patient care.
“This is an exciting time for PHA, as is evidenced by the establishment of these significant new grants and the record attendance at our conference,” said Brad A. Wong, PHA’s president and CEO. “The conference was a perfect time to acknowledge how far PHA has come while recognizing that it will take continued efforts by the patient, medical and scientific community – working together – to find a PH cure.”
One stand out grant is the newly established Aldrighetti Research Award for Young Investigators, named to honor Rino Aldrighetti, PHA’s first president and CEO. The six-year grant to support young investigators conducting promising research projects in PH, was announced by Actelion Pharmaceuticals’ President Bill Fairey. The first recipients of the award will be announced in 2017.
The Rino Aldrighetti Leadership Award, designated for a researcher with exceptional leadership skills to advance the organization’s vision; was presented byDr. Bruce Brundage who represented PHA’s founders; the organization’s Scientific Leadership Council; the PH Professional Network and PHA’s Board of Trustees.
According to a press release, other grants to assist PHA’s work are:
- Awards for awareness, advocacy and service to the PH community: Outstanding Allied Health Professional (Glenna Traiger, UCLA); the Outstanding Physician Award (Dr. Richard Channick, Massachusetts GH and Harvard Medical School); the Outstanding Caregiver (Martha Gonzalez, an advocate for Bill H.R. 3520); the Outstanding Citizen (Nicole Stafford, host of Nicole Phriends gold outing fundraiser); the Outstanding Young Citizen (Eliana Elderete, 12 year-old activist raising awareness for PH); and the Outstanding Support Group Leader (Diane Dewaulder, a support group leader in Texas).
- Julie Hendry Memorial Scholarship for non-patient volunteers: Don Stevenson, who walked across the U.S. for six months to raise funds and awareness for PHA in 2015 and 2016; and Jack Nino, who lost his girlfriend to PH in 2002 and but continues to volunteer at every PHA conference.
- Impact Awards for grassroot fundraising: Steve & Debra Abraham Family (JFK Tower Golf Scramble); Debra Watkins (Thirsting for a Cure in Portland); Matt & Jayna Wall (Driving Fore a Cure Golf Tournament); Amy Lovercamp and family (PHA’s Midwest Chapter – the inaugural 2015 events Higginsville Denim and Diamonds, Kansas City O2 breathe 5K and Alma O2 breathe 5K, and the 2016 Kansas City Denim and Diamonds); Melinda Grubich, (DeWitt Take a Breath for PH Race); Mike & Shari Caffrey (Taylor’s Wish); and Mike and Bonnie McGoon (Rochester PHA Gala).