The Mid-South Area Pulmonary Hypertension Support Group led by Barbara Thompson met on Wednesday, August 16, 2007 at Coletta’s Italian Restaurant on Appling Road. The meeting was sponsored by the Actelion drug representatives Ashley Smith and Joe Maas. This company manufactures some of the major treatments for the affliction. Also in attendance were Joe Whitman and Judy Corzine of drug distributors Accredo who also supplied the door prizes. Also in attendance was Bryan Solter who represents Inogen One.
After “meeting & mingling” with one another, Barbara opened with some announcements and suggestions. With awareness month around the corner, (November), she made some suggestions to help raise awareness of PH such as giving out the green wallet cards that PHA will send to you at no charge. She’s been giving these out to the Trick or Treaters for the past two years in hopes that the parent that inspects the bag of goodies before handing it over to the child, will notice & read the card that has the symptoms of PH as well as the web site address of www.phassociation.org.
She suggested that we put brochures in our doctor’s offices, with their permission, of course. These were made available at the sign-in table. She’s also attached a label to these brochures that read, “For Support Group information, contact BarbaraInMemphis@aol.com or (901) 251-1023“.
Barbara showed us a copy of the “PHA Conference Summary” booklet that has our very own Carol Levy on the front cover. She attended the conference that was held in Minneapolis, MN in June, 2006. The same picture will be featured on a nationwide email that the Pulmonary Hypertension Association will be sending out to all members of PHA. Kudos to Carol!
One of Barbara’s main pieces of advice is for all of us to have our medical history with us at all times. At home on the fridge, in the glove compartment of our cars, etc. This has been extremely easy with the convenience & affordability of “thumb drives”. She said she saw them at Walgreen’s for $5.99.
Just in case any of you missed the news, there is a new drug in the PH arsenal - Letairis (Ambrisentan). It was FDA approved 6/15/07 & comes to us from Gilead.
The guest speaker for the evening was Dr. Marc Hofmann of Memphis Lung Physicians. Dr. Hofmann is a pulmonologist who specializes in sleep disorders and rare diseases of the lungs such as Pulmonary Hypertension. He is listed at www.phcentral.org as a PH Specialist. The approximate 30 attendees were enthralled by his laymen explanation of the disease, ways to detect it, and available treatments.
The next Mid-South Area PH Support Group meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 7, 2007 at 6:00 p.m. The location is still to be announced but the guest speaker will be Bryan Solter from Inogen to introduce & demonstrate the portable oxygen concentrator that is approved for airline use. The concentrator can be plugged into AC current, plugged into a cigarette lighter in the car or run with a battery.
For more information on PH, the support group or reservation to attend the next meeting, contact Barbara Thompson at BarbaraInMemphis@aol.com or (901) 251-1023.