Medically Led Sessions

The Medically Led Sessions are concurrent educational sessions for patients and family members presented by panels of expert medical professionals. All sessions will provide the opportunity for open interaction and discussion. These sessions will take place throughout the day on Saturday, June 21 and Sunday, June 22.

All topics and meeting groups are subject to change.

General PH Information

Adult Congenital Heart Disease, Blood Disorders and Liver Disease in the Setting of PH
Chair: Michael Krowka, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
This session will focus on the various forms of congenital heart disease, blood disorders and liver disease in the setting of pulmonary hypertension. Diagnostic and therapeutic methods will be discussed.

Basics of PH and Early PAH
Chair: Vijay Balasubramanian, MD, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, Calif.
This session will explain heart and lung function and what happens to these systems in pulmonary hypertension patients. The panel will discuss how different screening and tests help guide therapy at varying stages of the disease. This general overview of the disease will provide you with the educational foundation you will need to get the most out of other sessions.

Connective Tissue Disease and PH
Chair: Aryeh Fischer, MD, National Jewish Health, Denver, Colo.
The panel will review the characteristics of the connective tissue diseases associated with pulmonary hypertension; in particular, scleroderma, systemic lupus erythematosus, and MCTD.  The panel will discuss the multisystem impact of these connective tissue diseases, the various types of PH they are associated with, and the approach to their evaluation and management.

Diagnostics in PH
Chair: Joel Wirth, MD, Maine Medical Center, Portland, Maine
This session will review the standard testing and methods used to diagnose and manage patients with pulmonary hypertension. Tests such as echocardiogram, cardiac catheterization, exercise tests and other lab and imaging modalities will be highlighted.

Familial/Genetics and PAH
Chair: John Newman, MD, Vanderbilt Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn.
This session will review the genetics behind the development of pulmonary arterial hypertension, and how this can affect patients and their families. Current genetic tests and how treatment options may vary depending on genetics will also be discussed.

Left Heart Disease with PH and Diastolic Dysfunction
Chair: Peter Engel, MD, The Christ Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio
Panelists will provide an overview of pulmonary hypertension in the setting of left heart disease and the implications that diastolic dysfunction could have on the patient.

Obesity, Diet Treatments and PH
Chair: Darren Taichman, MD, Penn-Presbyterian Medical Center, Philadelphia, Penn.
This session will discuss the role of diet pills and obesity as causes of PH, and the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and an ideal weight to improve symptoms.

PH and Lung Disease, Sleep Apnea and Oxygen Supplementation
Chair: Stephen Mathai, MD, MHS, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Md.
During this session, panelists will discuss pulmonary hypertension in the setting of lung disease. The current evaluation of diagnosis and selecting therapies for these conditions, including oxygen supplementation, will be covered.

Surgery and Anesthesia in PH Patients
Chair: Charles Burger, MD, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla.
This session will discuss preoperative (before and in preparation for surgery) evaluation and risks for pulmonary hypertension patients undergoing surgery, including the effects of anesthesia, type of operation and potential for intensive care unit (ICU) care after surgery.

PH Related to Blood Clot
Chair: Kim Kerr, MD, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, Calif.
Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is a serious complication of a common disorder of venous thromboembolism. CTEPH and PAH share important similarities and yet critical differences including the potential for a curative surgery in the case of CTEPH. This session will review diagnostic considerations and the latest treatment options for CTEPH.

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Living with PH

Care for the Adult PH Caregiver
Chair: Christine Archer-Chicko, MSN, CRNP, Penn-Presbyterian Medical Center, Philadelphia, Penn.
This session, specifically targeted to family members of adult pulmonary hypertension patients, will provide an overview of what caregivers should know about PH and how they can manage multiple priorities while caring for their own needs.

Coping with Chronic Illness: Compassion Fatigue and Survivor's Guilt*
Chair: Traci Stewart, RN, MSN, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa
This session will highlight many emotional challenges that long-term survivors may feel, such as compassion fatigue and survivor’s guilt. Panelists will offer various coping strategies for patients and caregivers.

Emergency Situations
Chair: Timothy Williamson, MD, University of Kansas Hospital, Kansas City, Kan.
This session will address situations when pulmonary hypertension becomes an emergency, either because of progression of the underlying disease due to a superimposed complication, such as a blood clot or pneumonia, or because of a complication of a medication or the delivery system. The focus will be on who to call, what immediate measure to take and where to go.

Emotional Health and Palliative Care
Chair: Zorina Schultz, RN, MSN, CCRN, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Panelists will share guidance on how to optimize emotional health and quality of life while dealing with invasive treatments and a difficult disease.

Chair: Mary Beth Brown, PhD, PT, ATC, Indiana University, Indianapolis, Ind.
This session will focus on how different types of exercise, including aerobic conditioning, strengthening, and yoga, can improve patient quality of life at different stages in the disease.

Intimacy Issues Men
Chair: Franck Rahaghi, MD, Cleveland Clinic Florida, Weston, Fla.
This session will provide a comfortable setting for men to communicate about intimacy issues. Panelists will address concerns regarding the effect of this chronic illness on intimacy in relationships, and how to improve quality of life.

Intimacy Issues – Women
Chair: Sonja Bartolome, MD, University of Texas - Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas
This session will provide a comfortable setting for women to communicate about intimacy issues. Panelists will address concerns regarding the effect of this chronic illness on intimacy and relationships, and how to improve quality of life.

Nutrition: Salt and Diuretics
Chair: Tim Lahm, MD, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Ind.
Panelists will discuss how a patient’s diet can improve living with pulmonary hypertension. Attendees will learn how to optimize the body’s water balance with good salt and water habits, tricks to maintain ideal body weight and foods that interact with medications.

PH and Other Comorbid Illnesses*
Chair: R. James White, MD, PhD, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, N.Y.
Panelists will discuss how living with PH may be affected by other chronic illnesses that a patient may develop throughout his or her lifetime, such as cancer or diabetes.

Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation
Chair: Todd Bull, MD, University of Colorado, Denver, Denver, Colo.
During this session panelists will discuss why and how patients may benefit from pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation.

Reproductive Health and PH*
Chair: Karen Fagan, MD, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Ala.
This session will cover various reproductive health issues that patients living with pulmonary hypertension may encounter.

*These sessions have been recommended for long-term PH patients

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Changing PH Medications
Chair: Kelly Chin, MD, University of Texas - Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas
A wealth of effective and approved pulmonary hypertension medications are currently available to PH patients, but there are sometimes reasons to switch medications, such as failure to improve, side effects or the complex nature of some medications. In this session, the panel will explore and discuss the process of switching PH medications.

Combination Treatments in PAH
Chair: Victor Tapson, MD, Duke University, Durham, N.C.
Treatment options for pulmonary arterial hypertension have dramatically expanded with the availability of multiple medications. This session will focus on the rationale for combination therapy, including how and when PH specialists may choose to adjust or switch treatments, and review results of studies on combination therapy.

Infused Prostacyclins: Present and Future
Chair: Myung Park, MD, University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, Md.
Prostacylins are among the most potent and effective therapies for patients with advanced pulmonary arterial hypertension. However, there are unique challenges and potential complications of these therapies due to their delivery systems. This session will review what is currently known about the available infused prostacylins, including side effects and the different delivery systems. Emerging prostacyclin therapies will also be discussed.

Inhaled Therapies for PAH
Chair: Martha Kingman, FNP-C, DNP, University of Texas - Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas
There are two inhaled FDA-approved prostacyclins for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. This session will review both inhaled prostacyclin options, including clinical trial data as well as practical considerations for patient management. 

Oral Treatments: PDE-5 Inhibitors, Endothelin Receptor Antagonists and Soluble Guanylate Cyclase Stimulators
Chair: Jeffrey Sager, MD, MSCE, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Santa Barbara, Calif.
This session will review phosphodiesterase inhibitors (sildenafil, tadalafil), endothelin receptor antagonists (ambrisentan, bosentan, and macitentan), and soluble guanylate cyclase stimulators (riociguat). Panelists will review the roles of these drugs in the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension and the mechanisms that make these drugs effective.

Surgical Treatments
Chair: Deborah Levine, MD, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas
This session will provide an overview of lung transplant in the setting of pulmonary hypertension. The updated lung allocation scoring system for transplant will be discussed, along with atrial septostomy and thromboendarterectomy.

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Future of PH/Research

Investigational Therapies/Stem Cell in PAH
Chair: Raymond Benza, MD, Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, Penn.
This presentation will highlight various active and recently completed clinical trials. The panel will also discuss stem cells as a potential novel therapy for pulmonary arterial hypertension, particularly for patients with advanced disease who are unresponsive to currently available therapies.

PAH Drug Development and Clinical Trials
Chair: Mardi Gomberg-Maitland, MD, MSc, University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.
Clinical trials in pulmonary arterial hypertension have led to the FDA approval of 11 medications over the past 18 years. During this session, the panel will provide an overview of how drugs are developed and how new drugs may impact therapeutic selection for individual patients. Experienced researchers will provide a general overview of the clinical trial process, including the benefits and potential risks patients may face.

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Ask a Pediatrician For Parents of Infants to11 Year-Old Patients
Chair: Dunbar Ivy, MD, Denver Children's Hospital, Aurora, Colo.
The aims of therapy for pediatric patients are unique. This session will focus on treatment strategies and their impact on pediatric patients (ages 0-11) and their families.

Ask a Pediatrician For Parents of 12 to 18 year-old Patients
Chair: Jeffrey Fineman, MD, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, Calif.
Transitioning from pediatric to adult PH care can be difficult. This session will review pretransition counseling, patient responsibility and how to make the transition smooth for patients, parents and providers.

Medical Therapy for Children with PH
Chair: Stuart Berger, MD, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wis.
This session will describe how newly approved medications for adults are being used in children.

Surgical Problems for Children with PH
Chair: Delphine Yung, MD, Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle, Wash.
The panel with highlight various issues around anesthetics and processes when pediatric pulmonary hypertension patients undergo surgical procedures.

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2012 Highlights

Check out video highlights from our 2012 Conference and get an up-close view on the education, networking and fun that took place.

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Checkered Flag Chronicles: 2014 Conference Blog

PHA thanks the sponsors of the International PH Conference and Scientific Sessions!

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To support the International PH Conference and Scientific Sessions, please visit the sponsorship page.




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