PHA History

“PHA’s history is driven by a commitment to succeed beyond our numbers. It is the continuing story of what patients, family members and medical professionals are able to do to change the history of a disease.” – Rino Aldrighetti, PHA’s president and first staff member

From simple beginnings – four women who met around a kitchen table in Florida in 1991 – the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) has evolved into an international community of over 16,000 pulmonary hypertension (PH) patients, caregivers, family members and healthcare professionals. While we have grown, PHA has stayed true to our roots and the vision and ingenuity of our founders.

To commemorate our 25th anniversary in 2016, PHA honors these Periwinkle Pioneers: 25 individuals and groups responsible for advancing care for PH patients and helping to change the history of this disease.

Read more about PHA’s history below, including stories from our founders.

PHA Founders at the Kitchen Table

The PHA Story: A Short History of PHA VIEW | Download PDF

Written by founders Dorothy Olson, Pat Paton, Judy Simpson and Bonnie Dukart

A Detailed History of PHA, 1987-1999 VIEW | Download PDF

Written by Gail Boyer Hayes, author of Pulmonary Hypertension: A Patient's Survival Guide

PHA History: An Overview (-2011) VIEW | Download PDF

A narrative from the early days through the organization's founding and expansion.

Leading from the Heart: An Interview with PHA's President Rino Aldrighetti (2016) (MP3)

Ahead of his retirement from PHA in 2016, Rino Aldrighetti reflects on the organization's past, present and future.

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The information provided on the PHA website is provided for general information only. It is not intended as legal, medical or other professional advice, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with qualified professionals who are familiar with your individual needs. PHA does not endorse or recommend any commercial products or services.

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The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) awarded PHA the Abbey S. Meyers Leadership Award in 2012 for outstanding service to PHA members in advocacy, education and other key areas.