Team PHenonmenal Hope Announces 2020 Research Award Winner to Advance Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension

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The nonprofit recently selected the winner of $50,000 to be used in researching this rare disease.

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We were extremely impressed with the quality of submissions for this funding opportunity, but Ms. Menezes’s stood out to the reviewers as truly aligning with the mission of Team PHenomenal Hope, by contributing to the field of pulmonary hypertension and also advocating for patients.

Team PHenomenal Hope, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of those with pulmonary hypertension, is proud to announce the winner of the second annual award of $50,000 from the PHenomenal Impact Fund for Global PH Research.

After careful consideration, the research committee selected the proposal by Paula Menezes, titled “Living with Pulmonary Hypertension in Latin America: A Patient’s Perspective.” The committee realized the importance of this research as it has been shown that patient quality of life is associated with increased survival. Ms. Menezes’s research aims to reveal and analyze the needs and challenges that 22,600 patients and caregivers face living with pulmonary hypertension (PH) in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, and Peru. This research study will interview healthcare providers and patients, as well as parents of pediatric patients, to better understand patients’ quality of life and outcomes.

The unprecedented end result will enrich how public and private policies for PH patients can be developed to better impact people’s lives in the region and allow the development of a global project with Team PHenomenal Hope to influence Latin American stakeholders in order to push them to provide the needed assistance for the PH community.

Dr. Hap Farber, Chair of the Research Committee, shared, “We were extremely impressed with the quality of submissions for this funding opportunity, but Ms. Menezes’s stood out to the reviewers as truly aligning with the mission of Team PHenomenal Hope, by contributing to the field of pulmonary hypertension and also advocating for patients.”

The award was announced at the first annual Team PHenomenal Hope Research Town Hall, a virtual Zoom meeting where prominent researchers in the field explained the latest in research findings in pulmonary hypertension, and entertained questions and answers from patients, caregivers, and other members of the pulmonary hypertension community. The event was attended by more than 70 people from 10 countries.

The PHenomenal Impact Fund opened in January of this year to reward studies of clinical research/need in the field of pulmonary hypertension. As such, this program aims to provide an opportunity for individuals to improve the quality of medical care and improve the lives of patients with pulmonary hypertension.

The research fund was initially seeded with money donated from patient and activist, Julia Feitner, who lives with pulmonary hypertension and organized an annual PHenomenal Hope 5K in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The event continues today under the leadership of Kayla Frattini, who raised more than $35,000 for PH research with the virtual PHenomenal Hope 5K this year. Team PHenomenal Hope is also thankful for the fundraising efforts of volunteer Team PH athletes and other event organizers around the country.

PH is a rare disease that causes high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs, which puts unnecessary stress on both the heart and then lungs. Currently, there is no cure, and, eventually, it can be fatal. One of the most aggressive symptoms of the disease is shortness of breath, which prevents patients from being able to do ordinary things, such as climbing the stairs, without becoming exhausted.

Team PHenomenal Hope is a nonprofit organization based in Beloit, Wisconsin. As a charity, Team PH seeks to raise awareness of PH, to fund medical research, and to implement programming that focuses on helping patients, including removing patients from isolation, building community, and providing hope.

For more information about Team PH’s race toward a cure, or to donate to the cause, visit http://www.teamph.org.

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Katie Werner
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