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VCU Medical Center among the first health care centers to receive prestigious Pulmonary Hypertension Association accreditation

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Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center has become one of the nation’s first medical centers to complete the Pulmonary Hypertension Association’s new accreditation program for Pulmonary Hypertension Care Centers. The goal of the program is to improve the outcomes of patients with pulmonary hypertension, a debilitating disease of the lungs that affects the functioning of the heart and can lead to right heart failure.

With symptoms that include breathlessness, fatigue, dizziness and chest pain, many pulmonary hypertension patients will see three or more physicians before they receive an accurate diagnosis. The survival rate for PH patients who go untreated is less than three years.

“We’re pleased that health care centers across the country are undergoing the rigorous review process to receive the special accreditation in the coming months,” said Murali Chakinala, M.D., from the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine and member of PHA’s Pulmonary Hypertension Association Oversight Committee. “In addition to providing lifesaving care for patients, these specialty care centers are a valuable resource for medical professionals, health insurers and families of people living with PH.”

“VCU Medical Center will improve the lives of more patients who know they have PH and many who have it and don’t know it.”

“There is an urgent need for medical institutions to accurately diagnose, treat and provide support for PH patients,” said Daniel C. Grinnan, M.D., associate professor of the Division of Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine at VCU Medical Center. “Our hope is that the PHA accreditation raises our profile to help us connect with health care professionals throughout our community to ensure that more people living with PH receive the right diagnosis early and accurately and that they will get the very best care available.”

Accredited PH Care Centers will contribute to a PHA national patient registry that will track diagnostic and treatment patterns and patient outcomes, and help establish best practices in patient care.

Since patients founded PHA nearly 25 years ago, the nonprofit organization has relied on donated funding to provide patient and health care community resources to make significant headway in improving patient care and outcomes. PHA hopes the accreditation program serves as a model for PH associations around the world.

For more information about pulmonary hypertension services at VCU Medical Center, visit vcuhealth.org/PH

About VCU and VCU Medical Center

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 226 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-seven of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see www.vcu.edu.

About the Pulmonary Hypertension Association

Headquartered in Silver Spring, Md., with a growing list of chapters across the country, the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) is the country’s leading pulmonary hypertension organization. Its mission is to find ways to prevent and cure pulmonary hypertension and provide hope for the community through support, education, research, advocacy and awareness. PHA does this by connecting and working together with the entire PH community of patients, families and medical professionals. Among its programs, PHA facilitates more than 245 support groups around the country and delivers continuing education for medical professionals.