Tuesday, April 27, 2010

ISHLT..two surprises.

I spent most of last week at the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplant meeting in Chicago.

Their staff did an amazing job navigating around an unexpected problem.  The eruption under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland made it impossible for over 500 European registrants to attend...and many of those were speakers.  With 48 hours notice, most of the speakers were able to present their slides remotely and well.  It was an amazing achievement and one I hope we'll never have to match ourselves to at a PHA Conference.

A second surprise was much more pleasant.  In an organization that historically has had little PH education, avery high percentage of content was focused on the disease.  As a matter of fact, the Conference had a full day symposium on PH last Wednesday.

This explosion of PH information is due to the hard work of many of the physicians we work with at PHA.  Two years ago, they formed a new PH Council within ISHLT and drew large attendance to strong PH sessions at last year's Conference in France. 

Christa from our Med Services staff and I attended this year's Council meeting.  The outgoing Chair, Dr. Ray Benza and incoming Chair, Dr. Myung Park led a dynamic discussion of their next steps in keeping PH as a topic of value and importance to the ISHLT membership.

PHA's next step is currently being worked out.  We have offered to support the PH Council's educational process within ISHLT by mailing the next issue of our medical journal to all ISHLT members. Its topic is Transplant.  We'll be sending the ISHLT board a review copy in the next week or so.  Dr. Debbie Levine, Dr. Myung Park, and Dr. Ray Benza, all Council members, have worked on the issue...with Dr. Levine being the primary editor. 

I feel fortunate to have been able to attend the ISHLT meeting.  It was another important element in the fight against PH and another chance to see how the interconnectedness of our community can drive positive change for the good of all. 

...And, while that's a pleasure, I'm pleased to say it is no longer a surprise.

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