Pulmonary Hypertension Program Earns Accreditation for its Expert Care

August 01, 2017

DETROIT – The Pulmonary Hypertension Program at Henry Ford Hospital has earned accreditation for its comprehensive management and expert care of pulmonary hypertension patients.

Henry Ford is one of only two hospitals in Michigan to receive accreditation as an adult pulmonary hypertension care center – the gold star standard for expert care – from the Pulmonary Hypertension Association.

Programs undergo a rigorous review of their diagnosis and management practices of pulmonary hypertension, a chronic lung disease that afflicts women at least two times more than men.

Henry Ford is among the largest referral centers for pulmonary hypertension in the United States, and is one of only two hospitals in Michigan that offer pulmonary and critical care medicine fellowship programs. The hospital has an intensive care unit dedicated to the care of pulmonary hypertension patients, with specially-trained nurses who are experts in managing the complex needs of these patients.

“This accreditation is reflective of the superior care provided by everyone on our PH team,” says Rana Awdish, M.D., director of the Henry Ford’s PH program. “Our team is truly committed to caring for and meeting the needs of our patients and their families.”

Pulmonary hypertension, or PH, is high blood pressure in the lungs. The blood vessels in the lungs become narrowed and the heart has to work harder to pump blood through them. It typically develops between the ages of 20 and 60, and is two or three times more common in women than men.

Common symptoms are shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain and a racing heartbeat. As PH worsens, symptoms may limit physical activity.

While PH has no cure, the earlier the disease is treated, the better the outcomes are for patients. Treatment options to relieve symptoms and slow the progression of the disease include medication, surgical procedures and lifestyle changes. “With proper medication,” Dr. Awdish says, “patients can live a long and healthy life.”

In 2014, Dr. Awdish developed a first-of-its-kind yoga exercise program for PH patients. The program includes three yoga exercise levels and a nutrition and lifestyle discussion.

Since 2014, 54 programs in 28 states have received PHA accreditation. This includes 43 adult and pediatric centers and three adult regional clinical programs.

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MEDIA CONTACT:     David Olejarz
                                David.Olejarz@hfhs.org
                                313.874.4094