Hellenic Pulmonary Hypertension together with seventy-one pulmonary hypertension patient leaders from 30 countries took part in the 2015 edition of the APHEC. The program started with the Annual General Assembly, the elections for the new Board and Auditors, and the vote on new membership applications. It was a great pleasure to welcome into the European PH community, associations from new countries, Belarus, Croatia, Romania and Serbia, as well as new associations from Spain and the Ukraine, bringing the total membership base of PHA Europe to 39 associations from 33 countries.
The prestigious panel of medical speakers included key international thought leaders Prof. Sean Gaine, respiratory physician from the Mater Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, Prof. Walter Klepetko, thoracic and lung transplant surgeon from the Vienna Medical University, Austria and Prof. Nazzareno Galiè, cardiologist, from the University of Bologna, Italy. Topics covered include the latest developments in PH treatments and transplant surgery and the presentation of the recently adopted European Society of Cardiology/European Respiratory Society clinical guidelines on pulmonary hypertension, of which Prof. Galiè was coChairman.
The guest speaker during the session on advocacy was Stanimir Hazurdjev, who is the Secretary General of the European Patient Access Partnership (PACT). For the fundraising session Marta Campabadal joined us from the European Organization for Rare Diseases (EURORDIS) to present a successful example of crowd-funding carried out on behalf of a Spanish charity. One day was devoted to PHA Europe industry partners, which provided the opportunity to hear about new developments in the pipeline and discuss collaborative educational projects. One of the highlights of the APHEC was the award ceremony for the best national awareness campaigns for World Pulmonary Hypertension Day 2015: the first prize went to Slovakia and the Czech Republic for a joint project, the second to Belgium and the third to The Netherlands.
More details about the APHEC will follow in the winter edition of the Mariposa Journal.