Texas Children’s Pulmonary Hypertension Program earns national accreditation

February 28, 2017

Texas Children’s Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) Program recently earned national accreditation from the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA). Texas Children’s is among only six pediatric programs nationwide, and the only one in the southwest, to be awarded this high level of distinction.

“This accreditation is a recognition of the care that our program provides for children who suffer from PH,” said Texas Children’s pulmonologist Dr. Nidhy Varghese. “It is an honor to collaborate with other PH specialists across the country to advance the understanding and treatment of this lung condition that can affect heart function.”

The PHA designation means a lot for patient families like Jessica Johnson, whose 11-year-old daughter Kayleigh, was diagnosed with PH two and a half years ago.

Prior to her daughter’s diagnosis, Kayleigh experienced multiple fainting episodes with exercise. After seeing several pediatric cardiologists in their home state of Louisiana, Kayleigh finally received a diagnosis of PH, but her condition was so far advanced that she was in severe right heart failure. Since their local hospital did not have the resources to treat her condition, the family came to Texas Children’s Hospital for treatment.

“To know that my child is receiving state-of-the-art treatment reassures our decision in choosing the PH team at Texas Children’s as Kayleigh’s care facility,” Johnson said. “My husband and I are extremely happy to hear that Texas Children’s received accreditation from PHA.”

In order to be designated an accredited PH Care Center, a program must demonstrate dedication to making a proper diagnosis and have the capacity to appropriately and comprehensively manage PH patients through a set of criteria established by the PHA’s Scientific Leadership Council and PHCC Oversight Committee.

“PH is a rare disease which requires care from highly trained specialists,” said Dr. George Mallory, director of the PH Program and medical director of the Lung Transplant Program at Texas Children’s. “PHA-designated comprehensive care centers are committed to providing state-of-the-art care and therefore achieving the best possible outcomes.”

Since Kayleigh’s treatment at Texas Children’s through the PH Program, Johnson says her daughter has made great progress.

“She runs, plays, rides her bike and has gone back to taking dance lessons,” Johnson said. “Kayleigh has not had another episode since her diagnosis and she is doing many of the things she enjoyed prior to her diagnosis. I truly believe the doctors and staff at Texas Children’s saved my daughter’s life. For that, I am forever grateful.”

Texas Children’s Pulmonary Medicine is ranked No. 1 nationally by U.S. News & World Report. For more information on the PH Program, click here.