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Pulmonary Hypertension Association Names Dr. Vallerie McLaughlin Recipient of 2010 Award of Excellence in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) Care

Thursday, June 24, 2010 Corporate News J E 4
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- Award highlights physician commitment to patient care and research for rare, difficult-to-treat condition -

SILVER SPRING, Md. and SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., June 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) and Actelion Pharmaceuticals US, Inc., today announced Dr. Vallerie McLaughlin of the University of Michigan Health System as the recipient of the annual PHA Award of Excellence in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) Care. As part of the award, the University of Michigan System will receive a grant in the amount of $50,000 to support continued excellence in care for patients with PAH. The award is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Actelion and will be presented at the PHA's 2010 International PH Conference and Scientific Sessions this week in Garden Grove, California.

"We are pleased to recognize Dr. McLaughlin this year for her unrelenting efforts to better the lives of patients with PAH, and to offer our support to the University of Michigan to continue to inspire the entire community with excellence in care," said Michael McGoon, M.D., professor of medicine and consultant in Cardiology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and chair of the Independent PHA Award Steering Committee. "The PHA Award of Excellence provides physicians with reinforcement that their research and level of patient care is meaningful to the PAH community, especially for a debilitating condition that is so misunderstood, under-diagnosed and under-treated."  

Approximately 100,000 people suffer from PAH, a chronic, potentially fatal disease that is characterized by high blood pressure in the lungs.  Patients experience symptoms such as shortness of breath and fatigue, which limit their daily activities and in some cases are so severe that they cannot get out of bed. For these patients, exceptional physician expertise and care is vital to their improvement and overall well-being.

"Dr. McLaughlin was selected in recognition of the quality and broad scope of her service to the PH community. She has served as editor of Advances in Pulmonary Hypertension, PHA's medical journal and as Chair of PHA's Scientific Leadership Council which provides governance for all of the organization's medical activity.  She has generously provided her time to provide medical education for patients, physicians and allied health professionals and has led committees that are shaping a better future for patients living with this disease," said Rino Aldrighetti, president of PHA. "In recent years, patient morale and outlook have improved due to excellent patient care and the continued drive of the entire PAH community to bring better treatment options to patients. Dr. McLaughlin epitomizes this drive, and we thank her for her commitment to improving outcomes for patients with PAH."

Dr. McLaughlin was selected as this year's award recipient by the 2010 PHA Award Steering Committee, comprised of: Dr. McGoon; David Badesch, M.D., professor of medicine in the Divisions of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine and Cardiology, and the clinical director of the Pulmonary Hypertension Center at the University of Colorado; Linda Carr, parent of a PH patient and past chair of PHA's Board of Trustees; Gregory Elliott, M.D., chairman, Department of Medicine, Intermountain Medical Center and professor of medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine; Jack Stibbs, parent of a PH patient and past PHA board chair; and Joanne Sperando-Schmidt, PH patient and past PHA board member. Criteria in selecting the recipients included: proven resources required for excellence in PAH patient care, service to the PAH community, and consistent provision of cutting-edge options for patients living with PAH.

About Dr. McLaughlin

Dr. McLaughlin is currently the professor of medicine and director of the Pulmonary Hypertension Program in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Dr. McLaughlin received her bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering at Northwestern University, Technologic Institute, Evanston, Illinois, and her doctor of medicine from Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois.  Upon completion of her residency in internal medicine at the University of Michigan and her fellowship in cardiovascular diseases at Northwestern University, she served as associate director of the Center for Pulmonary Heart Disease at Rush University in Chicago.

Notes to Editor:

About the Pulmonary Hypertension Association

Headquartered in Silver Spring, Md., PHA is the country's leading organization connecting pulmonary hypertension patients, families, and medical professionals. Its mission is to find ways to prevent and cure pulmonary hypertension and provide hope for the community through support, education, advocacy and awareness. PHA provides free access to information on its website about PH and facilitates over 200 support groups around the nation, helping many of the estimated 30,000 diagnosed patients in the U.S. To learn more, visit: www.PHAssociation.org

Actelion Ltd

Actelion Ltd is a biopharmaceutical company with its corporate headquarters in Allschwil/Basel, Switzerland. Actelion markets its medicinal products through its own subsidiaries in key markets worldwide, including the United States (based in South San Francisco), the European Union, Japan, Canada, Australia and Switzerland. Actelion, founded in late 1997, is a leading player in innovative science related to the endothelium -- the single layer of cells separating every blood vessel from the blood stream. Actelion's over 2,300 employees focus on the discovery, development and marketing of innovative drugs for significant unmet medical needs. Actelion shares are traded on the SIX Swiss Exchange (ticker symbol: ATLN) as part of the Swiss blue-chip index SMI (Swiss Market Index SMI®).

SOURCE Actelion Ltd; Pulmonary Hypertension Association

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