Pictured: Jeane Szwarc,
Adriana Thibodeux and
family, and Karen Ross
Issue 2, May 2018

Great News!

Welcome to the 2nd edition of the ASCENT Newsletter! Actelion innovation and growth continue to be robust on all fronts, and the Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Advocacy Relations and US Medical Communications teams are excited to share updates on our latest events, initiatives, and programs. If you’d like to know more, or find a way to become involved, please contact us. Happy reading!


Team Leads

US Medical Communications
Marc Spangner, Director
Janette Nieva, US Medical Operations Specialist
Rocket Romer, Grants Specialist
Advocacy Relations
Karen Ross,
Associate Director, Professional Relations & Advocacy

Advocacy Corner 

November Was PAH Awareness Month.
Are You Aware of Everything That Happened?

  • November 2—PAH Awareness Month Kickoff Lunch & Learn
    In South San Francisco, Betty Lou Wojciechowski (patient advocate) and her daughter Michelle (patient) shared their journey to kick off awareness month right
  • November 5—Race Against PH
    Participants raised funds for the awareness and support of PH at Stanford PAC-12 Plaza. Multiple Actelion participants attended this
    run and a good time was had by all
  • November 15—Blue Lips Foundation Lunch & Learn
    Meredith and Randy Wilharber (patient and patient advocate) shared their story and their organization’s mission in South San Francisco. Their goal is to “rule in” PAH early and efficiently to give those living with this disease every opportunity to live extended and quality lives after diagnosis

    Learn more about the Blue Lips Foundation: http://www.bluelipsfoundation.org/
  • All month—Innovation Wall Wishes
    As an example of Actelion’s continued commitment to PAH care, field colleagues posted their wishes for patients with PAH on blue lips on the Innovation Wall during the entire month
  • November 2, 9, 15, 30—Bake Sales
    In South San Francisco, baked goods made with love were sold in the Bistro. Proceeds were presented to Betty Lou Wojciechowski to donate to the PAH non-profit organization of her choice

Raising Heart Rates to Raise Awareness

Once again, Actelion field colleagues were honored to be part of the O2 Breathe Walks, raising funds to help raise PAH awareness.
  • September 30—O2 Breathe Walk at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA. All those involved had a great time at this fund-raising event, sponsored by Actelion
  • October 1—O2 Breathe Walk at the Philadelphia Zoo, Philadelphia, PA. Once again, Actelion was proud to sponsor the event

Pictured: Melissa Nathanson, Elena Umansky, and
Kelly Lennox
Actelion field colleagues were also proud to help raise funds for the
search for a cure for scleroderma. Those involved had tons of fun!
  • October 1—Scleroderma Foundation’s Stepping Out to Cure Scleroderma in Philadelphia, PA. Actelion colleagues walked with patients and provided giveaways at this important event for which Actelion was also a National Gold Sponsor

Pictured: Tina Eckenrode and Chris Amabile
Team PHenomenal Hope

A World of Good—World PH Day and Team
PHenomenal Hope’s Let Me Be Your
Lungs Program

As you know, World PH Day is held every May 5th to raise awareness and celebrate the lives of those living with PH. Actelion employees had the opportunity to collaborate with Team PHenomenal HOPE and be paired with patients to participate in athletic events, such as a marathon, 5K, and triathlon to race for those who are not able to race for themselves. Our Actelion athletes and their patient counterparts were encouraged to meet and raise awareness and funds, together. This is the first year that Actelion has actively participated in the Team PHenomenal HOPE event and was proud to be a sponsor with a generous corporate grant.

Sponsorships, Grants,
and Education Forum 

New News

Actelion continues to support basic science research through the Young Investigator Program grants. And, most recently, another article, “In vivo endocrine secretion of prostacyclin following expression of a cyclooxygenase-1/prostacyclin fusion protein in the salivary glands of rats via nonviral gene therapy,” by Z. Wang and colleagues was published in the August 2017 issue of Human Gene Therapy. This research was made possible in part through Actelion and an additional R21 grant. That’s great news!

To view the article abstract, visit:


What’s on TV Tonight? IMPACT PH,
CME Speaking Program

Actelion is a leading sponsor of the annual IMPACT PH program on the PAH.tv learning platform. Forty-five live, 1-hour dinner/grand rounds/CE-CME programs were produced, led by Dr. Vallerie McLaughlin, and over 50 web and mobile-based programs had nearly 50,000 views!
Visit: http://pah.tv/home.aspx

Support will continue in 2018 with
a plethora of programs and work
Curriculum themes identified by Total CME’s steering committee include
  • 50 live, on-demand dinner and/or grand rounds programs
  • 4 Clinical Insights roundtables
  • 52 Did You Know? weekly email blasts
  • 12 Case of the Month email blasts
  • 4 CME/CNE certified MinuteCE programs
  • Limited knowledge of efficacy and safety with aggressive combination therapies
  • Guidance for HCPs dealing with patients who are not meeting treatment goals
  • Complex modern therapy choices have the potential for uncoordinated patient management between expert and referral physicians
  • Physicians are inadequately aware of the relevant issues involving patients who are not successfully meeting goals on PAH treatment

You’re the Jury

In 2018, Actelion will support another addition of Holding Court in PAH, broadcast through PAH.tv. The program is a new delivery method for virtual symposia designed around a court case concept, utilizing leading physicians to act as the judge, lawyers, and witnesses to scientifically argue both sides of challenging medical situations. The Jury is the viewing public who will vote on the PAH.tv website and associated social media channels.

Like Everyone These Days, PAH Is On the Go  

Actelion is proud to support high-quality live, web, and mobile content through PAH On the Go and MinuteCE, the only mobile microburst learning program designed to give and bank credits
of 5 minutes or less that meet ACCME standards.

Support will continue in 2018 with the launch of 16 new, innovative programs. The series of programs will deliver content to HCPs in micro-segments (3-5 minutes), a point-to-point learning format, and will be integrated with interactive, non-traditional quiz game modules. The games are specific to lectures or case segments and will be timed and allow attendees to compete against one another. They’re available to all users of the MinuteCE platform.

Go to www.minutece.com to learn more


We Care About Helping Nurses Improve Patient Care

The allied healthcare professional community remains a focus for our
CME programs

Advancing Knowledge in Healthcare (AKH) sponsored a series of educational programs, “The Nurse’s Role in Improving Outcomes in Patients With Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension,” focusing on aspects of PAH management, including a review of the pathophysiology, classification, and clinical outcomes of PAH as well as reviews of strategies to improve therapeutic and clinical outcomes in patients with PAH. The courses were conducted by
Martha Kingman, FNP-C, DNP, or Sandra Lombardi, RN, and were highly successful.

AKH also developed an online enduring activity for nurse practitioners, nurses, and other providers involved in the management of PAH that was designed to offer 1.0 contact hours and includes 1.0 hours of pharmacology. The program, released on May 25, 2017, will remain available until May 24, 2018.

In 2018, Actelion will continue to support AKH. Martha Kingman and
Sandra Lombardi will conduct 5 live programs titled “Improving Treatment Adherence & Outcomes in PAH: Patients Who Are Not Meeting Their Treatment Goals.” Meetings will be held May 17 in Scottsdale, AZ; June 21 in Portland, OR; July 19 in Troy, MI; August 16 in Los Angeles, CA; and September 27 in New Orleans, LA.

Learn more about the programs and online course by visiting:

A Winning Strategy for Nursing  

Every year, participants at the AACN NTI Conference get to participate in live sessions dedicated to cutting- edge topics. In May 2017, Actelion supported a course hosted by ProCE and conducted by Nick H. Kim, MD, titled “Nursing Strategies to Improve Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension in Critical Care.” Over 300 critical care nurses attended and found the content to be outstanding!

The session provided an overview of the diagnosis of PAH, along with a discussion of current scientific evidence and practice guidelines. It also presented

strategies for improved PAH inter-professional team communication, including those during transitions of care.

At this year’s conference on May 23, 2018, Actelion will once again support ProCE to host a sunrise session titled “Priorities in Critical Care Management of PAH” conducted by Martha Kingman.

Learn more about the 2018 AACN NTI conference:

A Mega Year for


For 2018, we continue to partner with the premier online CME provider Medscape, providing innovative education for HCPs, patients, and caregivers on the topics of PAH and MF sponsored by Actelion.

Striding Toward Excellence in PAH Management

CME Activities
A half dozen CME courses—all 30 minutes or under—focused on useful topics such as “What’s New in PAH? Therapeutic Concepts and Implications for Clinical Care” and “Getting With the PAH Guidelines: What Every Clinician Needs to Know.”

Patient Education Activities
Educational information isn’t reserved just for HCPs. Patients with PAH play a crucial role in the management of their disease. That’s why a web page was developed providing a single destination to 2 WebMD Education articles for patients and caregivers on PAH: “Understanding medicines to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension” and “Taking more than 1 medicine for pulmonary arterial

hypertension.” Both articles will help increase knowledge about medicines used to manage PAH so that more effective treatment decisions can be made in conjunction with their doctor.

View WebMD page:

Curbside Consult on Common Concerns in PAH
The pharmacist plays a crucial role in the management of PAH, interfacing with patients and answering potential questions. In this educational video, Vallerie McLaughlin, MD, and Rebekah Anguiano, PharmD, explore management of the patient with PAH, highlighting the role of the clinical pharmacist and providing valuable information.


  • International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT)

    April 11–14, 2018
    Nice, France

  • World PH Day

    May 5, 2018
  • American Thoracic Society (ATS)

    May 18–23, 2018
    San Diego, CA

  • PHA International Conference

    June 29–July 1, 2018
    Orlando, FL

  • Scleroderma Patient Conference

    July 27–29, 2018
    Philadelphia, PA

  • CHEST Conference

    October 6–10, 2018
    San Antonio, TX