Pulmonary Hypertension Program Earns Recognition

NORTH FORTY NEWS FILE PHOTO

Reaccreditation assures patients of highest quality care.

Reaccreditation of a program that treats pulmonary hypertension means health care consumers in Northern Colorado can be assured they are receiving high quality care with the potential for excellent outcomes.

The Pulmonary Hypertension Association has recognized Banner Health’s pulmonary hypertension program, and particularly the pulmonary arterial hypertension focus, for quality of care and positive patient outcomes. The pulmonary hypertension program is led by cardiologist Lin-Wang Dong, MD, PHD, pulmonologist J. David Cowden, MD, nurse practitioner Katherine Kavanaugh and physician assistant Laura Marinello. The reaccreditation as a Regional Pulmonary Hypertension Care Center runs through October 2025.

Pulmonary hypertension is a condition in which there is high blood pressure in the vessels that carry blood from the right heart to the lungs – different from what is commonly referred to as high blood pressure. Symptoms can include rest or exertional shortness of breath, fatigue, blue lips and skin, fainting and dizziness. There are many causes of pulmonary hypertension including congenital heart disease, autoimmune disorder, blood clot in the vessel, lung disease and heart valve dysfunction. Some forms of pulmonary hypertension can be devastating if its diagnosis is delayed.

Pulmonary hypertension specialists are skilled in the diagnosis and management of this rare disease in all its stages and forms. The diverse team of specialists at the Pulmonary Hypertension Care Center also evaluates patients who have unexplained shortness of breath patients in order to diagnose and treat early pulmonary hypertension patients.

According to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, pulmonary arterial hypertension was once thought to be a fast-advancing, fatal condition. Now it can be treated with medications. The association reports that the median time from when a patient’s symptoms began to when they are diagnosed is more than a year. Often patients see multiple physicians before being diagnosed correctly. The association’s goal through the accreditation program is to ensure that patients have access to outstanding care in pulmonary hypertension. Patient appointments are available at the Banner pulmonology clinics in Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley.

Banner Health is one of the largest, secular nonprofit health care systems in the country. In addition to 30 acute- care hospitals, Banner also operates an academic medicine division, Banner – University Medicine, and Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, a partnership with one of the world’s leading cancer programs, MD Anderson
Cancer Center. Banner’s array of services includes a health insurance division, employed physician groups,
outpatient surgery centers, urgent care locations, home care and hospice services, retail pharmacies, stand-alone
imaging centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation, behavioral health services, a research division and a nursing
registry. To make health care easier, 100% of Banner-employed doctors are available for virtual visits, and
Banner operates a free 24/7 nurse line for health questions or concerns. Patients may also reserve spots at
Banner Urgent Care locations and can book appointments online with many Banner-employed doctors.
Headquartered in Arizona, Banner Health also has locations in California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and
Wyoming. For more information, visit bannerhealth.com.

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