Board of Directors
Harrison Farber, MD, Chair
Dr. Harrison “Hap” Farber is a pulmonologist and the director of the Pulmonary Embolism Response Team (PERT) at Tufts Medical Center. He had long been a key opinion leader in the field of pulmonary hypertension. He has made incredible contributions through a successful research career, numerous publications, many mentees who have gone on to be leaders in the field, and with his patient-centered advocacy. He is also a devoted endurance athlete, having repeatedly run the Boston Marathon, Ironman triathlons, and more recently The Pioneer New Zealand in 2016 and 2019 with Team PH. As a Team PH Chair, athlete, and Director of the Research Award, he continues to contribute his energy and passion in helping the pulmonary hypertension community.
Patricia George, MD, Founder
Dr. Patricia George, “PG,” is a PH pulmonologist, Director of the Pulmonary Hypertension Program at National Jewish Health, and President/Co-founder of Team PHenomenal Hope. As one of the original athletes in the Race Across America in 2014, a joint effort in the Race of Our Lives with PHA, she helped lay the groundwork for the athlete-PH patient teamwork epitomized by the Let Me Be Your Lungs program. She views Team PHenomenal Hope as a movement as well as an organization. It is from the strong bonds within this unique community that Team PH is able to provide educational programs, global momentum, funds for research and patient needs, in this race to make a difference in the lives of those living with pulmonary hypertension.pe.
Carl Hicks has served the pulmonary hypertension community in a wide variety of roles since his daughter was diagnosed with what was then called “primary pulmonary hypertension” in 1994. Initially serving as a caregiver for Meaghan, he began to serve the greater community as a patient advocate and was invited to join the PHA Board of Trustees. There he served on every committee, became more deeply involved in advocacy and fundraising at the national level. Representing PHA he has spoken extensively worldwide increasing awareness. While serving as the PHA chairman of the board his daughter Meaghan lost her battle and became a PH Angel. Undaunted, Carl continued to serve raising funds and awareness for the fight as he stepped off the board to join PHA as the executive vice-president. Following four years at PHA he was asked to join industry where he serves as vice-president for patient advocacy and community support. Recently he was honored as the first and only honorary lifetime member of the PHA board of directors. In addition to his board servce for Team Phenomenal Hope he has just been asked to become a PHA Support Group Co-leader near his home in Gig Harbor Washington. Carl has dedicated his life to the fight against pulmonary hypertension.
Julia Feitner, Secretary
Diagnosed in 2008 with pulmonary hypertension, Julia Feitner is a wife and mother. She also has been a PH advocate, event coordinator & fundraiser, support group leader, guest speaker, and PHriend.
Martha Torres has been a tireless advocate in the fight against pulmonary hypertension. Her son, Daniel was first diagnosed with congenital heart disease before his birth. In 2005, at barely a year old, her son was facing a new challenge – PH. Since then, she has supported her son and the PH community through advocacy, education, volunteer work with numerous PH organizations, and outreach both nationally and internationally. Through her diligent efforts in bringing PH awareness to the community, Martha’s work may be the key to allowing her son, and all PH patients, to live a long and happy life.
For the past 30 years Gareth has worked closely with patient communities in conjunction with the roles he held within the pharmaceutical industry. Nineteen years ago, he was blessed to be introduced to the pulmonary hypertension community of patients, families, and healthcare professionals. Since that time he has been humbled to work with and for these amazing patients. He continues to work in the pharmaceutical industry supporting the development of new therapies for pulmonary hypertension.
Lenise Whitley is a PH secondary to left ventricular diastolic disfunction patient and a liver cancer survivor. She is a strong advocate of patient rights and treatments for all PH patients whether it is PH or PAH. She was instrumental in the creation of the Survivor Tent which was set up at PH walks in the Northeast giving patients and/or supporters who could not walk but wanted to show support, a place to rest, have refreshments, get information and socialize with each other. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic she established and maintains a network of pulmonary patients creating a place to support and encourage each other and to provide information that affects them and their respective pulmonary diseases. Lenise strongly believes there should be dignity, choices and a supportive network for all patients.
Allen comes to Team PH with 40 years in litigation experience. He began his career as a trial attorney with the District of Columbia Public Defender Service and has represented private clients before state and federal trial and appellate courts and arbitration panels. He is an avid cyclist and swims six days a week, as well as other exercises. He is planning to put his cycling to good use in raising funds for Team PH. He is happy to race as someone else’s lungs.
Abby Poms, RRT CCRP
Ms. Poms managed the Duke University Pulmonary Vascular Disease Center, overseeing the pulmonary hypertension research programs and clinical care of patients for 25 years. She served on the PHA founding committee of the Pulmonary Hypertension Comprehensive Care (PHCC) program as Co-Chair of the Evaluation and Implementation Committee and is currently a member of the Accreditation Review Committee. She joined E Squared Trials and Registries, Inc. in 2015, managing clinical trials and is currently an independent research consultant in the pulmonary vascular disease field.
Ms. Poms has over 30 years of experience working and publishing in the field of pulmonary hypertension, mentoring clinicians, developing programs for patient education and advocacy and as an advisor to physician practices and industry. She served on the International PHA Scientific Advisory Board for 10 years, was a member of the REVEAL Steering Committee, and is a co-founding member of the Pulmonary Hypertension Professional Network (PHPN) and PHCC program, formed to accredit centers with expertise in the management of PAH patients.
Kathy is a dynamic leader with over twenty years of recruitment experience in the Global Energy Industry. In addition to having one of the first woman-owned recruitment agencies in the global energy arena, she has worked to improve educational opportunities for women through the Doyenne Initiative, a non-governmental organization (NGO) created to provide and support higher-level education and knowledge growth opportunities for women in developing countries. She is also owner and CEO of Medical Edge Recruitment, a large medical staffing agency in the US.
Kathy has personal connection with the PH community, having lost her father to the disease in 2011. She has worked hard in the fight against PH, supporting for many years the BB&T Woodlands Crawphish Festival, an event to fundraise for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association and help improve the lives of those living with PH, and now with her work on the Board of Team PHenomenal Hope.
Emeritus Board Members
Raymond Benza, MD
Dr. Benza is the Program Director of Advanced Heart Failure, Transplant, MCS and Pulmonary Hypertension at Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
William (Bill) Fairey
Bill is the Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer at ChemoCentryx. From 2001 to 2017, Mr. Fairey served in numerous pharmaceutical sales and marketing positions at Actelion Pharmaceuticals US, Inc., most recently as President, where he led Actelion’s sales, marketing, medical and regulatory activities in the United States. Mr. Fairey started his pharmaceutical career with Parke-Davis US, where he held various positions on
the commercial side of the business. Mr. Fairey received his BS in Biology from the University of Oregon and his M.B.A. from Saint Mary’s College, California.
Merle was a PHighter and a super hero (long-term survivor) of this dastardly disease known as pulmonary hypertension. She served on the Board of Directors for Team PHenomenal Hope since its creation, and was a fierce advocate for both Team PH and the PH community. After many years of battling PH, Merle passed away in September of 2022.
Christine first became involved with Team PHenomenal Hope in January of 2018 when she found interest in the Let Me Be Your Lungs program. She joined the endurance program and was matched with young PH patient Callie Linscott. In 2018 alone, Christine’s efforts as a PH athlete, recruitment of other athletes, and participation in other Team PH events, such as the Peloton Challenge, combined raised nearly $14,000 to fight PH. In July of 2018, she joined the board. Christine continues to race for Callie, and consistently brings in significant support to our organization.
Updated: January 2022