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Pittsburgh Cardiologist Named Physician of the Year by Pulmonary Hypertension Association
Date:6/22/2012

he award are chosen by their peers.    

“This prestigious honor is bestowed to our field’s most accomplished physicians who exemplify the highest standards of patient care quality, innovation and advocacy. Dr. Benza’s contributions to advancing the treatment of pulmonary hypertension and heart failure throughout his stellar career have been enormous and we are extremely proud to work along side him in the care of patients with these highly complex diseases,” said Srinivas Murali, MD, Director of AGH’s Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Medical Director of the hospital’s Gerald McGinnis Cardiovascular Institute. “No one is more deserving of the PHA’s Physician of the Year award.”

Through his tireless work on behalf of the PHA with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and the International Society of Heart Lung Transplant, Dr. Benza recently helped develop a new algorithm that has modified the nation’s lung allocation process to ensure a fairer distribution of donor lungs for patients with end stage pulmonary diseases like PH.

As a result of those efforts, PH patients who typically have been placed low on the waiting list now have a better chance at receiving a life-saving lung transplant.

Dr. Benza has also literally climbed mountains to raise greater public awareness about pulmonary hypertension, scaling both the Grand Teton in 2007 and Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2010. The experience, he said, brought him even closer to the patients in his care as the shortness of breath one experiences during such daunting ascents is comparable to what patients with PH experience every day.

“Dr. Ray Benza is truly an outstanding leader in treating and researching PH, in educating patients and other professionals about the illness and in advocating for the PH cause,” said Rino Aldrighetti, president of PHA. “The PHA is very proud of Dr. Benza’s work and deeply grateful for his many contributions to fighting this ser
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