UC Medical Center Named a Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Care Network Site

 

CINCINNATI—University of Cincinnati (UC) Medical Center is now one of 40 medical centers across the nation that is designated a Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Care Network site.

Launched in 2013, the PFF Care Center Network comprises leading medical centers with specific expertise in treating pulmonary fibrosis (PF), a devastating and relentlessly progressive group of lung disorders that cause scarring in the lungs. In addition to being difficult to diagnose and manage, survival rates for many of these ‘interstitial lung diseases’ is less than five years following diagnosis.

“The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Care Network designation is an endorsement of the contributions of our Academic Health Center to the understanding of pulmonary fibrosis, the collective expertise of our physicians, and our multidisciplinary approach to the diagnosis and management of interstitial lung disease,” says Frank McCormack, MD, director of the UC Health Pulmonary Medicine Division.

UC Medical Center is the only hospital in the Tristate and one of only two health centers in Ohio to be part of the PFF Care Network. For our patients, the designation will mean access to an extended network of experts who confer about challenging cases and offer cutting-edge therapies through inclusion in multi-site trials. Eighteen other medical centers across the nation were also inducted into the PFF Care Center Network today.

“Patients in the Tristate area who suffer with scarring lung disease can derive confidence from the knowledge that at UCMC cases are reviewed in conferences with over a dozen pulmonary physicians present, as well as radiologists, pathologists, thoracic surgeons and rheumatologists,” explains McCormack, also Taylor Professor and Director of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine in the UC College of Medicine.

This PFF Care Center Network aims to advance care by fostering comprehensive programs of patient care in multiple regions in the United States, in which specialized care teams comprised of experts work together to provide optimal care for patients, and confer with the broader network of patients around the country. This approach is critical to managing a complex disease like PF and ensuring that people with PF receive an accurate diagnosis, obtain state of the art clinical care and access important support services.

“The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation enthusiastically welcomes the University of Cincinnati Medical Center to the group of Care Center Network sites whose quality health care, research and support groups provide care for people living with PF,” said Kevin Flaherty, MD, chairman of the steering committee of the PFF Care Center Network and PFF Patient Registry. “This latest CCN expansion is essential as we prepare to enroll people in the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Patient Registry early next year through these sites.”

As part of the selection process, a panel of peer reviewers, comprising current members of the PFF Board of Directors, Medical Advisory Board, PFF Care Center Network and PFF Patient Registry Steering Committee, reviewed and scored applications. Medical centers were judged based on their staffing, facilities, training of residents and fellows, level of care offered to patients and contributions to research in the field of pulmonary fibrosis.

“There are roughly 100,000 people in the U.S. with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and at least 10 times that number living with other scarring lung diseases related to forms of arthritis, autoimmune diseases, environmental exposures, drugs and genetic disorders,” says Nishant Gupta, MD, an assistant professor in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine and UC Health physician.

“With the advent of FDA-approved therapies for pulmonary fibrosis it is imperative that patients receive an early and accurate diagnosis”, says Gupta, who also notes that researchers and physicians at UC Health, UC and affiliate institutions have made many contributions to the field including development of an FDA-approved therapy and diagnostic test for lymphangioleiomyomatosis, discovery of a new heritable form of pulmonary alveolar proteinosis, and identification of mutations in surfactant genes that result in interstitial lung diseases.”

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