The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF), in order to provide top clinical care for those who suffer from Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF), is expanding its PFF Care Center Network (CCN), a patient care concept originally piloted by The University of Chicago’s Pulmonary Clinic.
The PFF Care Center Network was launched in 2013 and brings together medical centers with proven expertise and experience in the treatment of fibrotic lung diseases to provide quality patient care with a comprehensive, standardized, and multidisciplinary approach to PF diagnosis. The PFF Care Center Network provides additional services and support staff to address not only patients but also caregivers that deal with the disease. The new expansion includes 21 locations in 20 different states.
Kevin Flaherty, the chairman of the Steering Committee of the PFF Care Center Network said in a press release: “When selecting sites to add to the PFF Care Center Network, we consider a center’s specific programs and its geographic location in order to best serve the needs of the broader pulmonary fibrosis community. The new centers selected provide the highest quality patient care and an individualized approach to treatment in accordance with best evidence-based recommendations. We welcome these new centers and look forward to continuing to expand the Network in the coming year.”
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PF is a serious and relentlessly progressive disease with no known cure that is characterized by hardening and scarring of the lungs that causes impairment of oxygen and blood flow. Many of those with PF have on average 2 or 3 years to live after the diagnosis.
Making an accurate PF diagnosis can be challenging, as the symptoms can often seem common — which is why the PFF recommends regular visits to a pulmonary specialist. PF symptoms can include discomfort in the chest, shortness of breath, hacking cough, and fatigue. To manage disease progression, an early diagnosis is crucial, and treatment at one of the PFF Care Center Network locations can ensure that patients will receive adequate clinical care.
The institutions newly certified as PFF Care Center Network sites include:
- Inova Fairfax Medical Campus
- Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
- Medical University of South Carolina
- New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center
- Piedmont Healthcare
- The University of Arizona Interstitial Lung Disease Program at the University of Arizona Medical Center-University Campus in Tucson
- The University of Kansas Hospital
- Tulane University School of Medicine
- University of Alabama at Birmingham
- University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
- University of Pennsylvania
- Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
This expansion follows an important breakthrough in PF care. In late October, 2014 the United Stated Food and Drug Administration approved the first two drugs, Esbriet® and OFEV®, to address idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), highly increasing therapeutic options for the disease.