The University of Cincinnati (UC) Medical Center is among the 19 medical centers recently invited after careful review to become part of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) Care Center Network. The network now comprises 40 centers across 26 U.S. states with established expertise in the treatment of pulmonary fibrosis (PF).
The PFF Care Center Network, launched in 2013, fosters an collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to offer specialized but comprehensive care for the proper diagnosis and treatment of patients with PF, and to ease access to relevant support services for patients and their families.
The UC Medical Center is the only hospital in the tristate Cincinnati area, and one of two Ohio health centers, to become part of the PFF Care Network. Researchers and clinicians at UC, UC Health and affiliate institutions have made significant contributions to the PF field — namely, the development of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved treatment and diagnostic tool for the condition known as lymphangioleiomyomatosis, the identification of gene mutations that lead to interstitial lung diseases, and the discovery of a novel, heritable form of pulmonary alveolar proteinosis.
“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,” said Dr. Frank McCormack, director of the UC Health Pulmonary Medicine Division and the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, in a news release. “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.”
“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 Dr. Kevin Flaherty, chairman of the PFF Care Center Network’s steering committee.
All the selected medical centers were carefully evaluated by a panel of experts with regard to their facilities, staff, training of fellows and residents, level of care, and contributions to research in the PF field.
“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,” noted Dr. Nishant Gupta, a physician and assistant professor in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine. “With the advent of FDA-approved therapies for pulmonary fibrosis it is imperative that patients receive an early and accurate diagnosis.”
As part of the PFF Care Network, UC Medical Center will be able to offer its patients access to a wider range of experts to discuss and solve challenging cases, and also to cutting-edge therapies, and has the possibility of participating in multicenter clinical trials and the upcoming PFF Patient Registry, a research tool.