Caring for kids with cystic fibrosis
We're central Virginia's only Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-accredited CF Care Center, and our outcomes are among the best in America. Here, we provide care to children living with this lung condition with a multidisciplinary team of nurses, physicians, dietitians, social workers, respiratory therapists, psychologists and pharmacists.
Our team has pioneered a method for improving key CF measures of disease severity that has been presented at multiple North American CF Conferences and published in peer-reviewed medical journals. As a result, our patients’ average forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), the measure that best reflects lung health, and their average body mass index (BMI), the measure that best reflects nutritional status, are among the best in the U.S. We have accomplished this by way of introducing process improvement methods that ensure that we make optimal use of therapies that are known to be effective in the care of people with CF. This includes weekly preclinic meetings at which the entire care team discusses patients and plans their next clinic visit; development of algorithms to guide our responses to any fall-off in health as well as tracking tools to ensure that these treatment responses have been effective. We integrate this approach in the context of high expectations and low thresholds for treatment, and teamwork that includes patients and families, who are encouraged to play an active role in care decisions and monitoring.
In 2018, our pediatric program was selected as the recipient of the CFF’s Quality Care Award, recognizing our commitment to and accomplishments in improving outcomes for people with CF.
Leading the way in CF research
In addition to providing testing, education, care and advocacy, our CF team leads efforts to improve symptoms and quality of life through clinical research.
Our pulmonary team is involved in basic science, clinical, comparative effectiveness and epidemiologic research related to CF. A number of studies are initiated and conducted by our faculty researchers, and we also participate in the CFF Therapeutic Development Network and Success with Therapies Research Consortium. Funding sources include the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies, and pharmaceutical company partners.