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January 11, 2011
By Anne McMillin
The University of Nevada School of Medicine, Renown Children's Hospital and the Cystic Fibrosis Center at Stanford, located at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, have joined forces to allow Cystic Fibrosis patients in northern Nevada to join more than 25 clinical trials with Stanford University serving as a referral center.
The first of its kind in the region, this program is approved for accreditation as an affiliate program by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Center Committee with Renown Children's Hospital becoming one of 55 affiliate programs nationwide. The CF Center at Stanford, to which Renown is affiliated, is one of 110 care centers accredited by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Cystic Fibrosis is one of the most common types of chronic lung disease in children and young adults. It is also the most common, deadly, inherited disorder affecting Caucasians in the United States.
As part of the program, all patients are seen by a team of specialists as recommended by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Team members include the School of Medicine's Sonia Budhecha, M.D., a board-certified pulmonologist and director of the cystic fibrosis program; Anthony Floreani, M.D., co-director of the children's CF program and director of the adult program; Kathy Peele, School of Medicine certified pediatric nurse practitioner and program coordinator; Heidi Shoemaker, registered dietician; Sandy Ollivier, respiratory therapist and Dannielle Adler, social worker. These individuals have extensive experience in pediatrics as well as expertise that comes with considerable CF training. Dr. Jasmine Dhindsa, an infectious disease specialist with CF experience, serves as the infectious disease consultant for the center.
"This affiliation offers local CF patients a tremendous opportunity to get the comprehensive care they need by bringing a team of local and national experts together to offer patients the latest therapies and promising new treatments," said Budhecha. "The affiliation with Stanford University provides our patients immediate access to all of their clinical trials, ensuring leading-edge treatment options. The CF Center at Stanford is the largest such center on the West Coast and participates in more research trials than any other center near to us. It is also the only pediatric lung transplant center in the area."
As part of the affiliation, Dr. Carlos Milla, director of the Stanford Cystic Fibrosis Center, will collaborate with the Renown cystic fibrosis team of specialists and make routine site visits to Renown Children's Hospital. His visits will help ensure the care provided continues to meet the rigorous standards established by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to maintain accreditation as an affiliated program.
In addition to the children's cystic fibrosis program, Dr. Anthony Floreani, an adult pulmonologist with Pulmonary Medicine Associates, is directing an adult CF program. Similar to the children's program, this will allow adults living with CF to receive comprehensive treatment in one facility. The specialized team of experts will work with both pediatric and adult patients, resulting in uninterrupted care and treatment into adulthood.
"We would like all of our patients to be seen at least quarterly by the CF team at Renown Children's Hospital," said Budhecha. "This way we can ensure the course of treatment they are receiving is right for them."
All children's appointments can be made through Budhecha's University Health System pediatrics office at (775) 784-6522 and all adult patients can be made through Pulmonary Medicine Associates at (775)329-9010.