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December 21, 2011

Billings Clinic gains status as Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Affiliate Program

Billings, MT— Billings Clinic has been approved as a Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Affiliate Program. Billings Clinic is the only Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) Affiliate Program in Montana and Wyoming and will offer the highest standard of care for both pediatric and adult patients with cystic fibrosis. As an affiliate, the program will have increased opportunity for participation in national research studies that will provide access to the latest medications and therapies for cystic fibrosis.

Besides taking care of people with cystic fibrosis (CF), care centers also participate in CF clinical research and work to educate healthcare professionals about CF and the care people living with the disease require. Data from people with CF is collected in the national CF Foundation’s Patient Registry, which is a rich resource for patients, CF health care professional and CF researchers to track the health of people living with CF in the United States. This database will allow the Billings Clinic program to pull data for patients from Montana and Wyoming to help identify the specific needs for patients in this region.

Dr. Jerimiah Lysinger, Pediatric Pulmonologist at Billings Clinic and Dr. Catherine Stephens, Pulmonologist at Billings Clinic will fill the roles of co-directors at the Billings Clinic Cystic Fibrosis Center, working together to care for both pediatric and adult patients. Patients will be seen in Billings as well as at outreach clinics in Miles City, Great Falls, Missoula, Bozeman and Great Falls.

When the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation was established in 1955, most children did not live to attend elementary school. Today, the predicted median age of survival is in the mid-30s, thanks to the care provided though the national network of CF Foundation-accredited centers.

The network provides expert cystic fibrosis care for people living with the disease. In fact, the National Institutes of Health has cited the CF care center network as a model of effective and efficient health care delivery for a chronic disease.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation provides funding for and accredits more than 110 cystic fibrosis care centers and 55 affiliate programs nationwide, including 96 programs for treating adults with CF. All programs, however, are staffed by dedicated healthcare professionals who specialize in the treatment of cystic fibrosis.

Each center undergoes thorough review by the CF Foundation’s Center Committee before it receives accreditation and funding. This review for accreditation occurs every year.

The high quality of specialized care available throughout the care center network has led to the improved length and quality of life for people with CF. Located at teaching and community hospitals across the country, these care centers offer the best care, treatments, and support for those with CF.

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