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University of South Florida

Pulmonary Fibrosis program based at USF Health, Tampa General earns national network designation

The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) announced Aug. 10 the expansion of its nationwide Care Center Network with the selection of six additional sites, including the program based at USF Health and Tampa General Hospital.

The PFF’s Care Center Network, a group of medical centers with expertise in accurately diagnosing and treating individuals with pulmonary fibrosis (PF), now has 74 sites in 35 states. The six new sites will increase access to high-quality care and services that are crucial to the local PF community.

“Our designation as a PFF Care Center reflects our focus and commitment to the growing number of patients living with PF and interstitial lung disease (ILD),” said Jose D. Herazo-Maya, MD, the Ubben Endowed Chair, associate professor and chief of Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine. Dr. Herazo-Maya is also the director of the Ubben Center and Laboratory for Pulmonary Fibrosis Research in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, and Medical Director of the TGH Medical Intensive Care Unit.

“Together, with Tampa General Hospital, our experts in pulmonology, radiology, pathology and rheumatology will care for patients as a multidisciplinary team, while also studying the causes and therapies for these complex diseases,” said Dr. Debabrata Bandyopadhyay, director of the Interstitial Lung Disease Program at Tampa General Hospital’s Center for Advanced Lung Disease (CALD).

“This designation provides our PF patients an opportunity to be cared for at a center that provides outstanding patient care, innovative research but, most importantly, the opportunity for a lung transplant if needed,” said Dr. Kapilkumar Patel, director of the CALD and Lung Transplant Program at TGH.

Among other pulmonary and lung disorders, Dr. Herazo-Maya’s research is heralding significant findings for pulmonary fibrosis and his work recently received a boost with a $5 million donation.

All six newly designated medical centers are:

  • Center for Advanced Lung Disease at Keck Medicine of University of Southern California (Los Angeles, Calif.)
  • Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin (Milwaukee, Wis.)
  • Rush University (Chicago, Ill.)
  • University of Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, Okla.)
  • University of South Florida-Tampa General Hospital (Tampa, Fla.)
  • Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, Va.)

“We are pleased to welcome six new members to the PFF Care Center Network. Each has demonstrated an ability to not only provide comprehensive care for patients living with PF and ILD, but also to offer vital support to their caregivers and loved ones,” said Jessica Shore, PhD, RN, vice president of Clinical Affairs and Quality for the PFF.  “These hospitals also offer PF and ILD education materials and opportunities to participate in research.”

More than 250,000 Americans are living with pulmonary fibrosis and interstitial lung disease. The prevalence of PF and ILD is on the rise with more than 50,000 new cases diagnosed annually. Clinical trials are now underway to treat various forms of the diseases.