Meet the Team
Parents; you are the most important team members!
You are your child's caregiver. The cystic fibrosis (CF) team is here to support you and provide you with the resources necessary for your child to grow up with the brightest future.
The CF team members are physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, nutritionists, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, child life specialists, psychologists, pharmacists, genetic counselors, care managers, and integrative medicine specialists.
We are also your coaches, cheerleaders, and fans, rallied around three central goals:
- To give the best possible care.
- To keep your child in the best possible health for new therapies.
- To see your child graduate to an adult CF center with normal lung function and normal nutritional status.
More information about the CF team:
At Children's, a multidisciplinary team experienced in pediatrics focuses on compassionate care and thorough management of your child's health care needs.
John McNamara, M.D.
Michael Pryor, M.D.
Associate Medical Director
Specialty Care System Clinic Manager
Mary Sachs, RN, CNP
During your visits, you may meet some or all of these specialists:
Pediatric Pulmonologist and Certified Nurse Practitioner
A pediatric pulmonologist is a doctor who specializes in the treatment of respiratory systems in children. A certified pediatric nurse practitioner is an advanced practice nurse with additional education and training in pediatrics and children with special needs.
These are the physicians and nurse practitioners who manage your child's CF care. Working closely with your child's primary care physician, they perform histories and physical examinations, order diagnostic tests, make diagnoses, order treatments, and direct the CF care your child receives.
You will see these specialists during CF clinic visits and during hospitalizations. They develop treatment plans in collaboration with other team members. In addition, they help maintain your child's health, anticipate health needs, and provide education and family support.
The CF coordinator is an advanced practice nurse who helps coordinate your child's care and education during the hospital stay. The coordinator teaches you and your child about CF and helps inform other team members about your questions and concerns. In addition, the coordinator directs our research activities.
While in the hospital, the care manager helps your child's primary care nurse coordinate your child's stay. The care manager can address insurance issues and will help you find medical resources and obtain home medical equipment upon discharge.
Chaplains offer you and your family spiritual support. They help you and your child adjust to life with a chronic illness by looking at what brings you hope and resiliency. Chaplains also are available to assist with religious or spiritual needs you may have around your child's illness.
Child life staff help minimize your child's stress while in the hospital. They help your child understand and cope with treatments. They also support your child's growth and development with age-appropriate activities.
The exercise physiologist complement your child's treatment by improving health, fitness, energy, and performance through exercise. At the Kohl's PowerCubed Exercise Medicine Center, staff develop an exercise plan for your child and evaluate outcomes.
- Learn more about the Kohl's PowerCubed Exercise Center at Children's
- See our Patient/Family Education handout about CF exercises
The genetic counselor helps you understand how CF runs in families. The counselor also arranges genetic testing and interprets these tests for you and your family.
Hospital Patient Care Nurse
Children's registered nurses are experts in helping patients and their families learn about CF and their medications, and in providing the care patients need. CF patients range from infants to young adults. Children's nurses understand the different needs of each age group. Your child's nurse will work with you to make sure you have the information you need to care for your child at home.
Integrative Medicine Program
Staff in Children's Integrative Medicine program include pediatricians, psychologists, nurses and other health professionals who blend the best of conventional and complementary therapies. Services are provided both inpatient and outpatient, and include assessment, treatment and consultative services. Therapies may include biofeedback, imagery/self-hypnosis, massage, healing touch, acupoint stimulation, psychotherapy, and mind body skills groups. Integrative medicine services will help your child develop self-management skills and stress-management strategies. Children with symptoms of anxiety, stress, pain, sleep problems and adjustment issues related to CF may also benefit from Integrative Medicine services.
Nutritionists teach you and your family about the importance of nutrition for a child with CF. They will provide information and counseling about infant formulas, vitamins, high-calorie and high-protein diets, pancreatic enzyme supplements, and dietary supplements.
Pharmacists review and dispense all medications. While at Children's, a clinical pharmacist monitor your child daily for drug effectiveness and interactions, and is available to address your medication questions and concerns.
- Learn more about pharmacy services at Children's
- See our Patient/Family Education handout about CF medicines
Physical therapists will teach you and your family about the benefits of exercise. During a hospital stay they provide you child with age appropriate physical activities. They create a program for your child to help improve strength, flexibility, and aerobic capacity in the hospital and at home. They can also help your child become involved in community activities such as team sports.
Psychologists will help you and your child understand and cope with the demands of a chronic illness and adjust to a medical routine. They also can help by evaluating emotional reactions and learning or attention problems. Psychologists will assist with behavioral management for children of all ages.
Pulmonary clinic nurse
The pulmonary clinic nurse coordinates your child's outpatient care. This includes addressing your concerns and questions when you call the clinic and helping with appointment scheduling. The pulmonary clinic nurse also provides you with information about CF during clinic visits.
Respiratory Care Practitioner
Respiratory care practitioners will perform all airway clearance treatments, aerosol therapy, and pulmonary function testing while your child is in the hospital. They will work closely with you to help you learn the skills to administer respiratory therapy treatments for your child at home.
Social workers help you get the emotional support you and your child need during hospitalizations, clinic visits, and at home. The social worker also helps answer questions you may have about the financial aspects of your child's care.
Other Affiliated Specialists
Sometimes your child may need the expertise of other specialists if she/he develops complications of CF related to other body systems. At Children's we coordinate with experts in the following fields: