Cystic Fibrosis

The Gunnar Esiason Adult Cystic Fibrosis and Lung Program

Director
Emily DiMango M.D.

Associate Director
Claire Keating, M.D.

For Appointments
Jasmin Simmons
P: (212) 305-0631

For More Information
Victoria Robinson, RN
Nurse Coordinator
Email: vgr2103@columbia.edu
P: (212) 305-0686
F: (212) 342-4785

Gunner Esiason logoIn 2009, with a generous grant from the Boomer Esiason Foundation, and under the directorship of Dr. Emily DiMango, The Gunnar Esiason Adult Cystic Fibrosis and Lung Program was established, making it the premier site for adult cystic fibrosis care and research in the New York Metropolitan area.  It offers a comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment of cystic fibrosis in adults, with specific attention to transition of patients from the pediatric to adult health care system.  In addition, the program pursues innovative clinical and basic research, trains future experts in the care and study of adult CF, and provides patient education and outreach programs. 

Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited disease that affects the respiratory and digestive systems. Columbia University has a long tradition in the diagnosis and treatment of cystic fibrosis. The disease was first described in 1938 at this institution by Dr. Dorothy Andersen. The sweat test was developed in 1953 by Dr. Paul di Sant’Agnese when he recognized salt loss as the cause of death in CF patients during a heat wave in NYC.  Several renowned scientists from the institution have laboratories dedicated to the further understanding of the disease.  Specifically, investigators from Columbia have made major contributions to understanding the electrolyte abnormalities in CF, the mechanisms of lung inflammation in this disease, and development of infection control guidelines. The national reference lab for Pseudomonas aeruginosa synergy testing is located at Columbia.

Technological advances have been made in both disease diagnosis and treatment over the past several decades, resulting in improved survival among patients.  Medical, social, and nutritional needs of patients with CF often change as they mature.  Fertility issues also become important to some individuals as they get older.  In response to these changing needs, the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Program at Columbia University Medical Center was started by Dr. Emily DiMango as a complement to the nationally renowned pediatric program at Columbia.  

Patient Care

medical staff consulting The adult Cystic Fibrosis Program offers state of the art clinical care for patients 18 years of age and older with cystic fibrosis, Kartegener’s disease, bronchiectasis, and related respiratory disorders.  The multi-disciplinary team includes two full time physicians dedicated to CF, a full time nurse coordinator, a full time social worker, a full time nutritionist and assistance from physical therapy.  Patients are seen in the Adult clinic setting, with meticulous attention to infection control issues; the staff is well-trained regarding infection control in CF and follow strict guidelines to prevent spread of bacteria between patients.  The team assists patients with issues such as airway clearance techniques, home IV therapy, home equipment, short and long term disability, exercise and work related restrictions.  Furthermore, the Center participates in clinical trials to offer state of the art medications to all patients.  Patients also benefit from the strong Pulmonary Rehabilitation program at Columbia. The Adult CF Center works closely with the Lung Transplant Center at Columbia to facilitate referral when that is deemed necessary.  Following lung transplantation, physicians from the transplant and the cystic fibrosis teams work closely together in the continued care of patients.

Staff

Our staff members include:

  • Nurse Coordinator: Victoria Robinson, RN
  • Receptionist: Jasmin Simmons
  • CF Nutritionist: Kimberly Altman MS, RD, CSP, CDN
  • Social Worker: Madeline Pincus, LCSW,PhD
  • Research Coordinator: Eva Aquino
  • Research Coordinator: Kristina Rivera
  • Research Coordinator: Manuel Brito

Clinical Trials

To learn more about clinical trials, please visit the cystic fibrosis clinical trials page of this Web site.