UTHSCT’s Cystic Fibrosis Clinic receives prestigious Quality Care Award from CF Foundation

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The UTHSCT Cystic Fibrosis Clinic team: Standing (left to right) are Jay Shoemaker; Mona Crow, PTA; Tracy Drake, RN; Jennifer Harper, RN; Lisbeth Estrada, MA;and Varsha Taskar, MD. Seated (left to right) are Donna Waters; Rodolfo Amaro-Galvez, MD; and Christiana Guthrie, RRT. Not shown are CF team members Lara Flores, RN, and Cindy Broadway, LSW.

The Cystic Fibrosis Clinic at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler is one of only four centers in the United States to receive the 2011-2012 Quality Care Award from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

“We learned a lot from this process of quality improvement. Achieving the Quality Care Award is very humbling. It is a recognition of our commitment to providing excellent care to people with cystic fibrosis in Northeast Texas,” said Varsha Taskar, MD, the clinic’s associate director and a pulmonologist.

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States. A defective gene causes the body to make thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and causes serious lung infections. CF also affects other organs of the body.

This award recognizes sustained improvement in the quality of care leading to better outcomes for patients with CF. To be considered, a CF center must:
Use data from patients’ clinical outcomes to identify ways to improve care and then document those improvements;
Consistently involve patients and families in identifying, designing, and making improvements;
Use innovative methods that improve the process of providing care and the outcome of that care; and
Make changes in the patient-care system that increase its reliability and improve patient outcomes.

The UTHSCT clinic takes a team approach to treating both adults and children with CF. It is accredited by the CF Foundation and follows the foundation’s stringent standards. The clinic also participates in clinical research and educates health care professionals about CF and the care people with this disease require.

Members of the CF Clinic’s team are Rodolfo Amaro-Galvez, MD, director and a pediatric pulmonologist; Dr. Taskar; Tracy Drake, RN, program/clinic coordinator; Lara Flores, RN; Jennifer Harper, RN; Lisbeth Estrada, medical assistant; Cindy Broadway, case manager and social worker; Chad Johnson, dietitian; Mona Crow, physical therapy assistant; Christiana Guthrie, respiratory therapist; Rebekah Hibbard and Jay Shoemaker, clinical research; and Donna Waters, administrative assistant.

UTHSCT received the award at the CF Foundation’s North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference, which was held in Orlando, Fla., in October. The three other winners are Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, the Medical University of South Carolina, and Children’s Hospital at Oakland.

For more than 60 years, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler has provided excellent patient care and cutting-edge treatment, specializing in pulmonary disease, cancer, heart disease, primary care, and the disciplines that support them. UTHSCT’s annual operating budget of $125 million represents a major economic impact of over $287 million for the Northeast Texas region. Since 2002, scientists in the Center for Biomedical Research have been awarded more than $120 million in research dollars. As the academic health science center for Northeast Texas, its graduate medical education programs – with residencies in family medicine and occupational medicine – provide doctors for many communities throughout the region and beyond. UTHSCT is also the program sponsor of the residency program in internal medicine at Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview.

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