Accredited Cystic Fibrosis Center
The CHI St. Alexius Health Heart & Lung Clinic's Cystic Fibrosis Center is the only independent Cystic Fibrosis Center in North Dakota that is accredited by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Our Approach to Care
The Cystic Fibrosis Center adopted the care model developed by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Our CF care center delivers effective and efficient healthcare for the chronic disease. Patients receive collaborate care from an interdisciplinary team of specialists.
Our dedicated care team includes:
- Adult and pediatric physicians
- Nurse practitioner and registered nurses
- Respiratory therapist
- Pharmacist, and
- Social worker
About Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, about 30,000 people in the U.S. are living with CF. The disease causes the body to produce thick, sticky mucus which obstructs the airways of the lung leading to chronic infection and progressive lung injury. In addition, obstruction of the ducts of the pancreas impairs digestion and absorption of essential nutrients from the intestine.
Decades ago few children with CF lived into their teens. Now advances in research and treatments allow many CF patients to live into their 40s and beyond. In fact more than 45 percent of patients living with CF are now 18 or older.
People with CF can have a variety of symptoms, including:
- very salty-tasting skin;
- persistent coughing, at times with phlegm;
- frequent lung infections;
- wheezing or shortness of breath;
- poor growth/weight gain in spite of a good appetite; and
- frequent greasy, bulky stools or difficulty in bowel movements.
We believe in partnering with patients and families in an effort to promote health and longevity. We make every effort to assure that:
- Our patients and their families are full members of the care team.
- Children, adolescents and adults with CF will have normal growth and nutrition.
- People with CF will receive appropriate therapies for maintaining lung function and reducing acute episodes of infection. Pulmonary exacerbations will be detected early and treated aggressively to return them to previous levels of lung function.
- Our patients, their families and CF healthcare professionals are well informed and active partners in reducing acquisition of respiratory pathogens, particularly Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pseudomonas) and Burkholderia cepacia (cepacia) complex.
- People with CF will be screened and managed aggressively for complications of the disease, particularly CF-related diabetes (CFRD).
- Patients and their families will be well supported by our CF healthcare professionals when facing decisions about transplantation and end-of-life care.
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Accreditation
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world’s leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis. CHI St. Alexius Health Heart & Lung Clinic’s Cystic Fibrosis Center has been a Cystic Fibrosis Foundation accredited center for more than 25 years. Our center undergoes thorough review by the CF Foundation’s Center Committee before it receives accreditation and funding. This review for accreditation occurs every year.
Newborn Screening for CF
Since Jan. 1, 2006, the North Dakota newborn screening panel of tests includes a screening for cystic fibrosis. While newborn screening should identify approximately 99 percent of infants with cystic fibrosis, an occasional child will continue to be diagnosed only when clinical manifestations suggestive of cystic fibrosis develop.
Children’s Special Health Services, North Dakota Department of Human Services, may be able to assist families to pay for the testing to confirm diagnosis and treatment of cystic fibrosis. Please contact Children’s Special Health Services for more information at 701.328.2436 or 800.755.2714. To make an appointment at CHI St. Alexius Health Heart & Lung Clinic’s Cystic Fibrosis Center, call 701.530.7502 or toll free at 800.932.8848. If emergent care is needed, please immediately go to your nearest emergency and trauma center.