Long Beach Memorial’s Adult Cystic Fibrosis Program Receives Quality Award from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation


The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation awarded the adult cystic fibrosis program at Long Beach Memorial its Quality Care Award. The award was instituted in 2008 and is presented each year at the North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference, sponsored by the CF Foundation. Recipients of the award are chosen based on a long list of quality improvement criteria. The adult cystic fibrosis (CF) program at Long Beach Memorial was among 11 centers chosen out of 32 CF centers in the country to receive the award.

Long Beach Memorial was chosen based on “sustained quality improvement work that is improving outcomes.” In addition to the significant improvements that were made to the overall quality of patient care, the Long Beach Memorial adult CF program set out to improve its patients’ lung capacity by five percent per year for two years through patient education. The team streamlined patient visits, increased office hours and established a separate area where adult CF patients can be seen. In addition, a designated nurse practitioner and a respiratory therapist were added to the care team.

Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disease that affects about 30,000 children and adults in the United States, with more than 1,000 new cases diagnosed each year. In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, with advances in treatments and research fueled by the CF Foundation, people with the disease are expected to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond.

“Cystic fibrosis care in adults is very complex and multidisciplinary,” says Jeffrey Riker, M.D., pulmonologist and physician lead for the adult CF program at Long Beach Memorial. “We are very proud to receive this award, and recognized as a top adult cystic fibrosis center in the country.”

One of the keys to Long Beach Memorial’s success is its CF transitional care program. Because children with CF are living longer, there’s a need to be able to smoothly transition adolescents and young adults into the “adult” health care setting. The pediatric CF center at Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach, works hand-in-hand with Long Beach Memorial’s adult pulmonologists and patient care team to provide coordinated, specialized care as the patients transition from the pediatric to adult care setting. Both pediatric and adult pulmonologists regularly communicate and consult on cases, before transition and after. Doctors, social workers, nurses and nurse navigators work together for successful transition to adult care. Adult CF patients are able to live longer lives with this coordinated transition between Miller Children’s and Long Beach Memorial, which adds to the success of both the pediatric and adult programs.

“At Long Beach Memorial, the adult CF population has increased by 10 percent in the last year, making this the ideal time for us to learn from these best practice hospitals and grow our program,” says Sharyn Flavin, RN, nurse practitioner, Long Beach Memorial. “CF was known in the past as a pediatric disease. Today, the life expectancy for someone living with CF is 38. Education and staying on top of our patients’ care, and providing the latest and greatest in treatments is crucial to prolonging their lives.”

Long Beach Memorial is one of only three CF Foundation-accredited adult CF programs in Southern California. The public can view key medical outcomes for Long Beach Memorial and other accredited care centers by visiting: cff.org/treatments.

About Long Beach Memorial Long Beach

Memorial is a part of the MemorialCare Health System, a nationally recognized not-for-profit integrated delivery system with top ratings for quality and safety. Long Beach Memorial has been providing compassionate care with the latest state-of-the-art technology for more than 100 years and is the region's first choice for comprehensive care in virtually every medical and surgical specialty. Centers of excellence include the MemorialCare Heart and Vascular Institute, the MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute, the MemorialCare Rehabilitation Institute, the MemorialCare Orthopedic Institute, the MemorialCare Neuroscience Institute and the Emergency Department and Trauma Center. Like us on Facebook.com/LongBeachMemorial and follow us at Twitter.com/LongBeachMMC.

About the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world’s leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis (CF). The Foundation funds more CF research than any other organization, and nearly every CF drug available today was made possible because of Foundation support. Based in Bethesda, Md., the Foundation also supports and accredits a national care center network that has been recognized by the National Institutes of Health as a model of care for a chronic disease. The CF Foundation is a donor-supported nonprofit organization. For more information, go to www.cff.org.