Care Center Corner

Cohen Children’s Medical Center & Long Island Jewish Hospital

The Cystic Fibrosis Center at the Cohen Children’s Medical Center and Long Island Jewish Hospital has been providing care for the people with CF since the 1960’s. Initially under the direction of Dr. Jack Gorvoy who began caring for people with CF in his outpatient pediatric practice and later on in an accredited CF Center at the Children’s Hospital. Dr. Joan Germana eventually took over the center when Dr. Gorvoy retired, at the age of 84.

When Dr. Gorvoy retired, Dr. Rubin Cohen became our Adult Program Director, and began caring for our adult CF patients. In 2002, the adult center moved to its current offices with the division of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. Dr. Cohen serves on two committees in the TDN including the writing and protocol committees. He also heads a CFF committee looking at improving care in advanced CF. The center regularly presents abstracts at national academic meetings.

Li Chen Wann, NP, started at the adult center in 2009 and serves as both nurse and research coordinator, assisted by several associate research coordinators. Pat Maniscalco is our center’s social worker dividing her time between the pediatric and adult centers providing a continuum of care for the transitioned patients. Geralyn LaVecchia is the adult center’s registered dietician providing expertise on nutrition, calorie intake, supplements and diabetes. She also follows patients when admitted to our inpatient units. Donna Tsang provides respiratory therapy care and education on airway clearance therapy.

There is a fully equipped pulmonary function laboratory, rehabilitation and exercise facility, as well as, phlebotomy services, making the adult center “one stop” for our patients. The adult center partners with several subspecialists who have taken an interest in CF. They include DRS. Greenberg and Cerulli of gastroenterology and Drs. Schulman and Romeo of endocrinology, Dr. Shikowitz of ENT and Dr. Kaplan of allergy and immunology.

Our CF Center is a member of the CFF’s Therapeutic Development Network. This is a network of 72 centers, partially supported by the CFF for the purpose of conducting clinical trials in CF. We have participated in several studies including Cayston, TOBI podhaler, MPEX (inhaled levaquin) inhaled cipro, Kalydeco, and Vertex’s new compounds, the 809 and the 661. These are correctors intended to enhance the protein function in people with the delta 508 mutation, the most common mutation in CF. Additionally, we are participating in a trial on a novel anti-pseudomonal antibody. Pediatric patients are involved in some of these studies, as well.

Dr. Joan DeCelie-Germana, the pediatric CF Program Director, as well as the NSLIJ Center Director, has been providing care to the CF population since 1992 and at CCMC since 1998. Drs. Santiago, Tsiralakis, and Fiorino are the Pediatric Pulmonologists at the Pediatric CF and Pulmonary Center.

Lynn Bonitz, the center’s nurse coordinator, has been caring for CF patients at CCMC for 24 years. She is also the center’s newborn screen coordinator. Susan Galvin, a certified pediatric nurse and CF nurse, focuses on research and quality improvement projects. She has been an important member of the team since 1995. Jody Hurley, our third CF nurse, has been at the center since 2001; prior to coming to the CF Center, Jody had many years experience caring for children with CF on the inpatient side. She also has primary responsibility for the center’s CF registry. Pat Maniscalco has been working with the team since 2005. Her work in both the pediatric and adult centers, seeing patients in the clinic and inpatient settings, helps provide support and coordination of care. Mei Hua Chen, our nutritionist and registered dietician, has been involved with CF since 1989, 17 years at our pediatric center. She also works with pediatric GI and diabetic patients in the outpatient setting. Ed Cranston is our pulmonary function technician and has been working at our center since we moved to our current location in 2006. Suzy Valdes-Velez, part of our support staff, has been working with our team for 11 years. She knows everyone and where everything belongs, and she helps keep the center running smoothly. Our pediatric center has a pulmonary function lab and phlebotomy services also.

Both centers have been involved in QI projects using Microsystems. The adult center implemented a novel self administration program for the adults who are admitted to 5North at LIJ. The pediatric center did two projects, one to improve the clinic flow and the other a transition project, which was presented at NACFC. The NSLIJ Center won the Quality award given by the national CFF in 2011. Both centers are very committed to research at the center and at the multi center levels.