Cystic Fibrosis Center

CF Center Physicians

Center Director

Cynthia Epstein, MD

Associate Center Director

Marilyn Gowen, MD

Adult Program

Ignacio Ripoll, MD

Pediatric Program


CF Hospital Guide

Learn more about hospitalization at CHKD for children with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Download the CHKD Cystic Fibrosis Center In-Patient Guide.


Email the Cystic Fibrosis Center

(757) 668-7137 for appointments

Online Resources

CHKD has collected numerous resources on cystic fibrosis.

Yoga for Cystic Fibrosis

Yoga for Cystic Fibrosis DVD.
The Yoga for Cystic Fibrosis DVD can be purchased by contacting Connie Sigley at 757-668-7137.

The Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughter’s Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Center provides integrated, multidisciplinary care for children and adults with cystic fibrosis and their families, including promoting normal growth and development, slowing the progression of cystic fibrosis disease and preventing as well as treating complications. The program is accredited by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for Clinical Care and Research. Our center offers a team approach to the treatment of children with CF. We are addressing the physical and emotional needs of the entire family and encouraging parents to be active partners with us in managing their child's health.

Who do you treat?

We care for children and adults with confirmed diagnosis of cystic fibrosis and babies with a positive newborn screening of cystic fibrosis.

What is cystic fibrosis?

CF is a genetically inherited disease of the secretory glands that primarily affects the lungs, digestive system and pancreas of about 30,000 children and adults living in the United States. CF is caused by a mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. Normally this gene makes a protein that facilitates the regulated transport of salt and water in and out of human cells. In contrast, the CF gene produces thick, sticky secretions (mucous) in the respiratory and digestive tracts, as well as in the reproductive system. Additionally, this process causes a measurable increase in salt excreted in sweat.

Accumulation of mucous can build up in the lungs of individuals with CF. This buildup makes it easy for bacteria to grow and can lead to recurring lung infections. This thick, sticky mucus can also block ducts in the pancreas. As a result, digestive enzymes that are produced by the pancreas cannot reach the small intestine. These enzymes normally help in the process of digestion. Without these enzymes, the intestines cannot adequately absorb fats and proteins.

More information about cystic fibrosis can be found on our additional resources page.

What services do you offer?

Our CF Center brings together experienced pediatric practitioners in the pulmonary and infectious disease specialties, as well as nutritionists, respiratory therapists, social workers and nurses. We tailor each child’s treatment plan according to his or her specific needs.

CHKD CF Center Coordinator Connie Sigley with a patient.
CHKD CF Center Coordinator Connie Sigley with a patient.

Does your staff have special training?

Our pediatric physicians are board-certified in both general pediatrics and pulmonology or infectious diseases. Our consultants are board-certified in their respective specialties and have a dedicated interest in the treatment of patients with CF. Our physician for adult patients is board-certified in critical care, pulmonary and sleep medicine. They are assisted by nursing staff and various technical and office personnel, all of whom are trained to care for the special needs of children.

Where do you see patients?

We see families at the CHKD main hospital site in a clinic dedicated solely to CF care. Clinics are held on Tuesday mornings and Friday mornings for pediatric patients.* Adults are seen Friday afternoons. Referral information and appointment scheduling should be done by calling (757) 668-7137.
*Patients positive for B. Capacia are seen at other times.

Do I need a referral to make an appointment?

All patients must have a referral from a primary care physician before making an appointment. If your insurance is an HMO, you must also:

Make sure your referral has not expired. (Many are good for only 30 days, so check yours before you come to your appointment.) If your referral has expired, call your primary care physician and explain your situation. In most cases, your primary care provider will write you a new or extended referral.

Bring the referral with you to the appointment. If you do not have a referral, or if the referral you have is expired, your HMO will not pay for your appointment.

We offer in-depth information about insurance in our Billing and Insurance section.

How do I make an appointment?

To schedule an appointment, please call (757) 668-7137.