Co-Author of Significant National Jewish Health Study on Pulmonary Fibrosis, Dolly Kervitsky, RCP, CCRC, Joins Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation

Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Names Dolly Kervitsky as Vice President of Patient Relations

CHICAGO, April 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) has appointed respiratory therapist and certified clinical research coordinator, Dolly Kervitsky, RCP, CCRC, as Vice President of Patient Relations.  Ms. Kervitsky leaves leadership positions at National Jewish Health (NJH) where she served as the Program Manager for the Interstitial and Autoimmune Lung Disease Program and founded the Genetic Counseling Program for Familial Pulmonary Fibrosis.

"Dolly Kervitsky is a well-known leader and investigator in the world of interstitial lung disease and has worked with the Foundation since 2009 when she joined our Medical Advisory Board," said Daniel M. Rose, M.D., President and CEO.  "We are thrilled to have Ms. Kervitsky join us.  I am confident that she will provide superior leadership for our patient relations and research efforts."

"Ms. Kervitsky's contributions to the pulmonary fibrosis [PF] community have been enormous, as evidenced by her impressive history at National Jewish Health and co-authorship of the New England Journal of Medicine paper released today," said Dr. Rose.  "We are so fortunate to have Ms. Kervitsky join the Foundation where she will continue her important work supporting those affected by PF and fighting against this devastating disease."

The National Jewish Health study led by David A Schwartz, M.D., published today by the New England Journal of Medicine and titled "A Common MUC5B Promoter Polymorphism is Associated with Pulmonary Fibrosis" discusses new genetic findings in PF.  This study is co-authored by a group of leaders in the field, including some members of the Foundation's Medical and Research Advisory Boards: Kevin K. Brown, M.D.; Ron M. duBois, M.D.; Dolly Kervitsky, RCP, CCRC; James Loyd, M.D.; Marvin I. Schwarz, M.D.; and Janet Talbert, MS, CGC.  Dr. Schwartz and Ms. Talbert will be speakers at the PFF's inaugural scientific conference, IPF Summit: From Bench to Bedside, December 1-3 in Chicago, discussing "The Genetic Basis for IPF" and "Familial PF and Genetic Counseling for PF" respectively.

As Vice President of Patient Relations, Kervitsky will oversee patient programming, work with the Medical Advisory Board on the review and awarding of medical research grants, and will lead the development and implementation of a national patient surveillance registry.

"I'm excited to join the Foundation and to have the opportunity to continue to work with the leaders in pulmonary fibrosis while supporting the patient community, their caregivers, and families," said Ms. Kervitsky. "The findings reported in this study are exciting news for the pulmonary fibrosis community.  This is a major step forward for researchers in the genetics of pulmonary fibrosis.  These finding provide researchers with valuable information to investigate new therapies and also provides new insight into the cause and mechanisms of this devastating disease."

Ms. Kervitsky began her respiratory therapy career as a staff respiratory therapist in the Medical, Pediatric, and Burn and Trauma Intensive Care Units at the University of New Mexico. In 1981, Ms. Kervitsky joined National Jewish Health as a staff Respiratory Therapist, in 1982 she was named Acting Director of the Respiratory Therapy Department.  In 1983, she began working with PF patients and researchers as the Clinical Coordinator for the NIH funded Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) investigating idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.  This NIH project was instrumental to the development of the Interstitial and Autoimmune Lung Disease Program at National Jewish Health where Kervitsky was named the Program Manager in 1992. In 2008, Ms. Kervitsky founded the Genetic Counseling Program for Familial Pulmonary Fibrosis at National Jewish Health. She has served as lead coordinator and steering committee member for several international multi-center research trials. Additionally, Ms. Kervitsky is a member of the American Thoracic Society, American College of Chest Physicians, Association of Respiratory Care, and the Association of Clinical Research Professionals.

About the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation

The mission of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation is to help find a cure for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), advocate for the pulmonary fibrosis community both locally and in Washington D.C., promote disease awareness, and provide a compassionate environment for patients and their families. The PFF collaborates with physicians, organizations, patients, and caregivers worldwide. From December 1-3, 2011 the PFF will host its first international scientific conference, IPF Summit 2011: From Bench to Bedside, in Chicago. For more information visit www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org or call 888-

733-6741.

About the IPF Summit 2011: From Bench to Bedside

The IPF Summit 2011: From Bench to Bedside is an international scientific conference on idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) hosted by the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. The goal of the Summit is to foster a collaborative environment to improve education and awareness of IPF, and to identify new approaches to treat and ultimately find a cure for this devastating disease. The Summit will feature innovative continuing medical education programs for physicians, researchers, registered nurses, and allied health professionals to improve their clinical understanding of IPF, as well as a one-day program to address the growing educational needs of IPF patients, family members, and caregivers. Conference registration is currently open. The Summit is planned in accordance with the Essentials and Standards of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), and is planned in partnership with The France Foundation and National Jewish Health. For more information, please visit www.ipfsummit.org or call 888-733-6741.

About Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

According to the National Institutes for Health, IPF is a condition in which over a period of time the lung tissue becomes thickened, stiff, and scarred. The development of the scar tissue is called fibrosis. As the lung tissue becomes scarred and thicker, the lungs lose their ability to transfer oxygen into the bloodstream. As a result, the brain and other organs don't receive the oxygen they need. In some cases, doctors can determine the cause of the fibrosis, but in most cases, there is not a known cause. When there is no known etiology for the fibrosis (and certain pathologic criteria are met) the disease

is called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis or IPF. IPF affects approximately 200,000 individuals in the U.S., and the annual mortality is estimated to be 40,000. At present there are no FDA approved medical therapies.

Contact: Matt Derda
Director of Marketing
312-239-6628
mderda@pulmonaryfibrosis.org

SOURCE The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation



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