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New Multidisciplinary Center for Lung Disease To Open in North Haven

March 15, 2021
by Jane E. Dee

The Winchester Center for Lung Disease, (WCLD), a multidisciplinary center for the diagnosis and care of patients with lung disease, opens in North Haven Medical Center on March 30, 2021. Located at 6 Devine Street, WCLD replaces the Winchester Chest Clinic. The center is a joint partnership with Yale New Haven Hospital, Yale Medicine, and Yale School of Medicine’s Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine (Yale-PCCSM).

The state-of-the-art facility has 30 exam, consultation, and procedure rooms, and access to nearby laboratory services and multi-modality imaging. It will more than triple the clinical capacity of Yale-PCCSM’s practice, increasing the access patients with pulmonary symptoms and diseases have to Yale’s nationally renowned lung experts.

WCLD will house Yale-PCCSM’s pulmonary subspecialty programs for asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis, sarcoidosis, pulmonary hypertension, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, tuberculosis, and post-COVID-19 pulmonary disease.

“We have over 55 physicians who are known nationally and internationally for their expertise, excellence, and innovation, but access to our clinics has been limited because of space,” said Naftali Kaminski, MD, Boehringer-Ingelheim Endowed Professor of Internal Medicine and chief of Yale-PCCSM. “The 6 Devine Street location will allow us to dramatically augment the timeliness of our care, improving the health of patients with lung disease.”

The center was designed to provide safe outpatient care to patients, including through the use of negative-pressure ventilation for infection control. This protects patients as well as health care workers from contagious diseases, an issue that was highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic but is always important for people with lung disease.

Jennifer Possick, MD, associate professor of medicine at Yale-PCCSM and director of the new center, said the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the need for clinics that can offer multidisciplinary and specialized care to people with lung disease in a safe outpatient environment. “This will help prevent morbidity and mortality, as well as emergency room visits and hospital admissions. We also seek to ensure that patients do not defer important care and treatment due to concerns about potential exposure risks,” Possick said.

Francine LoRusso, senior vice president of operations at Yale New Haven Health, said the building would have been built differently before the COVID-19 pandemic. “We learned that we needed negative-pressure rooms because of what COVID-19 taught us, so we went back and adjusted our architectural drawings. We built the center for the present and for the future,” LoRusso said.

The building’s advanced features are just one way the center will benefit patients, LoRusso added. The greater impact will be from the center’s physicians and staff. “Our expert physicians and talented staff provide exquisite care to our patients,” she said. “The hospital is thrilled to have this opportunity to partner with the physician-leaders who made this happen.”

The subspecialty programs at the WCLD include the Centers of Excellence: the Yale Adult Cystic Fibrosis Center, the Yale Center for Asthma and Airways Diseases, and the Yale Center for Interstitial Lung Diseases. The new center also houses the Yale COPD Program, which provides comprehensive treatments, including for patients with a suspected genetic basis for their disease, such as alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency; the Yale Pulmonary Vascular Disease Program, the Center for Pulmonary Infection Research & Treatment, the Tuberculosis (TB) Clinic, as well as the Comprehensive Pulmonary Program. Yale’s nationally renowned Post-Covid-19 Recovery Program also will be located at the center.

“We’re grateful for the hard work and partnerships that have brought this project to fruition, and are excited to welcome patients to our state-of-the-art center,” Possick said.

A virtual ribbon cutting is planned for March 31 to celebrate the opening. Patients can schedule an appointment by calling 203-495-2410.

The Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine is one of the eleven sections within YSM’s Department of Internal Medicine. To learn more about Yale-PCCSM, visit PCCSM’s website, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Submitted by Jane E. Dee on March 12, 2021