Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a serious condition that can make it difficult to breathe and cause other health challenges. But there’s hope. Specialized care from MUSC Health is helping adults and children live longer, with a good quality of life.

At MUSC Health, you have access to all the medical specialties you need in one program, including nationally renowned lung and digestive health experts. We go a step further by coordinating your tests and treatments so that you can focus on your immediate health needs.

What is Cystic Fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a disease affecting the way the body produces mucus. This watery substance protects the lining of certain organs, including the lungs. With CF, mucus becomes thick and sticky. It gets in the way of normal functions of the lung and other organs. People with CF have a higher chance of lung infection.

Mucus may build up and block the tubes that bring air in and out of your lungs (airways). CF can also affect organs in the digestive system, including the pancreas and liver. When this happens, your body produces fewer digestive enzymes. As a result, it becomes difficult for your body to absorb nutrients from food. As an inherited disease, CF is passed on in families.

Cystic Fibrosis Center: Why Choose Us?

MUSC Health is home to the only Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-accredited program in the Lowcountry. This prestigious designation means we hold ourselves to the highest standards in every aspect of cystic fibrosis care, including diagnosis, treatment, and support. We are also advancing the field through research to make treatments safer and more effective. Our expertise draws adults and children from all over South Carolina and surrounding communities.

Highlights of our program include:

  • Team Approach: Respiratory therapists, doctors, pharmacists, and dietitians specializing in CF come together to meet your every need. We are available in person and by phone to provide ongoing care, support, and recommendations that maximize your well-being. Meet our adult CF program and pediatric program teams.
  • Research: We are making care safer and more effective through research. Our experts are leading the largest-ever CF trial to establish standards for controlling a lung problem called pulmonary exacerbation. These efforts will help to improve the way doctors treat CF patients all over the country. Find out more about clinical trials and research at MUSC Health.
  • Pediatric Expertise: Our deep expertise in meeting the unique needs of children with CF includes personalized nutrition counseling and physical therapy. We also provide extra support for parents, such as helping you manage your child’s daily medications. We also help adolescents learn how to manage treatments and live as independently as possible as part of our transition program. Learn more about the cystic fibrosis center at MUSC Children's Health.
  • Coordinated Care: If you need to go to the hospital for a lung-related problem, such as difficulty breathing, a select group of hospital-based doctors coordinates all of your care. These doctors have years of experience helping people with CF improve. The doctors are also in regular communication with our CF team, which helps us tailor treatments to meet your unique needs.

Expert Care

The care that’s right for you depends on the symptoms you are experiencing and how serious they are. We explain all of your options and together make a plan to help you feel better. 

Treatments for CF provide much-needed relief from common problems, including:

  • Breathing problems due to mucus buildup
  • Difficulty absorbing nutrients from food
  • Long-lasting (chronic) cough
  • Lung infections

Your care may include:

  • Antibiotics for infections.
  • Breathing techniques that help clear the airways, improve lung function, and lower your risk for infection.
  • Devices including an inflatable vest to loosen mucus and improve airflow in the lungs.
  • Medications to relieve symptoms and treat complications such as lung infections and digestive problems.
  • Nutrition counseling including personalized diet and vitamin recommendations to optimize nutrition and growth in children.
  • Physical therapy to help loosen and clear excess mucus in the lungs and help you gain strength.

Refer a Patient

We welcome the opportunity to partner in caring for your patient.

  • For more information about referring a patient to us, please call 843-792-0729 during regular business hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m..
  • To initiate a referral, please complete a referral form and fax it to 843-792-2995. 

Find A Doctor/Provider

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MUSC Health has a cystic fibrosis doctor/provider for you. Search by location, keyword, or specialty.


More Care Team Members

Brandie Taylor MSN, APRN, ANP-C | Pulmonary Nurse Practitioner
Brandie is a certified adult nurse practitioner who started her career at MUSC in 1999. Brandie received her master’s in nursing from MUSC. Her experience includes pulmonary critical care, solid organ transplant surgery, cystic fibrosis, and non-tuberculosis mycobacteria disease. Brandie’s role as an independent provider includes caring for patients in the outpatient and inpatient setting. She is also a sub-investigator on many Clinical trials here at MUSC.

Sue Gray, RN, MSN | Adult Program Coordinator
Sue has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Viterbo University in La Crosse, WI and a Master of Science in Nursing degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. Sue has been at MUSC since 1995 and joined the Adult CF Center in 1998 as clinic coordinator. For the past many years, she has been involved in many changes to the program and to the treatments for people with CF. Sue has been recognized for her expertise in CF and as a program coordinator. She serves as a mentor, formally and informally, for new program coordinators and frequently presents to local and national groups about CF, program coordination and aspects of care in CF.

Jeralyn Wunderley BSN, MHA, RN, CCM/Pediatric Nurse Coordinator
Jeralyn started her nursing career at MUSC in 1997. Prior to joining the CF team in December 2021, she was the nurse case manager in our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for nearly 10 years. From the time of initial referral to transition into the adult program, Jeralyn collaborates with the entire CF team to optimize each patient’s care. She is the primary point of contact for our pediatric families fielding questions, concerns, and sick calls. She works to keep individualized care plans on track by coordinating clinic visits, labs, studies, medications, school/childcare needs, referrals, and much more. Jeralyn enjoys working with families and their communities on CF education, awareness, and advancements.

Brian Daigle, BSN, RN, CRNI | Adult Program Coordinator Non-Tuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) Clinic
Brian is a nationally certified infusion nurse with experience in antimicrobial, nutrition, inotropic, and chemo therapies. Brian has been a nurse consultant for MUSC since 2016 and became a nurse after being a middle school teacher for many years.

Wendy Bullington, PharmD | Pharmacist
Dr. Bullington is a licensed pharmacist that has practiced in the area of CF for almost 20 years. She works with both adult and pediatric patients and their families to improve daily care by finding a medication regimen that is sustainable. She also is involved with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in the Sustaining Daily Care Initiative and the Daily Care Check in.

Sara Hendrix, MS, RD, LD | Registered Dietitian
Nutrition is an important part of CF care. We know that maintaining a healthy weight promotes better lung function. Sara follows patients from birth through older adulthood. She works with patients and families to provide them with knowledge on how manage their nutrition needs. She meets with all patients at least once a year in clinic, but often checks in at most visits to review growth of little ones, offer tips on meal and snack options, or discuss enzymes, vitamins, and/or nutritional supplements. She helps manage CF-related complications such as CF-related diabetes, bone disease, and gastrointestinal disease. She also helps to manage tube feeding for patients who have trouble maintaining a healthy weight from eating and drinking alone.

Wayne Barfield, RCP, RRT | Respiratory Therapist
Wayne studied Respiratory Care at Trident Tech and the University of Cincinnati. He began his career at MUSC in 2003. After working in critical and acute care for a few years, Wayne began working full-time with adults with CF who were admitted to the hospital. In 2015, he transitioned to working full-time with our pediatric and adult CF centers. Wayne works closely with patients and families to educate and coordinate a customized respiratory care approach to fit their needs.

Suzanne Mondello, LMSW | Licensed Social Worker
She assesses and counsels patients and families on the emotional, social, and financial aspects of living with CF. She provides direct guidance to help you navigate health insurance coverage, find financial assistance to ease the burden of the high cost of medical care or locates resources to help pay for food/housing/utilities, and can help advocate for patients in the school or work setting.

Lily Christon, PhD | Psychologist
Dr. Christon is a licensed clinical psychologist with a specialization in health psychology and behavioral medicine. She works with pediatric and adult cystic fibrosis patients and their families as part of our center's Emotional Health and Wellness Program, including conducting mental health screening with patients and caregivers, and providing interventions, support, resources, and referrals.

Kimberly Foil, MS, CGC | Genetic Counselor
Kim is a Certified Genetic Counselor who works with the pediatric and adult CF teams. She helps with new patient diagnosis, including newborn screening and genetic testing and helps ensure patients are matched to treatments or research studies based on individual mutations. Kim provides education about CF inheritance and helps with family/partner genetic testing and family planning, which may include having more children for parents of pediatric patients or exploring fertility and family building options for adults with CF. She also helps with the Emotional Health and Wellness Program, which includes annual screening for depression and anxiety for patients and their caregivers.