LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - It's one of only six medical centers in the U.S. to receive a special accreditation and it's located in Louisville.
The Kentuckiana Pulmonary Associates on West Market Street received accreditation from the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, as part of a program that seeks to improve overall quality of care and diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension.
Pulmonary hypertension is a rare and debilitating disease of the lungs that affects the functioning of the heart. According to Dr. Wes McConnell with Kentuckiana Pulmonary Associates, most patients don't live longer than 2.5 years once diagnosed.
McConnell says the purpose of accrediting six pulmonary centers across the U.S. was to improve patient care.
"They've done research that has proved that patients need to go to centers that have expertise in the area so they'll have better outcomes and live longer," said McConnell.
The centers that have received full accreditation include those in Fairfax, Va., Philadelphia, Pa., Cincinnati, Ohio, Santa Barbara, Calif., and Stanford, Calif.
Kentuckiana Pulmonary Associates are the only center that isn't associated with a research university, according to McConnell.
"Part of our job here is to do the research, take care of the patients, and provide education in the community, and that's what a goal for our center is, is to provide expert care for patients with a very deadly disease," said McConnell.
Karen Storie has been a patient of the Louisville center for two years now. She said the accreditation confirms to her that she is in good hands.
"I can get the same treatment in Louisville that you can go to California and get at Stanford University," said Storie.