What We Treat

What is cystic fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system by making fluids and mucus thick and sticky. This causes persistent lung infections that progressively limit the ability to breathe. Children with CF also suffer from digestive problems that prevent the body from breaking down and absorbing food, leading to inadequate growth and nutrition.

The good news is that today, thanks to high-tech medical advances in drug therapy and genetics, children with CF are diagnosed earlier and with treatment can live well into adulthood.

Learn more about this disease from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Services We Offer

A wide range of services

At Children’s, we know that having a child diagnosed with cystic fibrosis can be overwhelming. We offer a range of services to treat children with CF as well as programs to educate families about the disease, including:

  • Screening and follow up services for newborns: All newborns at Children’s are screened for CF. About 30 babies are born in Georgia each year with CF. Babies are typically diagnosed at about one month of age, before showing signs of the disease.
  • Diagnostic testing: The sweat test is a simple, painless test to diagnose CF.
  • Genetic evaluations
  • Pulmonary function tests: This test lets us see how well your child’s lungs are working.
  • Bronchoscopy: This test examines your child’s throat, larynx, trachea and lower airways.
  • Nutrition monitoring
  • Support groups: Children’s has established a CF Family Advisory Council—made up of a group of our patients' parents—who serve as an advisory group to the Emory Adult Cystic Fibrosis Center and the Children’s and Emory Pediatric Program. We also have a Family Mentor Program to match families facing CF with trained, veteran parents. And, our CF Transition Program helps children with CF achieve a full, independent life.

Learn more about the sweat test

Innovative research

Our cystic fibrosis team is committed to excellence and innovation in pediatric CF research. In conjunction with Emory University School of Medicine and Georgia Institute of Technology, we are actively involved in the development of new treatments and therapies for children with CF.

Learn more about research at Children's

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation clinical trials finder

To find Cystic Fibrosis clinical trials being conducted by Children's and Emory, enter “Atlanta, GA” into the “Location” filter on the left side and adjust the “Distance Willing to Travel” field to “within 50 miles”.

Our Unique Approach

At Children's, our team is 100 percent committed to kids. Our pediatric doctors and nurses understand that children’s medical and emotional needs are different from adults. That is why we use specialized equipment and techniques to provide the care kids with CF need. Children's is also accredited by the national Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and we follow its guidelines.

Learn more about what makes Children's special

Meet the Team

Our team is led by Rachel Linnemann, MD, who serves as the Director of the Cystic Fibrosis Center and Co-Director of the Pediatric Cystic Fibrosis Program, and Kevin Kirchner, MD, who serves as Co-Director of the Pediatric Cystic Fibrosis Program. Our pediatric-trained pulmonologists are part of a multidisciplinary team that also includes clinical nurse specialists, dietitians, social workers, respiratory therapists, a gastroenterologist, a endocrinologist, a physical therapist, a genetic counselor, a cystic fibrosis mental health coordinator and a pharmacist.


Advanced practice providers

  • Brie Baxter, CPNP
  • Michelle McKinnon, CPNP
  • Brandi Middour-Oxler, DNP, CPNP
  • Stephanie Pendley, CPNP




Helpful Resources

Forms and parent tips

Request an appointment

Download "Five things you need to know before your child's appointment"

Appointment cancellations

While keeping appointments is important for your child's treatment, we understand other obligations may arise. If you are unable to make your child's appointment, cancel the appointment as soon as possible. When you don't cancel appointments, you prevent other children from being seen and receiving important care and treatment. We appreciate your help and understanding.

Download "Three easy ways to cancel your child's appointment"

Helpful websites

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Cystic Fibrosis Reaching Out Foundation

Miles for Cystic Fibrosis