Chest Disease & Respiratory Failure

Jo-Ann F. LeBuhn Center for Chest Disease and Respiratory Failure

Medical Director
Byron Thomashow, M.D.

Practice Administrator
Patricia A. Jellen, MSN, RN

Nurse Coordinator
Beth Whippo, MSN, RN

For Appointments
Herbert Irving Pavilion, Third Floor
Columbia University Medical Center
161 Fort Washington Avenue
New York, NY 10032
P: (212) 305-1158

The Jo-Ann F. LeBuhn Center for Chest Disease and Respiratory Failure is a state-of-the-art facility for the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary disease. The Center features on-site examination and treatment rooms located in the Herbert Irving Pavilion at the NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia Medical Center, as well as a pulmonary diagnostic unit with computerized testing areas, an enhanced exercise physiology laboratory and pulmonary rehabilitation center located in the Vanderbilt Building.

State-of-the-Art Medicine

The LeBuhn Center enables NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia to continue its high level of clinical research while providing enhanced care for approximately 5,000 pulmonary patients each year.

The Pulmonary Division pioneered the use of radiation and chemotherapy together prior to surgery for lung cancer patients. Major clinical studies have included research into pulmonary vascular abnormalities caused by chronic lung disease, development of animal models of immunologic lung injury, and studies of pulmonary circulation regulation by vasoactive peptides. Application of pulmonary cellular and molecular biology techniques are currently examining asthma, cystic fibrosis, and pulmonary fibrosis.

Lung Volume Reduction Surgery (LVRS)

Also receiving global attention is lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS), an exciting alternative method for treating patients with severe end-stage emphysema. NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia is one of only a few hospitals in the country where this surgery is successfully performed.

For more information on the LVRS program please download the LVRS brochure.

History of Pulmonary Excellence

Long at the forefront of both treatment of pulmonary disease and research into the causes of chronic pulmonary illness, NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia's involvement in pulmonary medicine began with its affiliation with the Bellevue Hospital Chest Service, which was an educational center and clinic to treat tuberculosis.

Over the years, Columbia's Chest Service at Bellevue accomplished important and pioneering research. Perhaps the most significant was that of Dr Eleanor d. F. Baldwin, Dr. Andre Cournand, and Dr. Dickinson W. Richards, Jr., who viewed the heart and lungs as a single unit in their work to find the causes of various pulmonary diseases. As a result, Drs. Cournand and Richards won the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1956 for introducing cardiac catheterization to assess abnormal heart function.

Many respected physicians from hospitals in the United States and overseas completed their training at Columbia's Chest Service at Bellevue. As a result, its impact on pulmonary medicine has been both national and international in scope.

In 2000, NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia established its own Pulmonary Division to treat patients, train pulmonary specialists, and conduct research. Today, NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia is the premier referral center in New York City for lung and heart transplants. Its pulmonary medicine and chest surgery fellowship programs are among the most competitive in the nation.

Physicians at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia have been leaders in the field of acute and chronic respiratory failure ranging from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Interstitial Lung Disease, Neuromuscular Respiratory Diseases, Sleep Disorders and Lung Transplantation. More recently using extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (mini- ECMO) our physicians have provided life saving approaches to respiratory failure available in only a handful of centers around the world.

Team Approach

Patients at the LeBuhn Center receive treatment from pulmonary specialists and thoracic surgeons, as well as anesthesiologists, radiologists, rehabilitation specialists, and other intensive care staff. These specialists work together not only to provide superior patient care, but also to serve an important teaching role for physicians-in-training from NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia and around the world.

A team of pulmonary physicians follows the care of each patient from the initial visit through hospitalization, surgery, and subsequent rehabilitation. Consultations with appropriate specialists are arranged as needed to provide the best individualized treatment for patients.

Treatment Areas

Whether the problem is shortness of breath, cough, asthma, COPD, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, lung cancer, pleural disease, mycobacterial disease, an abnormal chest radiograph, respiratory failure or a host of other respiratory issues, physicians at the LeBuhn Center are available to evaluate and help define a diagnostic and therapeutic approach. If needed referral to specialty areas can be easily arranged.

Clinical Trials

To learn more about clinical trials, please visit the clinical trials page of this Web site.