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Cystic Fibrosis
Sleep Disorders
Pulmonary Medicine

Children's Hospital in Columbia, Missouri, has one of the most comprehensive and respected pulmonary medicine and allergy centers in the state. Our team of highly skilled pediatric specialists takes care of children who battle acute and chronic respiratory diseases such as cystic fibrosis, asthma and conditions like hay fever brought on by allergies. We offer state-of-the-art treatments with kindness, compassion and a genuine love for kids.

Multidisciplinary Approach to Caring for Kids

Our team's approach to caring for kids is straightforward: we offer state-of-the-art treatment from pediatric specialists who know and understand children. The multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, social workers and other health care experts work together to diagnosis and provide comprehensive care to our young patients.

Some Common Illnesses We Treat

  • Asthma
  • Cycstic Fibrosis
  • Hay fever
  • Broncho-pulmonary dysplasia
  • Sleep apnea
  • Sleep disorders
  • Ventilator-dependent respiratory conditions

 Comprehensive Testing Includes

  • Allergy tests
  • Pulmonary function tests
  • Exercise challenge
  • Methacholine challenge
  • Sleep study
  • Bronchoscopy

Nationally Recognized Asthma Care

Our Pulmonary and Allergy Center includes one of the most advanced and accomplished asthma treatment programs in the nation. The program is led by Ben Francisco, PhD, PNP, AE-C who has spent more than 14 years researching how to affectively educate patients, their families and the community on caring for kids with asthma.

We offer patients access to asthma educators or AE-C, which is incredibly rare considering on average there is only one AE-C for every 12,000 asthma patients in the country. Having such a depth and breadth of expertise means more personalized and affective education for self-care, better support and improved asthma outcomes for kids.

Each of our asthma patients receives a detailed asthma action plan at every visit. This plan is also given to the child's primary care providers and school nurses to ensure a better continuum of care.

Our team members also routinely lead outreach and research activities aimed at improving asthma care across the state. Their work, funded by the Missouri Foundation for Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, has already trained more than 1,000 Missouri doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists in asthma control practices and how to educate their young patients. Our asthma education program is nationally known for its excellence in asthma education. IMPACT Asthma Kids, a multimedia asthma education program, is listed in the national expert guidelines for asthma diagnosis and management as one of three successful, evidence-based computer programs for education.

Who We Are

James Acton, MD, Division Director, CF Center Director, Peds PFT Lab Director
Peter Konig, MD, Pulmonologist
Ulus Atasoy, MD
Melissa Kouba, MD, (MedPeds) Adult CF Center Director
Zarah Ner, MD, Children's Sleep Lab Director, Pulmonologist
Ben Francisco, PhD, PNP, AE-C, Asthma Ready Program Director
Jennifer Andert, BHS, CPFT, RRT
Lainey Bratt, RN
Connie Fenton, RN
Michelle Kretzschmar, RN
Kecia Nelson, Social Worker
Candy Neuner, RN, BSN, AE-C
Angie Painter, LPN
Tammy L. Rood, CPNP
Beth Schultz, RD, LD
Donna Smith, RN
Paul Foreman, PhD, Asthma Ready Project Director
Julie Patterson, AA, Asthma Ready Program Coordinator (573) 884-8629
Erin Jackson and Heather Nichols, staff (573) 882-6978

Where We Are

Children's Hospital Specality Clinic
404 Keene Street
Columbia, MO 65201
(573) 882-6921


Cystic Fibrosis clinic the second Wednesday of each month
St. John's Regional Health Center
Springfield, Mo.
(573) 882-6978

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