Staffed by Drs. Luke Strnad, Cara Varley, and Kevin Winthrop, OHSU’s Oregon Mycobacterial Clinic is the only program of mycobacterial expertise between Seattle and San Francisco. As the largest non-tuberculous mycobacterial program West of Denver, OHSU’s Clinic represents a referral center for a wide catchment area. They provide essential, unique care for people affected by nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) infections, tuberculosis (TB), and Hansen's disease. They serve a large number of complex patients, ranging from those with mild symptoms to those who are medically fragile, often involving specialized treatments available only through study protocols and medications that require close monitoring and expertise. Management of these infections often requires multidisciplinary care involving Pulmonary, Thoracic Surgery, Thoracic Radiology, and other specialists. Our providers partner closely with OHSU’s Cystic Fibrosis (CF) program in the care of individuals impacted by both CF and mycobacterial infections as well as OHSU’s Casey Eye Institute in the management of individuals impacted by mycobacterial eye disease.
Research is an essential part of our provider’s clinical work and efforts to improve the care of mycobacterial and other lung diseases. Kevin Winthrop is the senior principal investigator of our large mycobacterial and bronchiectasis research program, Cara Varley is currently supported by an NIH career development award to develop new and improved outcome metrics for mycobacterial lung disease, and all of our providers actively publish in peer reviewed literature in this field and support guideline development and expert clinical reviews. All of our mycobacterial clinic physicians are also faculty in the OHSU/Portland State University School of Public Health (SPH) where they teach, perform epidemiological research, and collaborate with SPH’s Center for Infectious Diseases Studies for the above research program: Center For Infectious Disease Studies - OHSU-PSU School of Public Health (ohsu-psu-sph.org).
Provider training and education plays an important role in the Mycobacterial program. All OHSU Infectious Disease Fellows, some OHSU Pulmonary Medicine Fellows, as well as frequent visiting trainees and faculty rotate in the OHSU Mycobacterial Clinic to further their career development. Our providers also give frequent talks at national, regional, and local levels as part of increasing knowledge for other providers to manage these diseases. Our providers also support the Oregon Health Authority in their role as consultants for the state’s TB program.