Pediatric Pulmonology & Sleep Medicine

UCLA Health pulmonary specialists use a team approach to offer world-class care. We have extensive experience working with babies, children and adolescents.

Adorable little girl resting in a hospital bed with her teddy bear.
Girl recovering in hospital

Why choose UCLA Health for pediatric pulmonology and sleep medicine?

As leaders in exceptional care for pulmonary (lung) conditions, breathing problems and sleep disorders, our team specializes in delivering an accurate diagnosis and effective treatments. Highlights of our program include:

Recognized expertise in pulmonology: UCLA Health pediatric pulmonologists are renowned nationally and internationally. We have the experience and knowledge to treat a wide range of pulmonary disorders in children including asthma, cystic fibrosis and sleep apnea. Doctors throughout the region regularly refer their patients to us.

Multispecialty approach: In addition to pediatric pulmonologists, our team includes skilled social workers, nurses, dietitians and respiratory therapists. We work together to offer tailored therapies and treatments. We also focus on empowering patients and their families through education and support.

Leading cystic fibrosis (CF) program: The UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital Pediatric and Adult Cystic Fibrosis Center is an accredited care center of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Through our comprehensive program, we offer outstanding CF care starting at birth or in early childhood. We also help adolescents transition seamlessly to adult care. Our approach includes coordinated therapies and support from a team of experts.

Specialized care for pediatric sleep disorders: The UCLA Health Sleep Disorders Center is nationally accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. We understand the unique needs of children who have sleep disturbances. To make overnight sleep studies inviting and comfortable, our modern sleep lab features advanced equipment, kid-friendly accommodations and a shared lounge for patients and families.

Our areas of care

UCLA Health pulmonary specialists are skilled at diagnosing and treating all types of pediatric respiratory conditions, lung diseases and sleep disorders. Our high level of expertise allows us to care for children with even the most complex disorders. These include conditions that affect several body systems at once and cause problems with breathing, swallowing, digestion and sleep. Our services include: 

The UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital Pediatric and Adult Cystic Fibrosis Center

At UCLA Health, we deliver outstanding care for children and adults with CF. A rare, life-threatening disorder, CF is inherited (passed down through families). It causes thick mucus and other fluids to build up in the lungs and digestive system. Symptoms of CF include coughing, wheezing and lung infections.

Our cystic fibrosis team includes pediatric pulmonary specialists and respiratory therapists who evaluate, diagnose and treat children with CF. Social workers and dietitians offer comprehensive patient education, nutritional guidance and advice, including lifestyle changes and exercise tips to help children manage the disorder.

Symptoms of CF can worsen as children grow up. The condition may lead to other health issues, such as diabetes and gastrointestinal (GI) problems. Our experts care for children with CF and smooth the transition to adult care as they age. We work closely with adolescents and young adults, equipping them with the tools they need to manage their health while handling school, a job, relationships and financial concerns.

UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital Pediatric Asthma Program

We specialize in diagnosing and treating asthma in infants, children and teens. This chronic (long-term) lung disease causes inflammation and narrowing of the airways, leading to wheezing and shortness of breath.

Using the most advanced technologies and therapies, we have the resources and skills to create a treatment plan specific to your child's needs. Your child receives well-rounded care from a team that may include respiratory therapists, social workers and dietitians. We offer support, education and tips to manage your child’s asthma and help them maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Multidisciplinary children’s lung disease clinic

Our experts work closely to deliver customized care for children with a range of pulmonary conditions, including chronic lung infections and lung disease. We coordinate care across specialties while working with families to help you manage your child’s needs.

Our services include assistance using medical equipment at home, such as ventilators and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines for sleep apnea.

Pediatric Sleep Medicine Program

We diagnose and treat all types of sleep disorders and disturbances in babies, children and teenagers. Our expertise includes sleep issues that result from lung conditions and breathing problems. We also specialize in treating children with sleep disturbances that aren’t necessarily related to breathing, such as night terrors and sleepwalking.

Your child receives effective treatments and support from specialists with advanced pulmonary expertise and deep knowledge of childhood sleep disorders. Our services also include education and resources for children and families. 

Pulmonary conditions and sleep disorders we treat

At UCLA Health, we’re skilled at helping children with the full spectrum of pulmonary disorders and sleep disturbances. Our team treats:

Lung diseases and respiratory problems

Our expertise includes treating complex, chronic and life-threatening lung problems and respiratory disorders. Some of the most common conditions we treat are:

  • Aerodigestive disorders (conditions that involve several symptoms at once, such as breathing, swallowing and GI problems)
  • Asthma and exercise intolerance
  • Chronic lung disease, including bronchopulmonary dysplasia
  • Congenital lung disorders (lung problems that are present at birth)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Neuromuscular diseases that affect breathing, such as muscular dystrophy (MD)
  • Recurring and chronic lung infections
  • Pneumonia

Sleep disorders

UCLA Health sleep experts are highly skilled at diagnosing and treating sleep problems in children. We care for kids with sleep disturbances that result from breathing problems as well as those that are unrelated to breathing. Our expertise includes:

  • Circadian rhythm disorders that interrupt the natural sleep/wake cycle
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness, including narcolepsy
  • Insomnia (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep)
  • Nighttime seizures
  • Parasomnias, such as nightmares, night terrors and sleepwalking
  • Restless leg syndrome and periodic leg movement disorder
  • Sleep-disordered breathing, including snoring and obstructive sleep apnea

Treatments we offer

Our multispecialty team delivers customized treatments and tailored care, including therapies and support for each patient.

Your child’s care team may recommend medications, respiratory therapy or pulmonary rehabilitation to increase lung function and make breathing more efficient. We may also suggest lifestyle changes or nutritional guidance.

If your child needs lung surgery or a lung transplant, you can trust UCLA Health to deliver expert care. Our pediatric surgeons and lung transplant team lead the nation in successful procedures. Learn more about UCLA Health lung transplantation.

Meet our team

Our dedicated pediatric pulmonary specialists and sleep experts work closely with respiratory therapists, social workers and registered dietitians. We use a team approach to deliver advanced, coordinated care for your child.

Clinical Team

Elaine Harrington - Pulmonary Nurse Specialist
Elaine Harrington, RN, BSN, AE-C
Marine Kupalyan - Registered Nurse
Marine Kupalian, RN
Social worker Sabah Akmal - Pediatric Clinical Social Worker
Sabah Akmal, LCSW
Karen Ochoa, LCSW

Registered Dietitians

Lindsay Pappas, RD
Registered Dietitian

Respiratory Therapists

  • DeeAnna Serna, A.S., RCP, RRT-NPS, AE-C
  • Vasha Tyler, BS, HCA, RCP, RRT
  • Matthew Dartt, BSRT, RRT-ACS
  • Christine Carbonell, B.S., RCP, RRT-NPS
  • Kyle (Hoon) Lee
  • Jack Peters III
  • Craig Plost RCP-RRT
  • Everardo Rodriguez RCP, RRT
  • Eddie (Dong) Shin BS, RRT-ACCS
  • Heather Sullivan
  • Gabriel Tuason

Contact us

Our pediatric pulmonologists customize every treatment based on your child’s needs. Call 310-825-0867 to connect with an expert.

Find your care

Our pediatric pulmonologists customize every treatment based on your child’s needs. Call 310-825-0867 to connect with an expert.