Children's Hospital Colorado

How We Work in the Breathing Institute

Our experts treat respiratory and sleep disorders from the common to the complex, helping children and families breathe easier.

Best Children's Hospital by U.S. News & World Report Pulmonology 2021-2 Badge


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At Children's Hospital Colorado, we strive to meet your needs for information, recommendations, and support through evaluation, diagnosis and treatment. Our experts ensure your child receives the latest and best in care.

Asthma, breathing and lung providers

Pediatric pulmonologist
A pediatric pulmonologist is a doctor with specialty education, training and experience in the care of children with breathing disorders. Our pediatric pulmonologists work closely with families, patients, primary providers and our pulmonary team in diagnosing, treating, and managing children’s breathing problems. Learn more about pediatric pulmonologists from the American Academy of Pediatrics handout "What is a Pediatric Pulmonologist?".

Pediatric sleep specialist
A sleep physician is a doctor who has had special training in sleep medicine. Sleep specialists care for patients with excessive sleepiness, insomnia, sleep-related breathing disorders, and movement disorders in sleep. Our sleep physicians have backgrounds in pulmonology, ear, nose, and throat (otolaryngology), and other medical specialties. They work with primary care providers, specialists and families to help kids get the sleep they need.

Advanced practice providers
Advanced practice providers include nurse practitioners (NP) and physician assistants (PA). These individuals are highly skilled and have completed an advanced degree with years of specialized experience in the care of children. An advanced practice provider is an important part of our collaborative team and can diagnose, treat, prescribe, educate and manage a wide variety of pediatric pulmonary conditions.

Thoracic surgeon
A thoracic surgeon is a doctor who performs surgeries on the chest and lungs. Our surgeons are some of the most experienced in the country with lung biopsies. The thoracic surgeon works very closely with the pulmonologist to develop the best treatment plan for a patient. They also perform lung transplants.

Other specialists

Ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist
Ear, nose and throat specialists are also called otolaryngologists. They work closely with ENT physicians at to help diagnose and treat children with breathing problems.

An endocrinologist is a specialist who studies hormones (chemicals in the body) and how they affect our health. Some lung diseases, like cystic fibrosis, also impact these hormones. When this happens, we partner with the endocrinologists here at Children’s Colorado to provide coordinated care.

Gastroenterology specialist
Sometimes a child's breathing problems are related to other organs such as the stomach and intestines, or to nutrition. We work with gastroenterologists who specialize in these areas to provide a full range of treatments to our patients.

Heart specialist
We work closely with the cardiologists and heart surgeons in treating children who have complex lung and heart conditions.

Infants who are born prematurely sometimes have breathing problems as their lungs have not fully developed. We work with the physicians in the intensive care nurseries to take care of babies who need special treatments.

Rehabilitation specialist
These specialists meet the needs of individuals with cognitive, behavioral and physical dysfunctions relating to mild, moderate or major brain injury. Rehab specialists also work with people who have learning disabilities. 

Palliative care
Our Breathing Institute also has dedicated palliative care to support any child with a life-threatening or life-limiting respiratory diagnosis. This team works to create positive experiences and celebrate moments of joy during a difficult time. Learn about our palliative care team and how they help ease the symptoms, pain and stress of complex and chronic breathing conditions for a child and their family.


Registered nurse (RN)
Registered nurses in our Breathing Institute work closely with all providers to help manage your child’s care, answer questions when your child is having increased symptoms or breathing issues and provide patient and family education. Our nurses have specialty training in pediatric pulmonary conditions and are available in clinic and by phone to help answer your questions, obtain refills, make appointments and notify providers if there are questions and concerns that the provider needs to address.

Other staff

Medical assistant (MA)
Medical assistants help our patients get in to see their provider faster. In the outpatient Breathing Institute clinics, MAs bring families back to the exam room, take vital signs and get other information the providers need to treat our patients.

Respiratory therapist (RRT)
Respiratory therapists (RRT) work to evaluate, treat and care for patients with breathing disorders under the direction of a provider.

Registered pulmonary function technologist
Registered pulmonary function technologists (RPFTs) perform diagnostic procedures in the pulmonary laboratory to assess lung function.

Clinical social worker
A clinical social worker (CSW) provides emotional support, care coordination and resource assistance for families.

A nutritionist provides consultation, evaluation and diet instruction to parents and children - for those who are well or those who need special therapeutic diets for chronic conditions, such as cystic fibrosis, diabetes and the acutely ill.

Would you like a second opinion?

From common to complex breathing conditions, our pediatric experts provide second opinions for any issue your child is facing.

Request a second opinion from our Breathing Institute