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Dr. Mary Ellen Kleinhenz is a pulmonologist who evaluates and treats patients with a variety of conditions affecting their breathing. She specializes in caring for adults with cystic fibrosis (CF), an inherited condition that causes severe damage to the lungs, digestive system and other organs, as well as those needing lung transplantation. She also uses her knowledge of the special therapies devised for these patients to help develop treatments for people with other chronic lung conditions.

Kleinhenz champions pulmonary rehabilitation programs and respiratory therapy as ways to manage symptoms and improve quality of life for patients with chronic lung disease. She cares for patients in both clinic and hospital settings.

Kleinhenz studies how the organisms living in the airways of CF patients change with treatment and disease progression, with the goal of improving management of CF. She is particularly interested in helping patients and their families deal with the challenges of living with the illness. With colleagues at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, she has worked to develop, study and update strategies to better prepare young people with CF to manage the illness throughout their lives. She also works with colleagues in the UCSF Lung Transplant Program to develop best practices for lung transplant recipients.

Kleinhenz earned her medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine, then completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She completed a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, a teaching affiliate of Case Western Reserve University.

As a member of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's center committee, Kleinhenz visits CF centers nationwide to assess patient care, encourage colleagues to sustain high quality care and help improve services. She is also a member of the American Thoracic Society.

  • Education

    Perelman School of Medicine, 1975

  • Residencies

    University of Alabama at Birmingham, Internal Medicine, 1978

  • Fellowships

    University Hospitals Cleveland, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, 1981

  • Board Certifications

    Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine

    Pulmonary Disease, American Board of Internal Medicine

  • Academic Title


Caring for patients is a privilege and an honor.

Where I see patients (3)

    My reviews


    Overall Experience
    241 Ratings
    About our process
    Dec 01, 2023
    So sorry she is retiring. Excellent doctor
    Nov 29, 2023
    She has no bedside manner or compassion. At least not with me. She said I was dying and nothing more can be done for me! Who says that to a patient?! My caregiver was even shocked. I had asked before not to see this dr but it's been three times seeing her.
    Nov 16, 2023
    Explain all my concerns and provided referral.
    Nov 16, 2023
    Very satisfied
    Sep 17, 2023
    Loved how the provider this day showed me some breathing exercises I had not seen before and helped me a lot.
    Sep 16, 2023
    no patience and being rude make me feel bad
    Sep 08, 2023
    She's fabulous
    Aug 30, 2023
    Very excellent .Dr Kleinhenz is the diamond among her profession. She is as caring as scientific a patient listener and great help in sorting through your troubles. She is the very best doctor and a real Mensch.
    Aug 10, 2023
    I feel Dr. Klein from legacy has not been a good listener and bit impatient. But she has made tremendous improvement and I gave her rating 4 for that.
    Aug 06, 2023
    Dr. Kleinhenz was very caring and sensitive to my needs in adjusting to the realities of my health challenges. She was patient and thorough with her explanations and gave me opportunities to ask questions. I felt my visit with Dr. Kleinhenz was very productive and I have a better understanding of my condition and the process forward to address it.
    Aug 04, 2023
    Front desk nurse as well as Dr. Kleinhenz very professional and kind.
    Aug 04, 2023
    We feel blessed to have the UCSF team.
    Jul 26, 2023
    Jul 13, 2023
    She was amazing. Always makes me feel like she really cares and wants to help find answers to issues
    Jun 06, 2023
    Dr. Kleinhenz is very thorough and considerate to her patient.
    May 30, 2023
    Dr. Kleinhenz is one of the two or three best doctors I have ever had here at Alta Bates and at Stanford. Period.
    May 19, 2023
    She was very helpful and dealt with all my issues I really appreciate her.
    May 12, 2023
    I am most appreciative of Dr Kleinhenz's expertise and thoughtful analysis of several factors shaping the context of my health including her referrals to other domain experts and her incorporation of their input.
    Apr 26, 2023
    Great as always
    Apr 21, 2023
    Great experience
    Apr 05, 2023
    She was very aggravating and rude. She didn't seem to care about my condition and didn't want me as her patient. Please share this as anonymous feedback.
    Feb 10, 2023
    Was also told I would receive a link via text so I could start my Spirometer. Still waiting
    Feb 09, 2023
    The visit was informative and I felt the doctor took my concerns seriously and suggested excellent follow up care and tests.
    Jan 31, 2023
    Incredible! Wonderfully thorough. Wish I had seen her years ago. I feel like I'm in good hands ..helping me with my lung issues
    Jan 25, 2023
    Expert in her field. Answered all my questions. Definitely the right person to see. I picked her based on my needs and asked my pcp for referral.
    Jan 11, 2023
    Wonderful doctor. Was great explaining my problem
    Dec 03, 2022
    Thanks to Doctor MARY ELLEN KLEINHENZ for her excellent medical care. THANKS YOU
    Nov 18, 2022
    I was very happy with her ability to understand my problems and provide recommendations and guide lines for on going care
    Oct 28, 2022
    Clear concise and very informative
    Oct 23, 2022
    Great consultation!
    Sep 29, 2022
    Dr. Kleinhenz was thorough and explained everything clearly.
    Sep 19, 2022
    Enjoyed meeting with Doctor Kleinhenz
    Sep 01, 2022
    The highlight of the visit was seeing Dr. Kleinhenz. She is one of the original doctors who recommended my getting a transplant...her kindness and thoroughness following my surgery has always remained with me. I enjoy my visits to the clinic and appreciate the opportunity to discuss my concerns - they LISTEN!
    Aug 27, 2022
    My doctor recommended a great alternative on how to take one of my medications in a way I hadn't considered to reduce diarrhea.
    Aug 25, 2022
    Dr. Kleinhenz was thorough patient and determined to find answers to questions about my condition and to find an effective treatment going forward.
    Aug 25, 2022
    Dr Kleinhenz is a fantastic physician
    Aug 12, 2022
    Dr. Kleinhenz has always treated me with care and concern. She respects how I feel and listens to me.
    Jul 22, 2022
    Maybe an off day for the provider. Have had better experiences in past. Dismissive of my concerns this time.
    Jul 21, 2022
    Jun 03, 2022
    Excellent listener and advice with respect and understanding. The best!
    May 25, 2022
    I appreciate Dr Kleinhenz very much. She takes my concerns to heart. Very compassionate
    May 24, 2022
    Dr K was among the best most intelligent providers I've seen.
    Apr 14, 2022
    Dr. Kleinhenz is an excellent pulmonologist caring very intelligent capable and dependable.
    Apr 08, 2022
    Unable do all the follow up because of previously described frustrations with mychart and phone communication
    Mar 30, 2022
    Dr Kleinhenz is an Outstanding doctor. The time she has spent with me over the last week to solve some complicated medical issues goes beyond what I have ever received from any doctor. She doesn't just want to fix the issue she wants to find the root and resolve the medical issue well not causing any harm or create other complications. I am a doctors daughter and I Can't tell you how impressed and grateful I am for her care.
    Mar 18, 2022
    This Dr is very rude. She is snappy and has no manners. Maybe was a bad day for her but I was having a bad day too. High prednisone I was on and very anxious. She explained things to me that I didn't understand cuz I'm. It a dr. She tried to explain about me getting vaccinated very pushy. Sorry I don't want this doctor again. I left that office in tears
    Feb 14, 2022
    Very nice

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