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About me

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

    Pulmonary Disease, American Board of Internal Medicine/Pulmonary Disease

    Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine

  • Academic Title

    Professor

Caring for patients is a privilege and an honor.

Cystic Fibrosis Center

400 Parnassus Ave., Fifth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94143-0359

Lung Transplant Program

400 Parnassus Ave., Fifth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94143

Pulmonary Practice at Parnassus

400 Parnassus Ave., Fifth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94143

My reviews

4.8

Overall Experience
151 Reviews
Dr Kleinhenz has been an excellent physician My medical problems are difficult and she is always there to help.
Explained things in a way that was easy to understand
149 Reviews
Did the doctor pay attention to your concerns
151 Reviews
Gave easy to understand instructions about taking care of health problems or concerns
147 Reviews
Knew the important information about your medical history
151 Reviews
The provider showed respect for what you had to say
151 Reviews
The provider spent enough time with me
151 Reviews

Selected research

My work

Our stories: A second chance

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