NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Tulane University School of Medicine has been selected to join an expanding network of medical centers caring for patients with a progressive lung disease.

The university said in a Wednesday news release that it is joining the care network of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. The move means Tulane gains access to numerous resources for patients and caregivers dealing with the disease that causes lung tissue to become scarred and stiff.

Network sites collaborate to provide standardized, comprehensive treatment so each patient can receive an accurate diagnosis, quality clinical care and important support services.

Tulane is one of 12 institutions added to the foundation’s network, bringing the total to 21 institutions in 20 states.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis affects more than 130,000 people in the United States, according to Tulane.