One year ago (March 2022), AdventHealth opened its first Post-COVID Clinic (PCC) to address clinical care for patients with long COVID and support COVID-related research.
Richard E. Pratley, M.D., medical director of the AdventHealth Diabetes Institute and senior scientist in diabetes research at the AdventHealth Translational Research Institute, and Dwayne Gordon, M.D., internal medicine physician with the AdventHealth Medical Group and lead physician at the PCC, recently appeared on the American Hospital Association’s Advancing Health podcast to discuss the improvements in patient outcomes and why investing in research and sharing collective experiences is key to minimizing COVID’s hold on the global community.
The Big Picture:
As the health care community evolves from pandemic to endemic, many hospitals are realizing the need for multidisciplinary clinics, like the AdventHealth model.
Successful Patient Outcomes:
Kathy Fennimore, 62, was the first patient to “graduate” from the clinic after six months of treatments and various therapies. She came into the clinic dependent on supplemental oxygen 24/7. The virus had exacerbated the pulmonary fibrosis, hypertension and autoimmune disease she’d been dealing with most of her life. She could barely walk 5-10 feet and couldn’t finish a six-minute walking test. Thanks to the care and treatment protocols at the PCC, she's now off oxygen, back at work, and is walking two to three miles a day.
Why we should pursue long COVID clinics...
Why research matters:
Scientists understand what COVID is and how it affects people but are still learning why symptoms occur and vary from patient-to-patient. Investigating the “why” through research is the path to determining better treatments.
Pre-pandemic, researchers at the AdventHealth Translational Research Institute were leading a multitude of research studies in metabolism, diabetes, and more – all of which had to essentially shut down (with the exception of very critical trials) in light of the clinical response to the pandemic.
Now, AdventHealth has entered a new phase where the focus is on better understanding long COVID.
Why investing in COVID research is key...
About the PCC:
The PCC currently has limited capacity, but a phased expansion is planned.
If you are a physician and have patients that may be a candidate for the PCC, email [email protected] the patient’s name and contact information, as well as your name and contact information, and the PCC will follow-up to determine if the patient is qualified.
If you are a patient requesting more information or would like to see if you qualify for the PCC, please email [email protected]. Please note a referral is required from your primary care physician.
To listen to the full AHA podcast featuring Dr. Pratley and Dr. Gordon, click here.
In addition to the PCC in Central Florida, AdventHealth has another long COVID clinic on Florida’s west coast at AdventHealth Tampa which focuses on pulmonary issues.