Photos: Providence St. Joseph.

Press release from Providence St. Joseph:

Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka announced today that it has launched a monoclonal antibody therapy (MAB) clinic (Regen-Cov) and will administer the treatment at a newly repurposed area of the hospital. The clinic, which opened on Tuesday, is an outpatient program and will treat eligible patients who have tested positive for COVID-19, experiencing early mild to moderate symptoms that occurred in the last 10 days, and are at high risk for more serious symptoms and potential hospitalization.

Operated by hospital staff and by appointment only, the clinic will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The monoclonal antibody therapy needs an order from a physician or licensed Advanced Practice Provider. Patients who are eligible need an order from their provider to get a referral for treatment.

“As an organization dedicated to health equity, Providence’s COVID-19 response in Humboldt County has focused on providing innovative, compassionate care to our community,” said Roberta Luskin-Hawk, MD, chief executive for Providence in Humboldt County. “Two weeks ago, this was just an idea. It’s a testament to the dedication of our staff to be able to mobilize and operationalize this critical treatment program to help us fight this terrible disease in such a short time. I could not be prouder of our staff who continues to answer the call for their patients.”

The infusion treatment takes 20-30 minutes, then patients (18 years of age or older) are monitored for an hour for any side effects that may occur following the infusion. There is no cost to the patient and treatment is offered regardless of immigration status or health insurance.

“We know that monoclonal antibody treatments may help patients avoid progression of mild symptoms into severe disease requiring hospitalization or leading to death,” said Travis Sewalls, MD, chief medical officer for Providence in Humboldt County. “The availability of this clinic offers Providence another tool in combating the devastating effects of this pandemic and in alleviating the burden of the county’s health care infrastructure. We’re excited to share that our first patient has already completed treatment.”

In addition to introducing the new MAB clinic, Providence St. Joseph Hospital also welcomed eight new traveling caregivers to their ranks earlier this week – six intensive care unit RNs and two respiratory therapists. The additional staff were sourced through the Medical Health Operational Area Coordinator (MHOAC) as part of the hospital’s exhaustive and ongoing efforts to improve staffing to better care for the community during the increase in hospitalizations due to the Delta variant.

“ICU nurses and respiratory therapists are critical in the care of COVID-19 patients,” said Luskin-Hawk. “These additional caregivers will be met with open arms and gratitude as they enter our hospitals. Even with these additional resources, vaccination is our best defense against COVID-19.”