They are leading the way in part because the federal government has made only limited effortsAnd the Says Lisa McCorkill, co-founder Patient-led research collaborative. The international group was founded in the spring of 2020 by researchers who are also longtime Covid patients.
“It’s a big reason why we haven’t been talking about COVID for so long,” McCorkill says. It is certainly a national issue. But it’s getting bogged down in state and local health departments, and there aren’t enough resources.”
Government clinics may be available to people without insurance, and are often cheaper than clinics in private hospitals.
Harborview has treated more than 1,000 long-term COVID patients, and another 200 patients are waiting for treatment, says Jessica Bender, MD, co-director of the University of Washington Post-Covid Rehabilitation and Recovery Clinic in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood.
In Harborview, Bender says the post-COVID clinic at General Hospital initially started with a team of rehabilitation doctors but expanded in 2021 to include family and internal medicine physicians. It offers mental health programs with rehabilitation psychologists who give instructions on how to treat doctors or loved ones who don’t think COVID has been around for long.
“I have patients who have been really devastated by the lack of support from my co-workers [and] Bender says.
in Campbell County, WisconsinAnd the The epidemic increase did not arrive in earnest until late 2021. The physical therapists at Campbell County Health Rehabilitation Services organized a rehabilitation program for residents with COVID long after they recognized the need, says Shannon Sorensen, director of rehabilitation at Campbell County Health.
“We’ve had patients come in and present them with chest pain, or heart palpitations. There have been people trying to go back to work. They’ve been frustrated,” Sorensen says.
Encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome activists have long embraced the struggle to identify and help COVID patients, noting similarities between cases, and hope to help initiate more structured research, treatment, and benefits for COVID patients and ME/CFS patients alike.
in feet. Collins, CO, disability activist Alison Sabrana has long suffered from encephalomyelitis. She and other members of the local branch of me workThey have been meeting with state officials for several years as they finally witness the results of those efforts.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis has created a full-time policy advisor for long-term COVID and post-virus infection planning.
“This is one way forward for how state governments can (finally) take an interest in chronic disease caused by infection and begin to think about it going forward,” Sabrana says.
Health + Hospitals in New York City launched what may be the country’s most expansive COVID treatment program in April 2021. Contacted AftercareProvides physical and mental health services, community support systems, and financial assistance.
Amanda Johnson, associate vice president of ambulatory care and population health at New York Health+ Hospitals, says an ongoing problem for patients is that there isn’t yet a long COVID test, as there is for COVID-19. “It’s in many ways a diagnosis of exclusion. You have to make sure that shortness of breath is not caused by something else. Same with anemia,” she says.
Vermont is one of several states that have long been studying COVID, says Mark Levine, MD, state health commissioner. The state, in collaboration with the University of Vermont, has set up a surveillance project to determine how many people have prolonged COVID, as well as how severe it is, how long it lasts, and potential preparations.
The University of Utah in Salt Lake City set up a comprehensive COVID-19 clinic more than a year ago that also treats long-term COVID patients, says Janet Brown, MD, PhD, associate professor at the school and director of the COVID-19 clinic.
Jennifer Chevinsky, MD, MPH, already had a deep understanding of the Covid virus long ago when she landed in Riverside County, California, in the summer of 2021. She came from Atlanta, where she was part of her job as an epidemic intelligence service officer at the CDC. , I’ve heard stories of COVID-19 patients who are not getting better.
She is now the deputy public health officer for Riverside County, in an area known for its deserts, high summer temperatures and diverse population. She says her administration has helped launch programs like post-COVID-19 follow-up calls and lengthy COVID training programs that reach many of the Hispanic population in this county of 2.4 million people. It also includes the black and Native American population.
“We make sure to circulate the information with community and faith-based organizations, and community health workers,” she says.
McCorkel, at the patient-led research collaborative, says there is still a lot of work to be done to increase public awareness of the long-term risks of COVID and how to obtain care for patients. She would like to see a long nationwide public health campaign on COVID, possibly led by the CDC in partnership with local health workers and community organizations, she says.
“This can make a huge difference,” she says.