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  • pharmacist holding monoclonal antibody infusion

    Memorial Hospital Pembroke Offers Monoclonal Antibody Infusions to Qualifying COVID-19 Patients

    As COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise and vaccines are in short supply, Memorial Healthcare System is offering qualifying COVID-19 patients an alternative that is showing great signs in helping them feel better and avoid hospitalization.

    Memorial Hospital Pembroke has provided monoclonal antibody infusions to 270 patients who have high risk factors for developing severe COVID-19 symptoms. Of these high-risk patients, only four patients have needed to be admitted to the hospital post infusion. Memorial Hospital Pembroke set up an outpatient treatment center next to the Emergency Department, where a team of nurses and doctors are infusing qualifying COVID-19 patients either Bamlanivimab, by Eli Lilly, or Casirivimab and Imdevimab, by Regeneron.

    “Everything points to a life-saving drug, because the results have been outstanding,” said David Starnes, Chief Nursing Officer, Memorial Hospital Pembroke.

    Community members who tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 10 days and meet the criteria outlined below are encouraged to contact their primary care physicians. PCP offices can fax the order (including symptoms and risk factors) along with a copy of the patient’s positive COVID-19 test to Memorial Centralized Scheduling at 954-985-3034.

    Appointments are available Monday through Saturday. The outpatient process takes about two hours: one for the infusion; the second for observation by medical professionals.

    Adult patients (over age 16) must weigh at least 88.19 lbs., must have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 10 days, have mild to moderate symptoms and one additional criteria, including:

    • Body mass index more than or equal to 35
    • Chronic kidney disease
    • Diabetes
    • Immunosuppressive disease OR receiving immunosuppressive treatment
    • People over 65
    • People over 55 with underlying conditions such as obesity, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and immunodeficiency.
  • Memorial Begins Inoculating Seniors 65 and Older

    On January 7, Memorial Healthcare System (Memorial) began inoculating seniors 65 and older with the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The healthcare system is vaccinating at two locations, including Memorial Regional Hospital Conference Center in Hollywood and Memorial Specialty Pharmacy in Miramar.

    At this time, Memorial's COVID-19 vaccine appointments have been filled. As soon as the healthcare system receives the next shipment of vaccines, it will reopen appointments via MyChart and its Centralized Scheduling at 954-276-4340. Everyone in the community who is 65 and older is encouraged to open a MyChart account to help expedite the appointment process.

    “Memorial has always been part of this community and we are honored to offer this potentially life-saving vaccine to our seniors,” said, Melida Melida Akiti, VP, Memorial Healthcare System Ambulatory and Community Services, and Vaccine POD leader at Memorial Regional Hospital.

    In addition to inoculating older adults, Memorial continues to vaccinate employees and medical staff, and community licensed healthcare professionals regardless of hospital affiliation.

    Memorial is one of only five healthcare systems in Florida chosen as host for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The initial shipment of 19,500 vaccines to inoculate medical staff arrived on Dec. 14, and the second doses arrived in late December. The shipment of 7,800 vaccines to expand vaccines to seniors 65 and older arrived the first week of 2021.

    To learn more, visit our COVID-19 Vaccine page, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.


  • Drs. Aghion and Raffa

    Memorial Spine Surgery Experts and Neurosurgeons Dr. Daniel Aghion and Dr. Scott Raffa Establish Practice in Boca Raton

    Daniel Aghion, MD and Scott Raffa, MD, spine surgery experts and neurosurgeons at Memorial Neuroscience Institute, have extended their medical practice to Boca Raton, where patients can now be seen for a variety of spine disorders.

    Dr. Aghion, a fellowship-trained and board-certified neurosurgeon, treats patients with a wide array of spine disorders, including severe degenerative spine diseases, spine trauma, cancer in the spine, spine tumors, peripheral nerve surgery and more. Born and raised in Boston, he went to the University of Michigan and fell in love with neuroscience. He attended Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, in Tel Aviv, Israel, before completing a residency at Rhode Island Hospital, and a complex spine fellowship at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He credits his international training with giving him a solid base for how to approach people from different cultures and a more hands-on approach. He fully embraces Memorial's focus on patient and family-centered care and the system's multidisciplinary approach, which enables doctors from different specialties to work together to provide the most comprehensive care.

    “We are here for the Boca Raton and Palm Beach county communities, and ever committed to the safety of our patients, we also offer telehealth appointments,” Dr. Aghion said. “We recognized the need to adhere to safety measures given the pandemic, and our goal is to use the best approach to treat our patients.”

    Dr. Raffa is a fellowship-trained, neurosurgeon and spine surgeon who specializes in a variety of minimally invasive surgical techniques, including lateral retroperitoneal and endoscopic approaches to the spinal column. He treats patients who present with various neurological disorders of the brain and spine, and his clinical focus lies on complex spinal pathologies. Disorders treated include neck and back pain, sciatica/pinched nerves, spinal stenosis, herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, spine trauma, spinal deformity and more. In addition to his medical degrees, Dr. Raffa has a Master of Business Administration from University of Florida Warrington College of Business. He has professional interests in health administration, practice management and intraoperative efficiencies. He is also a member of various medical and surgical associations including the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Florida Medical Association and the North American Spine Society.

    “Our patients can expect an honest, transparent and friendly conversation that yields an individualized and tailored care plan, consistent with Memorial’s mission and patient-and family-centered care philosophy,” Dr. Raffa said.

    Drs. Aghion and Raffa’s office is located at 900 Glades Road, Suite 500, Boca Raton, and phone number is 954-265-1490.