Memorial Healthcare System Expands its Covid-19 Long Haulers Clinic to Community at Large Beginning September 1
Memorial Healthcare System (MHS) is expanding its Memorial Primary Care Long Haulers Clinic to treat community members who are suffering from COVID-19 long-term symptoms. The clinic, which opened in May 2021, originally treated only patients within the Memorial Primary Care group, but had set a goal of expanding care to the entire community this summer.
As COVID-19 case numbers soar, there is an increasing need to treat long-haulers – those individuals who are experiencing long-term symptoms, also known as Post Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC). Since Memorial’s long hauler clinic opened in May, 115 patients have been treated and this number is expected to climb exponentially.
“We are seeing people in our community suffering, and a Memorial multidisciplinary team has come together to make sure these lasting side effects are addressed, so our patients are able to resume life in a post-pandemic era,” says Melida Akiti, vice president of Memorial’s Ambulatory Program and Community Services. “As a healthcare system, we are continuously finding ways to invest resources to help impact the lives of those in our community.”
Datasource: Claudia's long hauler story
A study from the University of Washington published in February found that 32.7% of COVID-19 outpatients developed long-haul symptoms and 31.3% of hospitalized patients became long haulers. Symptoms frequently persist among patients who are relatively young and were never hospitalized. Symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Shortness of breath
- Blood clots
- Brain fog
- Heart issues
“We know that symptoms are not always uncovered through diagnostic testing or imaging, and some people are suffering and feeling unheard,” says Jennifer Goldman, DO, board certified family physician and chief of Memorial Primary Care. “Our goal is to create a patient-centric process that is guided by our primary care team and offers access to the specialty groups, tied together with a patient care navigator, to ensure their cases are moving forward in hopes of a positive outcome and return to normalcy.”
Memorial’s multidisciplinary team of medical experts overseeing its Primary Care Long Haulers Clinic includes specialists in the following areas:
- Behavioral Health Services
- Infectious Disease
- Integrative Medicine
- Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute
- Memorial Neuroscience Institute
- Memorial Primary Care
Community members with lasting effects from COVID-19 are encouraged to participate in a screening process by calling 954-276-4340. If eligible for care, they can then make an appointment to be seen at the clinic located at Memorial Primary Care’s Silver Lakes at 17786 SW 2nd Street, Pembroke Pines, FL 33029.
Depending on patients’ individual insurance plans, treatment may or may not be covered. Broward County residents who are underinsured may qualify to be covered by a grant from Broward County.