Teamwork and Innovation Save Our Most Vulnerable
In the fall of 2020, Logan Health began enrolling patients in clinical trials that focused on the advancement of the medical treatment of COVID-19. From the beginning of the pandemic, Logan Health strived to provide patients and the community with the best care and innovative treatments available to navigate this disease.
After early success in clinical trials and the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization, our infusion services team began administering the Bamlanivimab (BAM) monoclonal antibody infusion to help our most vulnerable patients. BAM is an antibody drug developed to help our bodies fight COVID-19 infection.
When we’re sick, our immune system makes antibodies to fight off the virus — but, with a new virus like COVID-19, it takes time for us to make antibodies. In clinical trials, it was found that those who were treated with the BAM infusion within 10 days of COVID-19 symptoms starting were less likely to be admitted to the hospital and suffer severe forms of the disease.
“Healthcare is a team effort,” said Melissa Edmister, the Clinical Manager of Oncology, Infusion and Vascular Access. “Once we heard our patients were able to receive the BAM infusion, we came together — employees, managers and directors from various departments — and set up a new infusion area within three days.”
Melissa and her partner infusion leaders, Jesse Arneson and Leah Scaramuzzo, were able to begin treating patients and, for many, saving lives within a week’s time. Following effective infection control protocols to prevent further spread of the virus, our Incident Command team developed a specialized plan and route to bring them into the Logan Health Medical Center for a BAM infusion. Patients were met at a side door by staff, everyone was in full protective equipment and used a designated elevator specifically for patients seeking the BAM infusion.
Over 320 patients from across the region came to Logan Health Medical Center for the BAM infusion. This infusion treatment not only helped patients recover on their own with less adverse symptoms, it also decreased the surge of COVID-19 hospital admissions. “Many of these patients would have had serious complications if they didn’t receive the BAM infusions,” explained Melissa.
The continued support for Logan Health’s education programs and cancer care services from philanthropic donors made this life-saving treatment a reality. The advanced infusion equipment and specialized staff training programs gave our organization the necessary resources to quickly set up a separate infusion site for these patients. Together, through innovation and philanthropy, Logan Health is able to find the solutions for every need.