focus on the clinical, physical and emotional needs of each individual post-COVID patient. “We didn't build this as a one-size-ts-all,” says Dr. Keswani. “We built a nimble program that can care for all aspects of each patient’s symptoms.” Another duty of the COVID-19 Recovery Program sta is to just listen and let patients know they’re being heard. For many, this component is especially meaningful. Dr. Keswani says, “Our sta listens to our patients and validates their wide range of symptoms. I've heard everything, from patients who still experience a lack of smell and taste, to POTS to brain lesions. ey run the gamut of symptoms. Giving people a place to go where they feel heard and understood helps in recovery.” Learning More Every Day COVID-19 is unlike anything doctors had ever seen before, and long COVID is essentially a brand-new disorder that was discovered through anecdotal reports and patient advocates. And it seems that no two patients’ experiences are exactly alike. “It's people like Marianna who have not only been of service on the front lines, but are also teaching us as medical providers about this condition,” says Noemi Doohan, MD, the Scripps hospitalist and former Mendocino County public health ocer who is co-medical director of the COVID-19 Recovery Program. “With an emerging infectious disease that has a chronic component, there's so much we don't know. is is a great health care institution, so we have many, many resources we can oer our patients. And at the same time, as part of the COVID-19 Recovery Program, we're studying this condition so we can learn how to help our patients even more in the future.”
Scripps' COVID-19 Recovery Program brings together 18 specialties to help long- haulers like Cisneros get back to health.
“We have all the right specialists. We have all the right people. We just had to put them all together,” says Anil Keswani, MD, Scripps chief medical ocer, ambulatory and accountable care. “We built it around feedback that we were hearing. We are so pleased that our patients nd this care helpful.” e multidisciplinary and patient-centric approach was modeled on that of Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center, which brings together specialists in every area of cancer medicine, employs leading-edge technology and provides patients with comprehensive support services. While developing the COVID-19 Recovery Program, physicians and sta from across the organization worked together to build a medical clinic specic to the unique needs of this patient population. e COVID Recovery Program goes well beyond the typical oce medical visit to include the coordination of multiple resources and specialists with a clear
Bringing the Best Together In April, Scripps launched its innovative COVID-19 Recovery Program to better address the complex medical needs of long- haulers like Cisneros. e eort gives post- COVID patients a medical home base, where they have access to the expertise of physicians in 18 specialties: pulmonology, neurology, cardiology, gastroenterology, integrative medicine, nephrology, rheumatology, sleep medicine, pain management, behavioral health, physical therapy and more, plus personnel to help navigate specialty appointments and align treatments provided by multiple physicians. Patients are referred by their primary care doctor and begin their journey by seeing a COVID Recovery Program physician for their initial consult, via telemedicine or in person at Scripps Clinic, Torrey Pines, or Scripps Mercy Hospital Advanced Care Clinic.
The outcome from the virus can be quite debilitating, but there is hope. You want to listen to patients and not discount their symptoms, because there's a general idea of what the acute COVID condition is and the symptoms people get, but this post-COVID condition is yet to be fully figured out.
— B RAD L E Y PA TAY , MD , I NT E RNA L MED I C I NE , S CR I P P S C L I N I C , TOR R E Y P I NE S
22 SAN DIEGO HEALTH | FALL 2021
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